Dripping noise in Pipes

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by alexander001, 13 Feb 2012.

  1. alexander001

    Joined:
    13 Feb 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I have a really annoying problem that has been bothering me for months I would be grateful if anyone could point me in the correct direction.

    In my bathroom I can hear water dripping and trickling continuously down pipes which have been boxed in down the bathroom walls. The bathroom has a dropped ceiling which houses a cold water tank. (No central heating boiler just a hot water tank with an immersion heater.)

    I have looked for the source of this noise for months with no success. No taps leaking, and as far as I can tell there is no leak elsewhere because there are no water patches puddles to be found and my downstairs neighbours have not complained of watering leaking into their flat. (I live on first floor of an Edinburgh Tenement block) Checked the cold water tank and it is not water running down the overflow, because the water level stops at a good few inches below the overflow pipe. The ball cock system seems to work with no continuous dripping of the valve. The noise can only be heard when in the bathroom and since everything seems to work ok with no-one complaining of leaks, I have just left it, but it is a bit of a mystery.
     
  2. stardanny

    Joined:
    14 Nov 2007
    Messages:
    1,344
    Thanks Received:
    196
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi.

    Is there a flat above your?

    Dan.
     
  3. alexander001

    Joined:
    13 Feb 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Yes Dan, it is a four storey tenement, so there are two directly above me.
     
  4. stardanny

    Joined:
    14 Nov 2007
    Messages:
    1,344
    Thanks Received:
    196
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Maybe their water system got a fault. Ask them to check their water tank ball valve not running, toilet ball valve not letting by, taps left running.

    The pipe you can hear might be a soil pipe shared by four of the flats.

    Dan.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. alexander001

    Joined:
    13 Feb 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Thanks, that makes sense.

    I was not sure if flats shared plumbing systems or whether all pipes were run to the outside communal drainpipes. But during my investigation of the ceiling space I was able to identify what appeared to be pipes servicing my system, but there is one fairly rusted pipe thicker than the others running down the corner of two inside walls, and I thought it might be the culprit, but no idea what it was.

    Now I know I can have a chat with my neighbours. Cheers!
     
  6. stardanny

    Joined:
    14 Nov 2007
    Messages:
    1,344
    Thanks Received:
    196
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Glad to help. :)

    Let us know how you get on.

    Dan.
     
  7. MIGEM

    Joined:
    24 Jun 2010
    Messages:
    127
    Thanks Received:
    16
    Location:
    Devon
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    You say the water level stops below the overflow in tank, but did you check the outlet end of the overflow? You might find that you share the same warning pipe, if all overflows run into it.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  8. alexander001

    Joined:
    13 Feb 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I have followed the overflow pipe and it seems to go down the bathroom wall (where it is boxed in) it comes out at the bottom and is joined to the bathroom sink drain pipe. It then seems to run under the floor boards coming out of my front wall where it is plumbed into the outside cast iron drains. So I can't see water running out of it, but I can't see how it could be shared with the other flats down the internal wall where the noise is.

    I have checked with my neighbour directly above me and her water level in the cold water tank is well below the overflow pipe too and she doesn't seem to have problems with the ball valve, toilet, dripping taps etc. But the thicker rusty pipe I described above does run through her property in exactly the same place as it in in mine. So I am assuming it is that and the problem is in the flat above hers. (I'm working on getting access to their flat!)

    My only worry is we could not hear any noises in the bathroom of my upstairs neighbour, so it may come back to whatever it is originating from property.
     
  9. alexander001

    Joined:
    13 Feb 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I meant from my property.
     
  10. alexander001

    Joined:
    13 Feb 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Curiosity got the better of me so I unscrewed the wood which is boxing in the pipework and lo and behold the bigger rusted pipe (that I know from my investigations in the upstairs flat must run through the building) is joined to the bottom of my plastic overflow pipe by a plastic T pipe, before running on down through the rest of the building.

    The plastic overflow pipe then continues to run down my bathroom wall and is joined to the bathroom sink drain pipe, as I described above. I screwed the u bend off above the join and looked down to see water flowing down it, so that solves part of the mystery.

    So from what you helpful guys have said above, am I correct in thinking that the problem is a shared overflow pipe and since my tank is not overflowing it must be coming from the top floor flat - because I know the flat directly above me does not have any overflow from her cold water tank.
     
  11. MIGEM

    Joined:
    24 Jun 2010
    Messages:
    127
    Thanks Received:
    16
    Location:
    Devon
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Quite likely.
    Turn each stopcock off externally, or check the meter dials, and you will see which one is running. Allow enough waiting time for water levels to drop or rise in the cisterns and you'll find it.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1

Share This Page