Noise from exposed pipes -- is there a fix?

Old 12-17-17, 11:10 PM
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Question Noise from exposed pipes -- is there a fix?

I'm posting this question on a few DIY/home improvement boards online. If you frequent multiple messageboards, apologies if you've already seen my question. I promise I'm legit.

I'm a renter. I just moved into a new loft-style apartment. You know the kind... polished concrete floors, high concrete ceilings, exposed air ducts etc. I like this aesthetic and so, when viewing the apartment, I thought nothing of two exposed pipes in the bedroom. That was, until I moved in last week and discovered that those two pipes, which connect from the ceiling above to a wall in the main bedroom, produce a disturbing amount of noise. I'm not sure if they connect solely to the apartment above mine or if they connect all the way from the top to the bottom of the building. I'm on the third floor, there are 9 floors in total.

Sometimes the noise is a light trickle of water. At other times, I'll hear a sort of thud and then a very loud "swoosh" of water will follow (toilet flush, I'm guessing). I've lived in many apartments before. This is not the usual sound of pipes and water flow that you experience when you live in a multi-unit building. This actually sounds like you're... living in the pipe itself. The water sounds like it's right above your head. In fact, the first time I heard it, I was in another room and assumed I'd just heard some kind of pipe bursting because the water sounded like it was pouring out in the apartment. My landlord is out of town until Wednesday. When he gets back, I'm asking him for some kind of solution to this problem, but I'm really worried about whether there really IS any kind of solution.

This isn't some simple maintenance issue -- this would obviously require the work of a contractor. I don't think I can take 12 months of this noise -- yes, I just moved in and signed a 12 mo lease. It wakes me up in the night and even during the day it's deeply unpleasant. I've posted some pictures of the pipes and one short video -- this particular video captures probably a 6 out 10 in terms of the potential loudness of the water. It can be difficult to capture because it's obviously dependent upon the water usage of the tenants above me. If I capture the loudest swoosh, I'll update this post.

I find it hard to believe the landlord / leasing office knew nothing about this. Any thoughts on a potential solution? Do you think it's possible to -- I don't know -- build some kind of soundproofed structure around the pipes? Dumb it down for me. I'm a lifelong renter with zero first-hand home improvement experience. I'm trying to gauge what the options are here when it come so making this request.

SHORT VIDEO (w/ sound -- turn the volume up):

Old 12-18-17, 12:30 AM
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About the only thing you can do is try to insulate the pipes. You might be able to wrap the pipes but doubt it will do a lot and wont look so great.

Other option is to have the same boxed in area of the vertical pipes extended upward and fill will insulation but that will cover part of the window.
Old 12-18-17, 04:17 PM
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Thanks, Marq1.

Here's an update: A new, longer video showing you how ridiculously loud this gets:
Old 12-18-17, 04:29 PM
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That is a very nice sound..... almost like a babbling brook.

The noise is water draining down PVC pipe. You could insulate what is exposed but you will still hear some of the water flow.

My sister lives in the basement unit of a two story condo. The 4" PVC drain line is in her living room wall for the two upstairs units and sounds very similar but maybe not quite as loud. Her wall is insulated but the sound still resonates inside the wall.

The only way to reduce the noise is to insulate the PVC pipe.
You may have a grace period to weasel out of your 1 year contract.
Might be time left to check.
Old 12-21-17, 12:28 AM
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If you're renting you should try to get the landlord to deal with it. FWIW I'm not sure that very many places allow plastic plumbing pipe in 9 story buildings -- definitely not where I am. Insulation might knock a few decibels off . The insulation for those pipes would probably cost about $100.

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