clanking pipes with drainage problems

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    • #278731
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      About a month after purchasing our new condo in a 12 story NYC building, we started hearing loud clanking from the wall behind the tub/shower. At around the same time, we started getting a drainage problem in the tub (takes a few minutes to drain after showers). Could these two problems be related? And does this sound like a major pain to get fixed (moreso the loud clanking which comes and goes all day and night)? The wall behind the tub is our dishwasher in the kitchen–I don’t know if this could be causing the problem, but the sound is definitely louder in the bathroom.

    • #299199
      SylvanLMP

      Hey KW welcome to the BIG APPLE. I am in the process of checking out the same kind of problem in Riverdale DA BRONX on a 27 story CO-OP.

      Been happening for the last 4 months im told.

      The clanking sound is typical for a quick closing valve like a flushometer or solenoid valve on a dish washer or washing machine.

      NYC is blessed with one of the most stringent plumbing codes in the nation BUT the human factor always seems to take its toll on the system.

      For example lawyers with all the fantastic lawsuits that they have going have now made it almost a capitol offense to have hot water going to the dishwashers so when a condo or other building is now completed we have lower water temperatures to protect folks from themselves.

      This lowering of the water especially on back to back installations of kitchen and bathrooms are causing havoc on the removal of grease build up which at one time would have been flushed away with the 140-160 degree water temperature.

      Now you have a reduction in piping diameter and a sluggish shower mixed with hair caught on the grease/soap scum build up that’s one problem.

      People in multi family apartments especially in NYC have this problem compounded by the height factor (suds pressure zones etc)

      Think about the folks in the Sovern on East 59th street.

      I was working there I think it was the 65th floor when you have folks above and below you using the same water supply lines and one person has a defective faucet and the chattering sounds like an echo chamber trying to locate it.

      Seeing as how your not in a very high building and you have the option of calling in your own Master plumber to try to locate this problem I would suggest the following 1st

      Try to write down the times you hear this sound the worse like possibly when the laundry room is open and a check valve maybe clattering away during the rinse cycle.

      Call the managing agent and the building superintendent to get access to the apartment below and along side you to open and close their faucets, single level faucets especially can cause this if closed too fast with excessive building pressure.

      Ask the super to check the return hot water circulation line if applicable (you may be responsible for your own hot water) for a check valve or missing heat sink (loop)

      Do you have your own washing machine in your apartment? ICE MAKER? Shower massage shower head with pulsating device features all these devices cause sounds on higher pressure plumbing systems

      What kind of heat do you have steam or hot water?

      If steam a one or two pipe system? A bad steam trap can also cause this kind of sound Or a bad air vent will cause hydraulic shock when steam hits the trapped condensate.

      If you E mail me we can try to eliminate a few of the obvious things to look for.

      I personally think you have two separate things happening here.

      Try to find out if you have a roof tank for domestic water supply (down feed system)

      As the tanks supply could be closing too fast after the make up water fills and this too can cause shock waves (water hammering)

      Had that on the 47th floor of 600 third Ave in the mechanical room.

      Don’t get discouraged as sometimes this takes weeks to locate, its a process of trial and error.

      Good luck and have a great week end.

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