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Old 04-12-2010, 12:59 PM  
zzoo
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Default Water drops in the interior walls

Hi,

I just bought a house built in 2005. And I notice there's small water leakage in the interior walls whenever I use the water. In fact, I hear some water drops in the walls. There's a drop in about 3 to 6 seconds.
However there's absolutely no damage on the wall, no sign of moisture at all.

I was very worried until my parents said that they also have the same problem, and it lasts over 10 years, and they need no repair since there's no damage.

Should I be worried about those drops or I shouldn't be too concerned about that ?

Thank you very much for your input.



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Old 04-13-2010, 07:14 PM  
Redwood
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You have a pipe rubbing against some wood tight around it...
I bet it happens when hot water is used and not cold...
Call it expansion...



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Old 04-13-2010, 11:07 PM  
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Zzoo:

Same thing happens if you have hot water heat in your house. I have hot water heat in my apartment block. Whenever the zone valve to my suite opens and hot water starts flowing through the iron pipes, they expand, and the force wanting to move the pipe builds up until it slips, and that creates a sound very much like water dripping. And that "drip" continues until the pipe fully expands. Then, when the zone valve closes again, the drip starts up again (but at a slower rate) as the pipe contracts again.

Maybe go to any place that sells mechanics tools and ask to buy a cheap "mechanic's stethoscope" for $10 to $20, or so. A mechanic's stethoscope has a metal probe on it that connects to a metal diaphragm. When the probe is pressed against anything that is vibrating (pronounced: "making noise") then the probe will move along with that object, causing the diaphragm to move the same way, and the person wearing the mechanic's stethoscope will hear the same noise, only much more loudly through the earphones. In this way mechanics can pinpoint the source of noise coming from a car engine (or machine of any sort). You can also use a mechanic's stethoscope to pinpoint the place on the wall where the sound of the drip is coming from. If you're lucky, and the spot is close to an electrical outlet or radiator, or is produced by the pipe rubbing on the sides of a hole it goes through to get into the radiator, you may be able to get some graphite powder onto the pipe. Graphite is a natural lubricant (post again if you want to know why) and lubricating the pipe with graphite will turn the rubbing contact into a sliding contact so that you could silence that drip.

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Old 04-14-2010, 08:14 AM  
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Thank you very much. You're genius !

You're right by saying the the drip noise only happens when I use hot water. Everything seems fine when I just use cold water.

But, is there a real drip ? Or simply a sound that is very close to the drip ? I swear that the sound is exactly the same as the water drops. I'm afraid that there are some problem in the joint of the pipes.

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Old 04-14-2010, 10:39 AM  
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Zzoo:

If there was a leak in your pipe, it would leak ALL THE TIME. The only time that wouldn't be the case if it were a leak in the pipe going from your tub & shower faucet to the shower head elbow inside the bathroom wall.

So, try to locate the source of the noise, and then when you wake up at 4:00 in the morning, see if that drip is still there. If it isn't, then it isn't water leaking.

The sound of a pipe rubbing on wood DOES sound very much like a water drop. You wouldn't be the first one to think there's a problem when there wasn't. Keep an eye out for water damage though, as I'm old enough to have been wrong many times.

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Old 04-14-2010, 01:08 PM  
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No the drip sound you are hearing is either the hot water supply pipe or, the drain pipe expanding and rubbing against something as it expands...

A hot supply pipe would leak all the time and a drain would leak whenever water was draining in either case the water from the leak would show up at some point...

But relax...
You don't see water and there is not a leak...

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Old 04-14-2010, 05:44 PM  
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To my surprise, the dripping noise is still heard even I use only the cold water. Is it possible ? In this case, is the pipe shrinking ?

One thing I still don't understand is that even the pipe expands or shrinks, it should last only the first few minutes, after that it should stay in the same size, no ? Here, I keep hearing the drip after 10 minutes.

Again, thank you very much for your great help.

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Old 04-14-2010, 06:19 PM  
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If the pipe is warm and you use cold water it contracts and makes noise...

But if you want to be sure you could always cut holes in your ceilings and walls looking for the leak...

Usually if there is a leak you see water...

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Old 04-15-2010, 08:06 PM  
olivia751
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzoo View Post
Hi,

I just bought a house built in 2005. And I notice there's small water leakage in the interior walls whenever I use the water. In fact, I hear some water drops in the walls. There's a drop in about 3 to 6 seconds.
However there's absolutely no damage on the wall, no sign of moisture at all.

I was very worried until my parents said that they also have the same problem, and it lasts over 10 years, and they need no repair since there's no damage.

Should I be worried about those drops or I shouldn't be too concerned about that ?

Thank you very much for your input.

Hey
I think there is any leakage in your pipe as you saying the drip noise only happens when you use hot water..... It may be occurred by increase in water pressure bcz hot water pressure was more then cold water

Thanks

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olivia751
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:11 PM  
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Zzoo: How long the pipe will take to expand is anyone's guess. You have to remember that it's not an insulated pipe, and as the pipe warms up, heat loss due to convection from the pipe also increases. How long it takes for everything to come to equilibrium is anyone's guess. Let's put it this way: If you only hear a noise that sounds like a drip, but there is no other evidence of a water leak, then you don't have enough evidence to start cutting holes in your walls. If there were a leak, you would be able to see both paint and drywall damage in the area you heard that noise.
In the 20 years I've operated my building, there's been at least a dozen tenants who have come to tell me that they heard water dripping inside the walls at night. It's not water dripping, it's pipes expanding. Otherwise I would have seen some water damage over the past 20 years.

Olivia:
The pressure in your hot water pipe is the same as the pressure of your cold water pipe. There is no pressure drop to speak of in the water heater.



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