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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Loud Dripping Noise on 1st Floor when Upstairs Plumbing is in Use

    Hi Everyone! We have a 2-story house built in 1998 with an odd problem.

    Whenever the shower/bathtub or toilet is flushed in the 2nd story bathroom, a large dripping noise happens along the pipe leading to the basement that runs down the front wall of the house. There is no leak and when you go down to the basement, the noise doesn't resonate down there.

    It's been going on since we moved in (2008) and we don't know how to prevent it from happening. When we go to shower in the morning, the noise it loud enough that we hear it upstairs and we have to be careful to close our daughter's door in the morning so she doesn't wake up because of it... it's that loud!

    Please help! Thanks!

    -- Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,371

    Default Re: Loud Dripping Noise on 1st Floor when Upstairs Plumbing is in Use

    This sounds like a drain line leak which can mean icky water going where it shouldn't . My guess; the insulation is sucking up the water and allowing it to dry out over the rest of the day.

    You need to do some destructive exploration to find the leak. Some deductive logic may help pinpoint the source. To help prevent ruining a drywall ceiling, you can lift the carpet in the room above and go through the plywood floor instead.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,103

    Default Re: Loud Dripping Noise on 1st Floor when Upstairs Plumbing is in Use

    First, you must find the source of the strange sound, like Houston mentioned.

    You will need to cut some drywall to expose the suspected pipe and see once and for all what's going on inside the wall.

    Once you see it, it will be a lot easier to determine your second step.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Loud Dripping Noise on 1st Floor when Upstairs Plumbing is in Use

    It could be as simple as a faucet dripping or a toilet running and your hearing the water dripping inside the plastic pipe. If it was a leak that has been going on sense 2008 there should be some sign of a water leak. It could also be a waste or water line expanding.

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,486

    Default Re: Loud Dripping Noise on 1st Floor when Upstairs Plumbing is in Use

    Quote Originally Posted by johnjh2o View Post
    It could be as simple as a faucet dripping or a toilet running and your hearing the water dripping inside the plastic pipe. If it was a leak that has been going on sense 2008 there should be some sign of a water leak. It could also be a waste or water line expanding.

    John
    Agreed, without physical evidence of a leak it's probably just water that continues to drip within the pipe after the fixtures upstairs are used. It is for this reason that cast iron is often used for transit pipes between floors, because it's mass will mute most of the noises going on within the pipe itself.

    things to check, make sure that no faucets or bath fixtures are dripping and that no toilets continue to run after a flush. It is common to hear the pipe when a fixture is used, but once the usage passes, things should quiet down.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Loud Dripping Noise on 1st Floor when Upstairs Plumbing is in Use

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    Agreed, without physical evidence of a leak it's probably just water that continues to drip within the pipe after the fixtures upstairs are used. It is for this reason that cast iron is often used for transit pipes between floors, because it's mass will mute most of the noises going on within the pipe itself.

    things to check, make sure that no faucets or bath fixtures are dripping and that no toilets continue to run after a flush. It is common to hear the pipe when a fixture is used, but once the usage passes, things should quiet down.
    Thanks, guys! A. Spruce, I tend to agree with you that it's not likely a leak (or one with ready signs of a leak). I have gone through and looked for any evidence and have not found any... so far!

    It does seem like you hit the nail on the head with saying that it sounds like water dripping within the pipe after the fixtures upstairs are used. Once the shower is done being used or the toilet settles, all is good again. And I have a small access panel in the basement where I can see the transit pipe that comes in from where I hear the noise upstairs and it is a large PVC pipe.

    So, if that were to be the case, is the only solution to rip things out and replace it with cast iron? Not that I'm going to do that, just asking.

    Thanks!

    -- Jim

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