Discuss Problems with my Plumbing - Fog horn noise in the Plumbing Forum | Plumbing Advice area at PlumbersForums.net

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Hey all,

I’m having a problem with the plumbing in my flat. Last night when I turned the hot tap on in the bathroom it started making a noise like a fog horn. I have a single tap for the hot and cold water.

It’s never done it before. I also tried the hot tap in the kitchen (which is a mixer tap) and when turned to hot only it also made the fog horn noise. Only the hot tap is making the fog horn noise.

I have also noticed that the cold tap when running is making a rushing noise and so is the toilet when it is filling. The water is also coming through very forceful.

Any ideas what is going on? My plumbing skills are zero so I don’t have the first clue on how to fix it.

I live in a flat which is on the fifth floor. The fifth is also the top floor. I don’t have central heating so no radiator’s are installed.

My landlord once told me that he attached the cold water supply direct to the mains so as to get high pressure for the flat being on the fifth floor??? There is no pump fitted and the pressure of the water is high as you can run a shower with no problems.

In the cupboard there is a water heater that looks like an immersion heater and another round tank which I think is a expansion tank.

It’s all very old and my landlord once said the expansion tank was no longer used, though it is still connected to the pipe work.

Could it be an air lock or something more. Can it be something I can fix myself?
 
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A

Aire

Sounds like you need to service the float valve in the tank which is above your cylinder. Or replace it.
 
B

Burger

Where would that be located? Is it inside the expansion tank?
Take a photo if you can of water heater in cupboard. We can guide you from there. It will probably be in the expansion tank (cold water storage cistern) if that's what it is, it might be a combination tank as well
 
B

Burger

Ok so the expansion tank is actually a vessel, and that looks like an unvented hot water cylinder, so will not have a float valve. Are your taps 1/4 turn? Do you have a float valve in any wc cistern that could be coincidence of running hot tap? Does it make the noise every time you use the hot tap?
 
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Ok so the expansion tank is actually a vessel, and that looks like an unvented hot water cylinder, so will not have a float valve. Are your taps 1/4 turn? Do you have a float valve in any wc cistern that could be coincidence of running hot tap? Does it make the noise every time you use the hot tap?
The bathroom taps are 1/4 turn. The kitchen taps are a mixer tap.

Its definitely not coming from the WC Cistern. My landlord changed it a couple of years ago to a push flush. So no old style float valve.

The noise is only coming from the hot taps when turned on. So far every time I have tried them in the bathroom and kitchen.

As for the cold taps and WC Cistern the water is coming through very forceful. It makes a rushing noise when running / filling its so fierce.
 
B

Burger

The bathroom taps are 1/4 turn. The kitchen taps are a mixer tap.

Its definitely not coming from the WC Cistern. My landlord changed it a couple of years ago to a push flush. So no old style float valve.

The noise is only coming from the hot taps when turned on. So far every time I have tried them in the bathroom and kitchen.

As for the cold taps and WC Cistern the water is coming through very forceful. It makes a rushing noise when running / filling its so fierce.
Try running the kitchen hot tap, and go to the bathroom hot taps and see if any drip or run water slightly, if they do then that should be the problem, and new tap insert should be sought.
 
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Try running the kitchen hot tap, and go to the bathroom hot taps and see if any drip or run water slightly, if they do then that should be the problem, and new tap insert should be sought.
OK will have to try at a more reasonable hour as my neighbours will think they are on a cruse ship otherwise lol.

One other thing I noticed is when I try to turn on either the hot tap in the bathroom or the hot tap in the kitchen it feels like the pipes are vibrating really badly when the sound starts. You can feel it as the walls are only plaster board.

Would a faulty tap insert also account for the cold water coming through so forcefully all of a sudden?
 
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Doing a bit more research and I don't think the taps are 1/4 turn after all. They look similar to these on the Sink

Regent-Traditional-Basin-Taps-new-Large.jpg
 

Riley

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Well do they only turn a quarter of a turn or do they unwind more. That pic shows us nothing as the guts of the tap could be either. My suspicion is that you have a fault on your unvented cylinder. For this though you will require a G3 qualified engineer
 
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Well do they only turn a quarter of a turn or do they unwind more. That pic shows us nothing as the guts of the tap could be either. My suspicion is that you have a fault on your unvented cylinder. For this though you will require a G3 qualified engineer
They turn all the way. As I said my knowledge of plumbing is poor. I turn a tap on and water comes out is all I know lol.

