Ticking/dripping sound while using shower

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Old 07-08-15, 04:19 AM
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Ticking/dripping sound while using shower

I just moved into a 4-yr old house. Interesting I noticed every time someone is talking shower on the second floor guest bath, right below it on the first floor, I could hear "dripping" or "ticking" sound. It starts at very high speed, such as gun firing. It starts to slow down after initial 15-30 sec. The sound seems to move around in the ceiling area. After shutting off the water on the second floor, the sound finally tapers off very slowly after 30-45 min.

I haven't see any water stain on the ceiling. I tried cold water, it also makes the noise. I wonder what this could be.

By the way, I tried turning on cold water faucet in master bath which is right next to this bath, I also can hear dripping sound in the same area, but it went away much faster.

Thanks.
 
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Old 07-08-15, 06:11 AM
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It is very possible there is a leak. It could be in the riser from the faucet to the shower head so it only leaks when the shower is being used. It may not be enough to soak through the sheetrock yet but if water is leaking the damage is being done. It can cause the wood framing to rot, allow molds and mildews to grow inside the walls and eventually the sheetrock will break down.

Before freaking out though I would try to confirm if it's just water dripping inside the drain pipes. With plastic/PVC drain lines it can be surprisingly loud sometimes. Determining if it's a leak or just dripping inside the pipes can be difficult and is partially up to experience and cunning. Drips inside pipes have a certain sound but you can try other fixtures on the second floor and see if you can isolate the sound. Even if there is a leak it will give you the chance to learn what dripping in the pipes sounds like. To me many leaks hitting sheetrock have a lower drum type sound but I usually cheat and get out the thermal FLIR camera.

If you do suspect a leak does the shower back up to a closet? If so you can cut open the wall in the closet to inspect the pipes. A messy or amateurish repair is more acceptable in a closet. Most telling though would be to cut open the ceiling downstairs where you suspect the leak but you have to be prepared for the repair or to hire someone to do it.

Another trick if you think you've really isolated the leak location is to drill or poke a small hole through the ceiling downstairs. If the hole is in the right spot it may allow leaking water to drip through confirming the leak. If there is no leak then the hole probably will go largely unnoticed.
 
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Old 07-08-15, 08:57 AM
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I actually tried a few more things. I filled bathtub without using shower head. When draining, I also heard the noise. So it should not be related to shower head I guess.
 
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Old 07-08-15, 05:01 PM
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Thanks everyone for suggestions.

I just did another round of test:
1. Close the drain of bathtub. Turn on cold water valve. No noise.
2. Close the drain of bathtub. Turn on hot water valve. noise is back.
3. Open the drain, drain the mix of water from steps 1 and 2. Noise continues.
4. Drain cold water only. Noise presents.

Thanks.
 
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Old 08-02-15, 02:30 PM
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Upstairs toilet clogged with plant matter causing water leak.

Upstairs toilet had plant leaves flushed down it. I was thinking about renting a snake 100 foot? I noticed a month back under my stairs there was a slight drip after the plant matter was flushed down toilet there is a big vent there & I thought it was apart of the ac. But I think the drain pipe is under there.Now it sounds real bad & it is leaking into the bathroom next door coming out the bottom of the wall. I'm not a home improver but this does not seem to good busted pipe perhaps?? If so is a snake even worth giving a try or going to make it worse? Please help thanks!
 
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