DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Plumbing Forum > HELP - toilet flush makes noises like jackhammer




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-22-2009, 10:40 PM  
jennebelle
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
Default HELP - toilet flush makes noises like jackhammer

As mentioned in title, when I flush my toilet some evenings (generally this issue happens most between 11pm and 2am) it can make the most disturbing noise. Something in the pipes seems to take over the building with a pressure noise that sounds like a jackhammer. If I rush to the toilet, take off the lid, and pull up the ballcock then the noise will stop temporarily. But if I drop the ball before the water has filled completely then the noise begins again. Attempts at problem solving include trying to loosen and tighten the screw at the top of the toilet fill valve but that has not fixed the problem, rather it seems to increase the fill time and create gurgly noises towards the end of the fill cycle.

Any helpful suggestions would be much appreciated!



__________________
jennebelle is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-22-2009, 11:47 PM  
Nestor_Kelebay
Emperor Penguin
 
Nestor_Kelebay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 1,844
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

There are two likely candidates that could be responsible for creating this noise; a loose washer in a water valve supplying water to the toilet, or a problem with the closing of the rubber diaphragm inside the ballcock (probably just a rotting rubber diaphragm).

The most likely cause would be a loose rubber washer in the water shut off valve to the toilet. That's cuz if the washer is loose, and capable of moving back and forth on the screw that's supposed to hold it in place, then you can rapid opening and closing of that valve. What happens is water gets behind the rubber washer. That water is the same pressure as the water in the supply piping. However, because the washer is larger in diameter than the seat it presses against, and FORCE is equal to pressure times area, there is a net force pushing the washer down against the seat. If, when that washer moves, the water behind the washer can leak out faster than it can leak in, the movement of the washer will cause it to move back off the seat again, allowing water to flow through the valve again. And, if water starts to then get behind the washer again to cause it to move forward again, you can have the water flow into the tank start and stop and start and stop again repeatedly, which could make the pipes rattle like crazy and cause the jack hammering noise you're hearing.

Toilet ballcocks (or fill valves) shut off the water flow using exactly the same principle as the water mixing valve on a washing machine. In both cases the method is nearly identical to the loose washer described above. You have a rubber diaphragm that fits over an opening through which water enters the toilet tank. Both sides of that rubber diaphragm are exposed to the city water pressure, but the area exposed to that pressure is larger on one side of the diaphragm than the other. So, the difference in area again causes a net force causing the rubber diaphragm to press against that opening and stop water flow into the toilet tank.

When you flush the toilet, the dropping of the float causes a small plug to release the pressure on the large area side of the diaphragm, and that causes the water supply pressure on the low area side to pop the diaphragm open, allowing water to rush into the toilet tank. Once the tank is empty, the flush valve closes again, and the water starts filling the tank again until it raises the float. The raising of the float causes the plug to plug up that hole on the large area side again, and as the pressure quickly equalizes across the diaphragm, it presses against that hole to stop further water flow into the tank.

Now, what happens if the hole that gets plugged on the large area side of the diaphragm is worn out and on the verge of leaking? If there's leakage past that plug, then you can have the pressure build up and leak out and build up and leak out behind the diaphragm repeately causing the ballcock to open and close and open and close and open and close again in rapid succession, causing the pipes to rattle and making a noise from a high pitched squeel to the sound of an ocean liner's fog horn and everything in between.

I'd replace the rubber diaphragm in the ballcock and also shut off the water upstream of the shut-off valve to the toilet and check the washer in that shut-off valve.



__________________
Nestor_Kelebay is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-23-2009, 12:34 PM  
Redwood
Certified Lunatic
 
Redwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Olde Tyme, Connecticut
Posts: 887
Default

Most likely the angle stop valve supplying the toilet as Nestor said.

Sometimes it can be another valve in the line have you touched any of them lately?

Make sure the toilet stop valve is all the way open sometimes they stop making the noise then...

__________________
Redwood is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-23-2009, 01:36 PM  
CraigFL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 409
Default

I've also seen the anti-waterhammer supressors(accumulators) they put on the water lines behind the wall get waterlogged. Sometimes draining the pipes and repressuring them will help.

__________________
CraigFL is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-23-2009, 04:44 PM  
jennebelle
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
Default

Thank you for the suggestions. The fill valve is very loose (you can hear the water dripping in with the slightest touch). Will that be corrected if i find the loose washer or could it possibly be more serious?

__________________
jennebelle is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-23-2009, 06:54 PM  
Nestor_Kelebay
Emperor Penguin
 
Nestor_Kelebay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 1,844
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennebelle View Post
Thank you for the suggestions. The fill valve is very loose (you can hear the water dripping in with the slightest touch). Will that be corrected if i find the loose washer or could it possibly be more serious?
Can you elaborate on that?

