Singing Plumbing Pipes

Alas, the water drainage pipes in my home have developed a singing sound with a frequency of 400 Hz.  This is slightly above a G note on the musical scale.  The singing occurs when someone has finished taking a shower on the second floor.

Here is a sound recording: pipes_singing.mp3

We have a plumber coming to fix the problem tomorrow.  He said that the pressure-reducing valve may need adjustment.

– Tom Irvine

2 thoughts on “Singing Plumbing Pipes

  1. Very interesting – your roof air vents may be a flute? That sounds like a resonant air column to me…beautiful

    John Bretz

    IADS Development & Support


    (661)273-7003 x205

  2. In my case it was the water supply, not the drain, causing the problem. I thought it might be a resonant cousin of waterhammer, but attempts to detune it with water-hammer suppressors had zero effect. The whole-house pressure regulator proved to be the source. I’m sure plumbing drain vents can work like a Incan pan flute, but I’d expect a deep bass note. The pressure regulator was making a fixed mid-tone pitch, in the middle C-ish range, though I didn’t measure it.

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