Sounds like a train going through the house


  #1  
Old 06-21-07, 10:22 AM
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Sounds like a train going through the house

I know next to nothing about plumbing and have just moved into a house. I finally got to grips with the sprinkler system and repaired as necessary but now when i turn them on it sounds like a train running through the house with the banging pipes.

The only time this happens is when the sprinklers turn on. I haven't noticed a pattern on the zones. I water for 10 mins then an hour later run for 10 mins etc...The first run generally no noise, then the subsequent ones i get the noise. I Have at least one zone that it always appears to happen with and at least one that it never appears to happen with...the other zones I haven't noticed a pattern but definately happens at least once.

When i have the banging noise i noticed last night that the anti siphon valve at the side of the house sprays water. The banging starts slow speeds up and stops when the sprinkler is fully charged and spraying (The water from the anti-siphon valve stops at this point). I am presuming the valve is essentially doing it's job in that it is stopping water from outside getting back into the household water supply. I am guessing some kind of vacum is causing the water to be drawn up from the spinkler lines which doesn't make sense to me as supposedly the sprinkler lines drain themselves through the lowest sprinkler according to my neighbour.

A neighbour suggested that i make sure all valves are open all the way. The main water line wasn't so i opened it fully but i still get the noise. I do have a pressure suppressor (bell shaped object) on the main line where the water enters the house.

I researched water hammer but the symtoms do not fit the bill. Any help would be appreciated as i am worried the noise will result in the loosening of pipe joints and a bigger problem. Also I want to put a stop to being woken up in the middle of the night thinking i am about to be hit by a train.

Thanks very much for any input and other info needed for potential diagnosis let me know.
 
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Old 06-22-07, 01:31 PM
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Please someone help me out here even a guess would help

Please give me a starting point here....somebody
 
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Old 06-22-07, 01:51 PM
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This might work

If you want to make all your banging pipes go away, take out all your copper pipe (recycle it. It's $3.50 here in Wisconsin!) replace with pex tubing. I didn't do it because of banging pipes, although there were prior to pex, big time, every time I turned off water anywhere. I did it because I was rerouting plumbing in my kitchen and bath, it was easy to install and cheap 100' took care of my whole house. now I turn things off and the pipes don't even shake. This was just something I figured out by accident. It may not work for you. Just my $.02.
 
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Old 06-22-07, 04:52 PM
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Is it a slow freight train or a high-speed passenger train? Is it being hauled by a stinkin' Diesel locomotive or a steam locomotive?


Where are you located? Are you in the US?

The spitting vacuum breaker is definitely a problem, whether or not it is the cause of trains being re-routed through your home I do not know.

"I do have a pressure suppressor (bell shaped object) on the main line where the water enters the house."

Do you mean a pressure reducing valve (PRV)? Are your sprinklers connected ahead of this device?

Have you noticed any reduction of flow through your inside faucets during that time you have lived in the house?

At this point I can only make a wild guess and I would suggest that you examine that "bell shaped object" on your incoming water line and determine exactly what it is. If it is a PRV then look on the incoming side and see if it has a strainer built into it. If yes, then shut off the water before the PRV and remove and clean the strainer. Replace the cleaned strainer and see if this makes a difference in your railroad terminal.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 09:27 AM
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Update

Ok so i do have a PVR before the sprinkler. I have had two solutions from home depot guys. The first being that I have water hammer which i don't think fit the symptoms and he gave me all this stuff to cut pipe and stuff. The second guy had me replace the the thing inside the anti-syphon valve (the circular plastic thing that sits under the bonnet). It would seem the train has stopped but no there is banging when the zones change. Anyw ideas anyone this does sound more like water hammer so will fitting the water hammer thing affect anything if i am wonrg and it isn't water hammer.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 11:29 AM
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The banging is most likely water hammer. Some sprinkler valves can be adjusted for slow closing and this will curtail or eliminate water hammer. The installation of an air chamber (or water hammer arrester) would probably help.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 11:43 AM
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water hammer arrester

Forgot to mention yes i am in the USA.

My question now is that i have all the parts to fit the arrester but where exactly should i fit it. I am guessing in the basement on the sprinkler line but would like to check anyway. Thanks for your help so far.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 12:06 PM
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Yep, install that water hammer arrester on the sprinkler supply line as close to where it exits the basement as possible.
 
 

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