You say the fill valve is very loose. Does that mean that it wobbles when you touch it? Does any water spill from the tank onto the floor when you move the fill valve?

You say you can hear the water dripping "in" with the slightest touch.
Where do you hear water "dripping"?
Do you mean "flowing" into the tank, rather than dripping?
What are you touching and where to hear the water coming in?
__________________
Nestor_Kelebay is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2009, 06:10 AM  
inspectorD
Housebroken
HRT_MODERATOR.png
 
inspectorD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 3,986
Liked 103 Times on 88 Posts
Likes Given: 226

Default I cant resist

Remove jackhammer..... with the others.

__________________

Just My
Made in the

inspectorD is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-25-2009, 01:48 PM  
jennebelle
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nestor_Kelebay View Post
Can you elaborate on that?

You say the fill valve is very loose. Does that mean that it wobbles when you touch it? Does any water spill from the tank onto the floor when you move the fill valve?

You say you can hear the water dripping "in" with the slightest touch.
Where do you hear water "dripping"?
Do you mean "flowing" into the tank, rather than dripping?
What are you touching and where to hear the water coming in?
Yes, the fill valve wobbles when I touch it. No water has spilled onto the floor. I don't understand the drip noise, but I believe it is coming from the tube/valve rather than flowing from the fill entry hole...

By touching the valve, i am referencing when i was messing with the tightness of the screw at the top of the tube and when we do the emergency stop of the noise by pulling up and leveling the ball...

What should be the first step in finding the problem to be fixed?

Sorry if I've used the wrong terms. And thanks for your continued help.
__________________
jennebelle is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-26-2009, 12:55 AM  
Nestor_Kelebay
Emperor Penguin
 
Nestor_Kelebay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 1,844
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

You should be able to tighten that wobbly fill valve by turning the brass or plastic nut on the bottom of it (under the toilet tank).

Typically, those fill valves that have a float and horizontal float arm will have the rubber diaphragm I described at the TOP of the fill valve, so that suggests to me that the noise is being caused by the rubber diaphragm in the fill valve rather than a loose washer in the water shut off valve. If you take the top off the fill valve, the rubber diaphragm will be right under that top piece.

Don't take the top off your fill valve without first closing the water shut off valve to the toilet. You'll notice water starting to spray out the top of the fill valve if you don't, and that's fair warning not to proceed further if you don't want to have water spraying all over the place.

__________________

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 08-26-2009 at 12:59 AM.
Nestor_Kelebay is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-26-2009, 07:20 AM  
JALEXED2
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 20
Default

You may have a couple problems going on.

If your ballcock is leaking, it will eventually fill up the tank and will raise the water level to the height of the overflow tube and pass water into the bowl.

If the flapper valve (lower "flap" at the bottom of the tank) is leaking, you will also have water flowing into the bowl. Place some food dye in the tank and see if the color of the water in the bowl changes to the color of the food dye. If so, you have a leaking flapper valve. This could be the dripping noise you hear. A new flapper valve is about $3.

If the ballcock is leaking as you somewhat suggest, replace it - don't putz around trying to fix it. A new ballcock is under $10 at your local hardware store. They are pretty easy to replace. Any hardware clerk would be glad to help instruct you. It sounds like you have some issues going on with the ballcock anyway.

If your problems persist and the noise continues, the problem will be within the water lines - which sounds more like "water hammer". That is when air gets trapped in the lines and "hammers" when the valves are turned on/off. It does seem weird that your problem is between 11pm and 2am. Perhaps your water pressure is higher at this time of night and the water hammer is more noticeable??? Verify that the water hammer does not occur during the day just to clearly understand if there is any "time of day" issue here.

If water hammer is the problem, CraigFL suggests draining your system which I agree with. If you need assistance with draining your system, write back and the DIY gang can give you instructions.



__________________
JALEXED2 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter DIY Home Repair Forum Replies Last Post
Every morning sounds like there is a jackhammer on my pipes ITParalegal Plumbing Forum 4 06-15-2012 10:14 PM
Toilet does not flush Zachary Plumbing Forum 13 08-19-2009 12:51 AM
Fire Proof Paint makes so much sense! Dean Little Painting Forum 2 07-12-2009 07:50 PM
subfloor damage/jackhammer needed?? Gemini Framing and Foundation 1 05-06-2009 08:39 PM
How flush should pre-hung doors be? TaskBoy Windows and Doors 1 12-14-2008 06:06 AM