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Old 07-18-2009, 01:20 AM   #1
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Default Vibrating noise from toilet

Hi,

There is a vibrating noise coming from two of our toilets. It started with the one in the en-suite upstairs, and now the one downstairs has begun making the noise. It stops if I run the cold tap in the sink beside the toilet but starts again when I turn the tap off. The only way I have found to stop it for a while is to turn the gate valve in the hotpress off (I think this is the pipe that is leading the cold water from the tank upstairs into the house) and then turn it back on again after a minute or two. This will stop the vibrating but it usually starts again a couple of hours later.

Any help / suggestions?


Hey this is my first post for advice, noticed this on a Irish forum and responded with some questions to obtain more info before I give advice.
What do you guys make of it?

Over here toilet supply is normally fed by use of a cold water tank located in the attic. The pressure is simply gravity. Also sometimes we get whats known as water hammer. When a ball cock rapidly opens and closes due to waves formed on the water, it creates this banging sound. The banging sound comes from the un supported pipe work associated with the ball cock. I don't think this is possible to occur on a toilet. Only moving water can create sounds throughout pipe work so I am interested to see what the cause could be. By the sound of the post after the cistern is full they are hearing some kind of vibration. But whats creating it?

Last edited by IrishPlumber; 07-18-2009 at 01:33 AM..
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:47 AM   #2
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Take a look at the stop valves being opened all the way and back seated if they are not already, had this happen too many times, the HO thinks it's water hammer but isn't.
Aside from that, check to see if a PRV is installed and regulate the pressure either up or down to see if the frequency changes or goes away.
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:31 AM   #3
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I have had two fill valves act up on me both within two weeks of each other. They were brand new, and it has been about a year ago. We use Fluidmaster Assemblies here but I am unsure of what is in your stools. I also got a slight, sounded like vibration, but not from the pipes. It was like someone had set a miniature baby rattlesnake under the cap of the fluidmaster. I tried just replacing the replacement seal in it. Finally gave up, exchanged top portion on one and it fixed problem. The second one we had to replace the whole thing. I believe it was dirt/gravel/rock/sand of the right size that would not let it seal... but almost would... not real sure. Have you tried replacing?
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:10 AM   #4
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This problem is posted up on a Irish forum, I am not actually able to view the house. I have asked what kind of filler valve is in the cistern and if the supply pipe is under any kind of pressure, but awaiting a response.

In Ireland we store our cold service water in a tank located in the attic. The height of the tank determines the pressure its not assisted by any booster pumps its just natural gravity that causes the water to move. So this supply has very little pressure. That is why I am curious to find out whats causing the problem.

When I find out what kind of filler assembly is in the cistern I guess we can determine the cause of the vibration.
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:48 AM   #5
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it could be a weak diaphragm in the ballcock or a loose washer in the stop valve if you have one.
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Old 07-18-2009, 12:16 PM   #6
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Welcome
You Irish do it different don't you
Feeding the crappers from a holding tank using gravity feed is a bit different. We us to use the same principal on older boiler systems with their expansion tanks in attics.

I would think that it is probably "not" a problem associated with the flush or fill mechanism in the toilet. The reason I say that is because both units seemed to fail simultaneously. Chances are remote.
I would look for the problem at the holding tank. Either a main valve chattering, or a vent blocked. If the tank is gravity as you indicated, it needs to be vented. If there is a minor restriction it will cause cavitations and the types of problem you indicate.
The rest of the house, I assume, is on a separate system. If no problems at other outlets, itís a good starting point.
keep us posted
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Old 07-18-2009, 12:53 PM   #7
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Turn one toilet off and see if anything happens. If not, to the same with the other one. Mostnlikely one of the fill valves are bad.

I had a call at a call center years ago about vibrating pipes. I traced it to a toilet in the womens room. After replacing the fill valve it stopped. Most likely loose parts that are not meant to be loose.
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:56 PM   #8
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This must be a really old house if it has a gravity tank. What fills the tank? A hand pump or electric auto fill pump? I'd be surprised if you could get water hammer with such low pressure. It could be a loose valve washer. If the washer pops off of the valve stem on a stop valve it will vibrate like a reed in the valve chamber when under flow.

Hey irishplumber, why donít you snap some pics of the plumbing over there? We would love to see how you folks do things compared to North American plumbing.
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:03 PM   #9
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I agree with pro tech send us some pics of irish plumbing and we will send pics of american potatoes lol
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:33 PM   #10
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Hello Folks, thank you for your replies. I best mention this again, I cant get into the house to see the problem, its a post on a Irish Forum looking for advice on the matter. I have asked the original poster some questions to determine where exactly the vibrations are coming from and have yet to receive an answer. As soon as I find out I'll let you know.

I try and answer some questions you have on Irish Plumbing.

First thing to note is, there is little or no regulation on plumbing systems here. Everyone and there Uncle is an expert plumber and people with little or no qualification have striving plumbing businesses. During our building boom time was money so systems were installed quick and cheap. The only strict regulation is with our Natural Gas supply. Our LPG suppliers are still in the dark ages so once a tank is fitted anything can happen to the Gas line.
Lucky so far there has been no disasters or catastrophes.

I'll break down a traditional Irish plumbing system for those interested to hear. We have a fresh water mains supply from the State and if no mains supply is available we drill into a fresh water well. The State supply is free to use (residential) and you can obtain State financial assistance for the fresh water well.

Once you have determined your fresh water supply you pipe it into your kitchen, under the sink with a shut off valve. After the valve you split it to supply to your sink tap and then to the attic cold water storage tank. The only location for drinking water is at the kitchen sink.

The cold water storage tank is located above all outlets. A minimum height of 1 meter above all outlets is advised. You then drill your cold water storage tank to provide two supply's. One supply for the hot water cylinder and the other for cold water supply's. These supply's are then piped to a "Hot press" and valved. I guess you could call our hot press your basement. The hot press is located in the house in a small room and its called a hot press because its where the hot water cylinder is stored. Most home owners shelve out the hot press and fill it with laundry, wet clothes, towels, sheets, linen etc etc as its a hot room its ideal for storage of these items. The problem is all the plumbing and heating controls are also located there so the term "Can you clear out your hot press" is regularly used when a plumber enters the house.

From the hot press your hot and cold pipe work heads of to its desired location. All gravity feed pressure. The Hot water cylinder is filled from the bottom by the dedicated cylinder supply. The hot water then comes out the top and its split, one pipe goes to the taps etc and the the other goes back up to the attic tank as is raised above the cold water storage tank and provides the vent for the cylinder. This is our plumbing in a very basic form to help you understand the principle it does get a bit more technical if you require more pressure but all the plumbing systems are installed on this basis.

Since minimal regulation/code enforcements in Ireland this typical installation can be completely different from house to house. You really have to be experienced and ahead of your game to become good at maintenance and to have a clear understanding of where supply's are coming from.

Ferry loads of foreign fittings, devices, pipes etc arrive at our plumbing suppliers and to be honest its very hard to maintain houses as there's no standard. Its a free for all when it comes to plumbing installations.

Hope the info provided can give you a good idea of our systems and if you have any questions let me know, maybe talk about the heating systems.

I'll try and get some pictures soon.

Last edited by IrishPlumber; 07-18-2009 at 07:41 PM..
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