Sound of water running thru pipe-I'm confused!

Old 03-08-16, 01:54 PM
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Question Sound of water running thru pipe-I'm confused!

11 year old 2 story house with full basement.

I have been hearing a noise like water rushing through the pipes as if a toilet had been flushed. It only does this sporadically and with no apparent specific time of day.

Today it was doing this about every 20 -25 minutes, over a couple of hours. When I'd hear the noise I'd check one of the toilets, there are three, two up one on the main floor, to see if any water had run out. All full both in the bowl and tank. Next were the basement sump pumps, primary and backup, and the ejector pump. None had been pumping water out. Water softener was not making any kind of noises so I assumed that was not the problem either. Stayed in the basement to listen to the pipes and see if I could hear water running in them on it's way out to the sewers. Nothing in any of the drain pipes or the main sewer pipe running out of the house.

There are only 2 of us in the house, the wife and I, and neither of us had any water running anywhere in the house when this "sound" came around. Dishwasher was off in the kitchen, and icemaker in the fridge was not making ice. This has me trying to figure it out. Any help or suggestions would be "Greatly Appreciated." I'm totally
Old 03-08-16, 02:08 PM
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Do you see the water meter running during these times?
Old 03-08-16, 02:11 PM
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You definitely want to rule running water out but I have something just as strange in my house. For years I occasionally hear dripping water in a wall that has no plumbing or is even near any plumbing
Old 03-08-16, 03:55 PM
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Under slab supply lines?
Put some red food coloring the the toilet tanks and see if it starts to show up in the bowl.
Old 03-09-16, 07:09 AM
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hi tranch

That sounds to me like maybe it could be a leaky toilet. If you have a small leak out of the flapper into the bowl, then when the water drops down to a certain level in the tank the fill valve will come on for a short time and raise the water level in the tank back up and you will hear water running in the pipes as this happens.

As joe indicates the normal way to detect this is by putting food coloring in the toilet tank and then checking later to see if the coloring shows up in the bowl. Obviously it should not.

What I also do, and I think you could do the same, is to stop using any two toilets for a while and only use the third. Look at the water level in those two toilet tanks and then shut off the water supply to those two toilets. Leave the valves shut for a day, or maybe more, and then look at the water level again in the tanks. If a level is down in either the tank then you know the tank is leaking.
Old 03-10-16, 08:55 AM
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No one has asked what kind of heating system is installed in the house. IF it is a hydronic (hot water) system it is possible that random noises could be from the water circulating under control of the room thermostat. If this IS the cause it would also point to a low water pressure (or fair amount of air) in the heating system.
Old 03-10-16, 03:23 PM
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Another source of "running water" could be a water filter system backflushing.
Old 03-11-16, 04:24 AM
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I never thought of that! I have both a reverse osmosis water filter system and a water softener. They've both been in the house since it was new, installed by plumbers, and I've never heard them before but it could be what I'm hearing now. When it back flushes itself would the water softener back flush a few times or would it do it only once or twice? Sometimes I'll hear it only once, sometimes 4 - 6 times.

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