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 Shower and Bath has loud rushing water/whoosing sound
Author: mirthoneist (OH)

I have 2 bathrooms upstairs that are adjacent to each other. The walls of both bathrooms are connected to the master bedroom.

If I'm in the master bedroom and someone is showering in the master bath, the sound of running water is fine and normal, not very noticeable.

If I'm in the master bedroom and someone is showering in the other bathroom, the sound of running water is much louder. When she is taking her daily bath, the sound of the water is extremely loud, harsh, and makes a WHOOSING noise. It is literally impossible to sleep in the master bed or watch movies in the family room underneath due to how loud it is.

I've uploaded a SoundCloud recording of both showers running (not the bath). Shower 2 is the loud shower and Shower 1 is the master bath normal sounding shower:

[soundcloud.com]

I checked the water pressure with a gauge last week and I believe it was 60 or 65 PSI.

If needed, here's a pic of the knobs of the loud shower:


Does anyone have any ideas of what might be causing this and what some remedies are?

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 Re: Shower and Bath has loud rushing water/whoosing sound
Author: packy (MA)

i would remove middle handle and take out the diverter stem to have a look at it and also look inside with a flashlight. may be some debris restricting things??
turn the water on with the diverter stem out as well to see if anything flushes out..
just a guess but ya never know..

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 Re: Shower and Bath has loud rushing water/whoosing sound
Author: mirthoneist (OH)

Thanks for your suggestion, packy.

I just took out the diverter pieces and unfortunately there wasn't any debris that came out minus a few specs. The pieces looked fairly nice as well.

I'm sort of stumped on this one. I tried sound-dampening batting in the cutout behind the tub awhile ago, as well as pipe insulation, and they hardly helped. I sort of want to call a plumber but I'm just afraid he's going to say "that's just how the house was built." I would almost think about paying a lot of money if it were a matter of tearing down the walls and re-piping, but I'm not even sure if that's what it is. I'm not even sure if a plumber is the right person for the job or construction? It's very frustrating...

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 Re: Shower and Bath has loud rushing water/whoosing sound
Author: North Carolina Plumber (NC)

Have you tried a different shower head ? I'd let it run for a minute or so with the old head removed before installing a new one.

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 Re: Shower and Bath has loud rushing water/whoosing sound
Author: stuckinlodi (MO)

If the noisy bathroom is when someone is showering this might apply....

When we moved into our house a few years ago we noticed that the sound of water was very loud in the family room when someone was showering downstairs, that shower is on the other end of the house from the water heater and the family room. That shower had an oldstyle showerhead that really gave a good flow, powerful shower, enjoyable! Sometime later I replaced it with a newer one, and the ones you get nowadays are all low-flow models per law. We immediately noticed that the loud water sound when someone was showering downstairs went away. Even with the newer showerheads someone can remove a part inside so that more water will flow, so I'd try replacing the showerhead in the noisy bathroom with a lowflow showerhead and see what happens. I've also heard that newer homes that use pvc pipe for water supply lines (or was that pvc drain pipes?) can have more noise.



Edited 3 times.

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 Re: Shower and Bath has loud rushing water/whoosing sound
Author: mirthoneist (OH)

Thanks for the suggestions, fellas!

So I tried the same showerhead but took the restrictor out and the noise wasn't any better. I took off my (master bath) showerhead and it's about the same noise level as before.

But this is leading me to another question!

Could the diverter itself be restricting the flow? When I take the square access off behind the bath and then turn on the bathtub, the diverter is making a gurgley sound! Like a lot of air mixed with water. When I took the diverter pieces apart, the holes where the water go through were extremely small, the diameter had to be not even 1cm.

Does that sound like a possibility? The master bath has no bathtub, just a shower, so maybe it's allowing more pressure to go through?

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 Re: Shower and Bath has loud rushing water/whoosing sound
Author: stuckinlodi (MO)

Are you thinking the loud water noise is from the running water going to the bathroom, or the drain pipe carrying water from the noisy bathroom where she showers? My comment about replacing the showerhead was actually meant to say reduce the flow of water, wouldn't removing the restrictor allow more water flow and more flow noise? If you have a shutoff valve on your water heater you can carefully close it partially to reduce hot water flow to the noisy bathroom, see if that reduces the noise. Or you can partially close the whole house shutoff to lower water flow somewhat.

PS> don't do this while she is in the shower, that will cause even more noise.



Edited 5 times.

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 Re: Shower and Bath has loud rushing water/whoosing sound
Author: mirthoneist (OH)

Oops, I read your initial post incorrectly.

So, that showerhead already had the restrictor on it which was how it was in its original state. The one in my shower doesn't have a restrictor, so I don't have another showerhead in the house with a restrictor to try besides the one he originally had. :(

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 Re: Shower and Bath has loud rushing water/whoosing sound
Author: stuckinlodi (MO)

Does the loud noise happen while filling the tub with tub drain closed, or only when someone is showering? If loud noise still happens that eliminates tub/shower drain as source of noise. Next I'd suspect diverter or shower mixing valve, you may be getting cavitation or vibration when water flow is high, might even cause resonant noise in a vent pipe that runs nearby the master bedroom, but I'm not a plumber so will defer to the experts here. What type of water pipes do you have (galvanized, pvc, copper, pex?) Also, is this the way it has been since you moved into house, or started happening recently?



Edited 4 times.

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 Re: Shower and Bath has loud rushing water/whoosing sound
Author: mirthoneist (OH)

I have tried it with the drain open and closed, and they seem to be equal in terms of noise level.

The piping looks to be copper. There is a lot of resonance, but it almost sounds like there is resonance because the water isn't flowing correctly (sounds very airy).

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 Re: Shower and Bath has loud rushing water/whoosing sound
Author: packy (MA)

and then turn on the bathtub, the diverter is making a gurgley sound...
could the diverter be sucking air from the showerhead as it is filling the tub? try taking off the shower head and cap the shower arm.. probably a small cloth stuck in it would suffice for the test.

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 Re: Shower and Bath has loud rushing water/whoosing sound
Author: stuckinlodi (MO)

Author: mirthoneist (OH)-
"But this is leading me to another question!

Could the diverter itself be restricting the flow? When I take the square access off behind the bath and then turn on the bathtub, the diverter is making a gurgley sound! Like a lot of air mixed with water. When I took the diverter pieces apart, the holes where the water go through were extremely small, the diameter had to be not even 1cm."


Can you post a photo of this diverter and the small holes you are referring to?



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Shower and Bath has loud rushing water/whoosing sound
Author: steve_g (CA)

There's the possibility that the water piping to the noisy bath is strapped tight to the studs, conducting the noise. Hard to say what can be done about it w/o knowing the layout. Can you see the piping with a mirror?

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 Re: Shower and Bath has loud rushing water/whoosing sound
Author: stuckinlodi (MO)

I'd think about replacing the entire diverter/shower/tub control valve in the noisy bathroom with a different brand and design. Your 60-65psi water pressure forcing water thru those small opening in the diverter could be causing the noise and it is then heard thru the water pipes connected to that tub/shower. How noisy is it for the person taking the shower in there?

Your house is connected to municipal water, not a well, correct? Sometimes a well pump can suck in air thru a faulty suction pipe and the entrained air will make lots of noise when it comes out of the faucet and showerhead.



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