Latest Discussions : Plumbing


04:25AM | 06/12/05
Member Since: 06/10/05
1 lifetime posts
My water pipes started vibrating about a month ago. I've lived in this house for 18 years and this is the first time this has happened. It doesn't happen all the time. It seems to only happen when only one water valve is open (a sink faucet turned on, the washing machine filling, or a toilet flushing), and it seems to do it more often in the early morning.

I've heard that excessive water pressure could cause this, but I have a pressure reducer valve on the main water line coming into the house.

Could it be that I just need to readjust the pressure reducer valve (maybe due to an increase in water pressure feeding the house)?


05:11AM | 06/15/05
Member Since: 08/29/04
227 lifetime posts
Actually, the reason your pipes vibrate is typically caused by the toilet valve or by expansion and contraction. Inside the toilet is whats called a float valve or ball ****. There is a diaphram inside the valve that gets old after a few years. The oils in the rubber a washed away under pressure so it becomes hard and brittle like a super ball. Normally it is soft and pliable like a baby's skin. This allows it to form around the opening inside where the water comes in (called a seat because the diaphram sits against it shutting off the water). When the gasket is hard, it comes down and instead of forming, bounces against the seat, letting a little water (very little) into the toilet. Then it shuts off again. It does this so fast and so often, it sets up a wave in the water. This wave is exactly like the vibrations of a trumpet players lips. Since your piping is probably copper (brass trumpet) it resonates with the vibration and causes the pipes in the house to vibrate. Replacing the fill valve (they are about 12 dollars) will generally solve the problem. You can test this, by opening the lid on the toilet and pulling up lightly on the float arm. If the noise goes away, you've solved your problem. If it doesn't.

You probably have expansion and contraction. Copper pipe will expand up to 3" in 100 feet from the change in temperature of the incoming water. As water sits in the pipe it equalizes to the ambient temperature around the piping. When you run fresh water into the pipes, it contracts with the incoming cold water (underground temperature is about 55 degrees) and expands with the incoming hot temperature (around 130 deg). Therefore, as it moves it rubs against the wood structure. When the building was new, the wood still had moisture in it from the sap and water. As the wood sits this moisture evaporates and the wood becomes dry. The piping is run through the studs and joists by drilling holes and feeding the pipe. Sometimes it is strapped to the studs. After a while it begins to make noises, because the holes are either too tight or strapped too rigidly.

Good Luck

Raymond VinZant Plumbing Prof.


08:34AM | 10/09/15
We had problem with singing pipes after the valve inside toilet was replaced. Tried all the suggested actions with no results. Close observation of the filling tank showed that the float alignment permitted it to touch the side of the tank just before it shut off. This caused the whole porcelain tank reservoir and water pipes to act like a bellowing tuba. Adjustment of the float's position solved the problem.


04:35AM | 03/15/20
We have 2 spigots outside of the house. If both are closed the one on the right side of the house will cause vibration of pipes throughout the house. House is about 14 years old. If we add a garden hose to the spigot and leave the spigot on and a nozzle at the end of hose with nozzle on the end of hose (either on or closed) the vibrating noise immediately stops throughout the house. Any answers?

Leo Alfie

08:17AM | 03/15/20
Member Since: 03/03/20
36 lifetime posts
Maybe it caused by increasing water pressure feeding the house. but there are some chances that your pressure reducer valve is not working properly. readjust it


09:14PM | 11/11/20
I'd like to revisit the spigot questions- I'm having the same issue and can't figure out why the hose and having the valve on would cause any difference.


04:23PM | 04/04/21
I see two possibilities one the strapping may be loose along the pipe and you may have simple water hammer problem that can be cured with a water hammer arrestor install.

Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button