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Dripping/ticking sound when shower used

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  • May 9th, 2020 11:34 am
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Dripping/ticking sound when shower used

So working from home more, and have noticed something the last few weeks.

An upstairs bathroom shower I usualy only use, so probably why I have never noticed the noise. But my son has been home from school the last 6 weeks, and notice a ticking/dripping sound when he has a shower. The sound could of been there since we moved into the house, but since I am the only one that usualy uses that shower, I would never hear it.

I can find no water stains of any sort, and it seems to comes from the end of the tub/shower that has no drain or the shower head. We also recently got a tankless system installed as well, although the only lines relocated where the runs in the furnance room due to location. So not sure of that has anything to do with it. I doubt it since hot water is hot water

Can sound travel from the drain end of a tub to the other side. Its not a constant sound either, its random, sometimes its fast, sometimes is slow, or in between. Once the shower is over, it stops. I haven't timed how long it takes to stop yet.

Ive looked for any kind of water damage, to the closet below in the entrance where I hear the sound, all the way to the basement I followed the drain line. Nothing I can see

Heat expansion of a pipe rubbing? Just the drip from the drain travelling?

Any ideas would be appreciated.
Last edited by WikkiWikki on Apr 27th, 2020 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Oct 15, 2007
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If there is no water damage it’s most likely expansion/contraction
Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again. - Andre Gide
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Feb 22, 2007
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i get these noise all the time....the first few times i heard it...it drove me crazy thinking there was a leak behind the wall...but several years later...i do not see any water damage at all...and i get these loud dripping noises randomly when the taps are turned on (never with toilet though)
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Jan 7, 2013
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Oshawa, Ontario
Probably just a hot water pipe expanding and contracting.
[OP]
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Shaidin wrote: Probably just a hot water pipe expanding and contracting.
Guess I could test and just run a cold shower, flush the toilet, etc Would the sound travel from one end of the tub to the next. Although I cant see, my water lines in my furnace room are on the west wall, and the shower upstairs the shower head and water are on the west as well. I cant see how the run is, if they would go past the tub and then back again
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Jan 5, 2003
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Toronto
1. Plug the drain.
2. Turn on the showerhead with hot water and listen for it. If you hear it, then you know it's the supply and not the drain.
3. If you don't hear it, once the tub is fairly full of hot water, turn off the showerhead, open the drain and perhaps you'll hear it while it drains.

Generally, you'll get expansion noises with copper pipes, not ABS drains, but the above will narrow it down so you'll know for sure.

Once you've narrowed it down, use room temperature water instead of hot and see if you get the noise. If you don't, then it's probably just expansion.

Another possibility is that the tub isn't seated perfectly and a person shifting their feet is actually causing the noise from the tub rubbing or bumping against the floor or framing. If you can't reproduce the sound using the steps above with water only, have your son stand in the tub with the water off and shift around while you listen.
[OP]
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jm1 wrote: 1. Plug the drain.
2. Turn on the showerhead with hot water and listen for it. If you hear it, then you know it's the supply and not the drain.
3. If you don't hear it, once the tub is fairly full of hot water, turn off the showerhead, open the drain and perhaps you'll hear it while it drains.

Generally, you'll get expansion noises with copper pipes, not ABS drains, but the above will narrow it down so you'll know for sure.

Once you've narrowed it down, use room temperature water instead of hot and see if you get the noise. If you don't, then it's probably just expansion.

Another possibility is that the tub isn't seated perfectly and a person shifting their feet is actually causing the noise from the tub rubbing or bumping against the floor or framing. If you can't reproduce the sound using the steps above with water only, have your son stand in the tub with the water off and shift around while you listen.
Ill try the above this week. Its defintly not from someone moving, this is a different sound than that.
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WikkiWikki wrote: Ill try the above this week. Its defintly not from someone moving, this is a different sound than that.
What I meant was that the tub might be moving a fraction of a millimeter, rubbing against a nail or something on a framing member, or if it's not seated fully on the floor (usually a layer of motar is put under the tub for full support), there might be a very, very small gap and the tub bottom is bumping against the floor or gap in the mortar. I don't mean it's the sound of the person or their feet.
[OP]
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jm1 wrote: What I meant was that the tub might be moving a fraction of a millimeter, rubbing against a nail or something on a framing member, or if it's not seated fully on the floor (usually a layer of motar is put under the tub for full support), there might be a very, very small gap and the tub bottom is bumping against the floor or gap in the mortar. I don't mean it's the sound of the person or their feet.
Oh I getcha. Well that would be the easiest one to do. Like any homeowner, you want to know what it is. If its what it is above, just a noise, then it will be what it will be. But at least I will know
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Our upstairs bathroom started doing the same ticking when running warm/hot water too :( Ours started after redoing the garage and I think the insulation was pressed to hard against the main stack going down the corner. It must have pressed it against the wood in there as there are no leaks. I'll have to pull the drywall open again to fix it some day :(
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IcarusLSC wrote: Our upstairs bathroom started doing the same ticking when running warm/hot water too :( Ours started after redoing the garage and I think the insulation was pressed to hard against the main stack going down the corner. It must have pressed it against the wood in there as there are no leaks. I'll have to pull the drywall open again to fix it some day :(
That's to me is a fix that doenst need fixing. If you need to remove drywall for something else sure, but unless its causing damage, why waste time and resources.
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Yes, that's why we haven't done it yet :)
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[OP]
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Well it turns out this is hot water to the sink as well. Usually since the run is so long the hot water in the sink really isn't used that much, because by the time it gets hot to wash your hands, etc you are done and move on

I had to flush/clean the drain this morning due to some drain flies, and as I ran the sink to flush with hot water, the ticking sounded as well, more or less from the same area as it happens with the shower (although you don't hear it when you use the shower)

They are separate lines, so not sure why they both tick. But probably the same pulled run right next to each other and rubbing? Not sure

Like others have said, there are no water leak signs anywhere, and its going to be what its going to be. The time and money and work involved to rip out drywall isn't worth the pay off

Thanks for the tips everyone

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