Xpost - Odd noise coming from my tub drain

blackchamoisSeptember 2, 2012

(Also posted on the Plumbing forum)

Several months ago I started a remodel of my guest bathroom and wanted to flip flop the tub so that the plumbing was on the opposite wall.

Originally the plumbing for the tub/shower was shared with the plumbing for the washer (the laundry was in the adjacent room and the wall inbetween housed the plumbing for both).

When the contractor flipped the new tub to the opposite wall he "hooked" the plumbing up (I know that is not the correct terminology) with the line for the sink.

Recently, I have noticed an odd noise coming from the tub drain - sort of an echo-y sound, as if you can hear the water/air from the pipes reverberating out of the tub drain. It happens at random times and I have not been able to "make it happen" by doing something such as running the sink faucet. However, it seems to happen on occasion, shortly after I have had water running from another source.

I am wondering if the contractor either a) should not have flipped the tub and hooked up to this other line, or b) forgot to install something, or installed something incorrectly.

The sub that the contractor had doing the job was sort of a jack-of-all-trades, and not a plumber per se. I am wondering if I should call a plumber in for an expert opinion, or call the city inspector back out.

Any suggestions? I have been in my place for 20 yrs and have never heard this noise before.

Thank you!!!!

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mongoct

I can't offer definitive advice, but instead just a few ideas...

Is the tub used on a regular basis? I'm wondering if by flipping the tub and extending the tub's branch line (the horizontal run that connects the tub's drain trap to the vertical DWV stack), that the tub's trap is being siphoned dry due to inadequate venting.

A dry trap could allow sounds from elsewhere in the plumbing to "echo" out of your tub drain. A dry trap (or a poorly vented trap) would be my first guess.

Even if the trap isn't dry, if his changes compromised the vent system, you could be hearing a "gurgling" sound as air bubbles percolate through the water in the tub's trap.

A dry trap, or an improperly vented trap, that would be my first point of attack.

One other quick thought is the trap location. Did he move it so it's under the new drain location? If he left the trap at the original location, and now you have 4' of horizontal drain pipe before the water hits the trap...that could be a siphoning/venting issue too.

Again, I'm no plumber. Just a few ideas to get you started.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:14AM
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blackchamois

Thanks for the response, Mongoct! It gives me a good place to start.

"Is the tub used on a regular basis?"

The tub is not currently being used as the trim and shower head have not yet been installed, only the tub spout. For inspection he did have to fill the tub with water to show that it held and drained properly. Since that time, which was several months ago, there has been no water flowing down the tub drain. Therefore, I am wondering, per your comment about the trap being dry, if that could be the problem. Maybe I will dump a bucket of water down the drain daily, and see if the noise persists.

"Did he move it so it's under the new drain location?"

I don't recall where he moved any of the lines, so I will see if he can diagram it out for me so that I have a better understanding of what is where, and if/how it is vented.

Let me know your thoughts on the above.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 4:41PM
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barbcollins

"Therefore, I am wondering, per your comment about the trap being dry, if that could be the problem. Maybe I will dump a bucket of water down the drain daily, and see if the noise persists."

That is a good idea anyhow as the water in the trap can evaporate and you can get an odor (sewer gas).

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:25PM
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mongoct

Definitely dump a bit of water down the drain. With it not being used a dry trap is a definite possibility.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:46PM
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barbcollins

"Therefore, I am wondering, per your comment about the trap being dry, if that could be the problem. Maybe I will dump a bucket of water down the drain daily, and see if the noise persists."

That is a good idea anyhow as the water in the trap can evaporate and you can get an odor (sewer gas).

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:59PM
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barbcollins

Darn.. sorry for my duplicate post...
Time for me to go to bed :)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:00PM
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blackchamois

Thank you both for taking the time to reply and add your thoughts. The contractor was here today and heard the noise himself. He assured me that it was vented properly. He aslo installed the rest of the fixutres and ran the water down the tub drain. I have yet to hear the noise, so a dry trap may have been the cause. Gonna keep listening for the noise, but so far so good!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 12:00AM
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