I’ve been perplexed by the behavior of our plumbing system recently.
About a month a go I noticed a loud, intermittent rattling sound that seemed to emanate from the cold water inlet pipe on our water heater. Turning the valve stopped the rattle but obviously would cut off our hot water as well. The sound is coming from where the pipe is exposed; I don’t believe it’s rattling against a floor joist or some such.
At the same time I noticed the water tube running into our ice maker was rattling as well. It always gave a “kick” after we ran the kitchen sink faucet, but now it was vibrating on its own — quite violently at times.
And a third thing. But this gets kind of complicated. The upstairs toilet has flapper issues. I’ve had to replace the flapper on an annual basis. The old flapper no longer holds its seal for whatever reason, and water leaks through from the tank to the bowl, causing the float to sink and the valve to run intermittently. I have a devil of a time finding a flapper that fits. This time, since I was at Ken Brown’s getting a heater, I had professional assistance. They helped me find the model number for our toilet (it’s a Kohler) and supplied the proper flapper. It should work. But it doesn’t quite hold the seal. So the valve runs.
That’s probably a completely separate issue from the rattling, except that when the valve runs, there’s a noisy rattle in that pipe too.
So we have rattling in three different place throughout the house.
Also I noticed a lot of air bubbles on the flapper. That might not have anything to do with anything, but I don’t recall seeing it before.
I’ve done some net searches. At first I thought we might have “water hammer.” But it seems that’s a loud bang when you shut off a faucet (or, you know, any valve). Our noises just come and go intermittently, with no seeming pattern. But now I’ve had another idea: Perhaps the running of the toilet is causing a hammer. If that’s the case, shutting off the upstairs toilet should end the rattling.
So I’m testing that theory now. It will take a while because sometimes the noises go away for hours at a time.