Latest Discussions : Plumbing


01:37PM | 05/04/06
Member Since: 05/03/06
4 lifetime posts
A couple weeks ago I had a well technician come because suddenly I had no water. He pulled the pipe and wire a ways out and found the wire had broken. He replaced that section, all the while grumbling that it was incorrect wiring etc. It has worked fine for 15 years. Shortly thereafter I began hearing and feeling a loud low moaning vibration occasionally from the pipes or basement area. It doesn't last long enough for me to run to the basement to detect a specific noise source and does not seem to be related to water usage or any other normal usage or non-usage of the water. Sometimes it happens 6 or more times in 20 minutes and sometimes only once or twice a day. Sometimes the noise lasts for 5 seconds, sometimes (increasingly) up to 20 seconds and more. It happens in the middle of the night also when there is no heat on and no water usage. I have watched the PSI gauge at the holding tank and it fluctuates between 25 and 50 - rapidly on the increase and slowly on the decrease. I hear a ticking sound at the holding tank while this is occurring. The well guy did not put the casing back over the wiring at the holding tank - and I noticed it after a few days and screwed it back on. The noise seemed to diminish for a couple of days but now has returned with a vengeance. I'm SCARED THE HOUSE IS GOING TO BLOW UP. Can you proffer some advice which I will greatly appreciate? Thankyou. pam (chesahn)


07:01AM | 05/06/06
Member Since: 05/03/06
4 lifetime posts
Mr Sylvan

Perhaps you think I am a dumb blonde. Not so. I am a dumb brunette. But that aside - my reason for posting on here is because I wanted to glean a reason why this vibrating situation arose after the well work. The well technician who came was very abusive and trying to sell me a bridge to the 22nd Century. I do not trust him to be truthful. If I could understand a possible causal effect - I can better deal with how to proceed now through a different avenue. There's an increasing number of us out here who are vulnerable and with limited resources who seek to resolve things through whatever research is available. I was delighted to find this site and am hoping that you can provide me with some helpful technical information into this phenomenon. I sincerely will be most appreciative of any assistance you can provide.

Respectfully - pam (chesahn)


09:09AM | 05/06/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
"He replaced that section, all the while grumbling that it was incorrect wiring etc. It has worked fine for 15 years."

It could well have been the wrong type of material and that is why it failed. And there are other wiring mistakes that while allowing it to work was not done to code or have other problems.


There is not enough pressure to worry about that. The worse is blowing a pipe and having a flood, but even that is not likely.

The pressure fluctuation is a good clue, but I am not sure where it is leading us to.

If the pump is starting/stop then you should hear clicking in the pressure switch. I assume that it is near the tank.

Where is the well from the tank? It is not clear, but is the a submerciable pump? Or is the pump near the tank.

Does the tank have an air volumne control?

Are there any filters or water softeners in the system.


12:07PM | 05/06/06
Member Since: 05/03/06
4 lifetime posts
Billhart: Thank you so much for your response. So relieved the house is not going to blow up!!

Since my first post I was able to get to the basement during the rumbling and put my hand on a number of water pipes - all of them contained the vibration. Also have since learned that if I briefly turn on a faucet anywhere in the house that a toilet tank makes a very short flushing sound (whichever floor I'm on) and the vibration abruptly ceases.

I hear the clicking in the pressure switch when I'm watching it rise rapidly to 50 psi and then decrease slowly - it is ticking frequently until the needle stabilizes. It is attached to the pipes at the holding tank - which is in my basement.

The well is approximately 50 feet from the house and the pump is submersible.

I don't know about an air volume control - what would I see to indicate that?

There are no filters or water softeners on the system.

Thank you Thank you

pam (chesahn)


12:59PM | 05/06/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
I suspect that you have something in the house that is using a small amount of water that is "triggering" the event.

Might be an refigerator icemaker, but most likely you have a leaking toilet.

And most likely it is the flush valve, but it could be the fill valve.

Look in the tank and you should see the water level below the top of the overfill tube. If it is over flowing them you have a problem with the fill valve.

If it is not overflowing them turn off the water to the toilet (use the stop valve) and then wait an hour and check the levle. If it has dropped then the flush valve is leaking.

Most likely this has been going on for a while and has nothing to do with the work on the well.

Howver, if the problem is the fill valve then it is possible that some dirt was dislodge and caught in the valve.

However, the "real" problem is the pressure tank is miss adjusted.

There are two types of pressure tanks. One with a diaphram or bladder that keeps the air separated from the water. They are the best.

The other type just has air and water and the water will absorb the air over a period of time and will become water logged. Some systems have air control valve to automatically add air, but I don't know any more about them that.

The way that the pressure tank is suppose to work is that as water is drawn off the air pressure pushes the water out until a significant amount has been used and the pressure will drop enough to start the pump. Then the pump puts out a lot of water, and the excess goes to refill the tank slowly as the pressure builds up.

But if the tank is water logged or does not have enough air pressure it takes only a small amount of water to fill the tank as water is not compressable.

But if water is still being drawn off then it will only take a few drops before the pressure drops enough to start the pump again.

The the wild pressure fluctuations and noise.

Look here under pump cycling for information on how to set the air pressure.

But that also mentions another possible cause for your problem. A bad check vavle or foot valve.


02:31PM | 05/08/06
Member Since: 05/03/06
4 lifetime posts

Thank you for your thorough assistance. The flush valve is the leaking problem and I turned off the water supply to it. Since then (Saturday) I've had no pipe vibrations whatsoever. Once I put in a new valve - I'm hoping that will continue to be the case.

I've learned alot about toilets!! :-)

I'm in the process of learning about the more complex pressure tanks. Went to the site you suggested and got a lot of information I'm trying to digest.

I can't express how much your time and patience and your very clear explanations have assisted me. I am truly grateful.

I'm aware that this is probably not the end of the story - considering the fact that that toilet has been leaking for years and the pipe vibration did not begin until I had the well wire spliced and replaced.

pam (chesahn)

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