The thing I don't understand is why this suddenly happened. I used the hot water tap at 11.30pm and there was no noise. An hour later I used the same tap and the noise started out of the blue.

There has been no build up to this event or warning its been fine for the past 9 years.

Could it be an airlock as they were digging up the road next to my flat yesterday.
 

Riley

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100% will not be an airlock if you are getting water at taps not sure why you’d think it was. Could be that your water pressure has improved and a problem that wasn’t apparent now is.
 

townfanjon

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I have not read all comments ..

First step .
Your landlord needs to get a G3 plumber to service the cylinder, he should do this every year .
 
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I have not read all comments ..

First step .
Your landlord needs to get a G3 plumber to service the cylinder, he should do this every year .
I was not aware of this. We have lived here for 9 years and it has never been serviced.
 
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Well I have just tried the tap again and the noise has completely stopped on the hot tap no fog horn noise at all. Yet 20 minutes a go there was.

The cold tap / cistern is no longer running / filling as fierce either so I have no clue.

As for not having the cylinder checked, its not suddenly going to explode or something is it?
 

Riley

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They are pressurised cylinders and as such are reliant on the correct functionality of certain safety devices. If these aren’t serviced how do you know they’re working
 
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The bathroom taps are 1/4 turn. The kitchen taps are a mixer tap.

Its definitely not coming from the WC Cistern. My landlord changed it a couple of years ago to a push flush. So no old style float valve.

The noise is only coming from the hot taps when turned on. So far every time I have tried them in the bathroom and kitchen.

As for the cold taps and WC Cistern the water is coming through very forceful. It makes a rushing noise when running / filling its so fierce.
Pushflush siphons can be prone to this even after a year or two, McCarthy Stone flats had this problem which we fixed because all the residents were frightened to have a dump and a flush at night because of the foghorn noise, so funny
centralheatking
 
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Well the fog horn noise on the hot taps has started again and the cold water / cistern is coming through fiercely again.

Not sure if it makes a difference but when you turn the hot taps on slightly that’s when the fog horn noise happens yet if you turn them on to full it stops.

You can then use the hot tap as normal without any noise at a low rate or high rate of water.

The noise only returns when the tap has been off for an hour or two. Again turn the water to full and the noise stops.
 

Stigster

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The issue is likely to be found at the cylinder. One of the safety devices is malfunctioning. Fortunately there are several layers of safety built in so I would not panic but it must be reported to your landlord, the cylinder must be serviced by a person with unvented qualification and is not something you can fix yourself. For good reason people here can't tell you what to do to fix it.

Give your landlord a shout and tell him your unvented hot water cylinder is making a loud noise and he should get someone in to sort it and service it too. Let us know how you get on if possible please.
 

Riley

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I am not being rude why are you asking again because the sound has returned we have told you what you need to do
 
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I am not being rude why are you asking again because the sound has returned we have told you what you need to do
I was simply updating the post with some new information in case it helped. I’m not being rude but if it’s bothering you me posting again you can always just ignore my post and not reply. I won’t mind, honest. The last thing I want to do is cause you any upset.
 

Riley

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You aren’t upsetting me my friend. You were the one who said “it’s not suddenly going to explode or something is it?”We have come back telling you of the safety factors with the cylinder and the need for maintenance and would strongly recommend that an engineer with the G3 qualification is enlisted as the cylinder clearly needs a repair and likely a service. These items can be dangerous if not attended to. The fact that you have an intermittent fault could be down to a number of factors but as the likelihood is that it’s associated with the cylinder you can’t touch it legally.
 

chris watkins

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Long & short is the noise is not going to go away!! It is caused when the cylinder heats up & expansion takes place causing an imbalance of water pressure within the system, if you open a hot tap the pressure & will reduce & the noise will stop only to return the next time water is heated.
Now bit the bullet & call your LandLord ask for it to be serviced & checked ASAP & do not take no for an answer as it most certainly needs looking at for safety sake.
 
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