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The Noise In My Kitchen

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Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:03 am PostPost subject: The Noise In My Kitchen
Harvey
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The other day my oldest son (Phil, 27) was standing in my kitchen and commented that the floor was moving. I could hear the noise and it sounded like another helicopter flying over (since we are in a flight path here) but that shouldn't make the floor vibrate. Shocked So I went in the kitchen, and sure enough it was vibrating - it was lifting both of us, 230+ Lbs - sounded like the pipes were being hammered. I immediately thought it was a water hammer, so I reached over and turned on the hot water - no effect. I thought, perhaps the neighbor is hammer drilling something on his foundation or Garage slab (our houses are raised floors), so I went outside the kitchen window - nothing. I came back in and my son told me it stopped before I could get around the house. I was puzzled.

On several other occasions after that, I could hear the noise starting up and getting louder. I thought my neighbor was working again. On one occasion, I went outside to see - my neighbors bathroom light was on - at 3:00am? Hmmm. What could they be working on? Still, the sound doesn't seem to be here on the driveway - So I put my ear up to the clean-out under the kitchen window - the vibration was there, but very light, almost imperceptible. I looked up to see a full moon at about a 45 elevation from the west and about 80 elevation from the south. Could this be some gravity issue? I remembered I had my compressor in the on position in the garage just outside the kitchen. So I turned it to the off position and went back in my house scratching my head.

The next time it was about 2:00PM in the afternoon. Whole place was quiet, I was the only one here and had been at the computer for a couple of hours. There is that noise again. So I went in the kitchen and started listening to different areas. Got down on my hands and knees (I need to mop the floor it looks like). Look, under the sink, put my hands in the cupboards etc. The sound is coming from the floor, right under me. I look over my left shoulder at the refrigerator - could the compressor be vibrating? I reach over and touch it; it doesn't feel like it. I stand up and the vibration changes, so I flex my knees a few times (with my weight, the floor flexes about 1/2"), it changes the pitch and volume of the vibration. I'm about to reach for the faucet when it stops. I put my ear up to the refrigerator and listen, I can hear gas hissing. The refrigerator must have just turned off. So, I waste some energy, I open the door and all that cold air comes pouring out onto my feet (what a waste - what ever happened to top load fridges?). Well, after about a minute and a half (which seems like forever) the fridge turns on and I close the door. I listen to the motor running, and I can hear the freezer fan if I put my ear to the freezer door. The sounds are in the same range as the floor vibration, but different. I stand there 5 minutes, eat a granola bar and listen. I wait another 5 minutes, motors still running, no floor vibration. So I give up and leave, I figure if it starts vibrating again I'll check to see if the motors are running still.

The next time it happens, things have been quiet for a while - about 5 hours. The refrigerator has not been running (or defrosting which can be quite noisey late at night when your deep in thought and you hear that loud pop of ice cracking through the still of night). The toilet hasn't been flushed in hours, no water is running, the hot water heater is not burning, everything is absolutly quiet, except the noise in my kitchen. I stood there listening and it got louder and louder. Sounds like someone is running a jack hammer on a rock under my house Exclamation But the Alameda Corridor is miles from here and the subways are 25 miles away. The city did some drilling for water around the corner, but that was over a year ago and I haven't seen any rigs setup near here and no type of construction either. I reach for the faucet and turn on the hot water, nothing. I turn on the cold water and the vibration changes. I regulate the water flow and get different variants of vibration. I open it wide open and the noise stops along with some air being ejected from the pipe.

This whole experience got me thinking about The Scientific Method . Did I use it? Could I have done something differently to evaluate the puzzle? It also told me that there is something at work here that dosn't make alot of sense...

...A New Puzzle. I've solved that the noise is somehow related to a water hammer effect. But this one happens after long periods of 'inactivity' in the water system. There is one piece to this puzzle I am purposely leaving out, because it explains how this can occur, but I want others to think about it and ponder the implications of what I have explained here. Resonance of a pressurized system resulting in the movement of 460Lbs 1/2" about 15 times a second. No abrupt change in pressure to initiate the water hammer. Is it possible to extract energy from a 'static' pressure system attached to a resonant chamber? How can the scientific method help?

Cool
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Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:39 pm PostPost subject:
chrisbis
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Harvey,

I think u may have a leak in the supply water pipe way before in enters the house.
Dependant on the operating pressure, (which i imagine is set by ur utility company via some type of 'boundary' pressure reducing valve) ur leak could well be before the supply enters ur property but after the reducing valve.

What can happen, is the leaking, pressurised water permiates into the surround ground and sets up a local reservior. This local 'pool' maybe in contained in a ground cavity, such that the water pressure sets up an almost sealed pressure tank that holds as much water as its volume and density allows.
This is poss y u get splurches of air exiting ur supply and a steady repressurisation of ur domestic supply fed by the incoming water from the utility company and/or the supply from ur local ground holding leak.
As time passes and more supply is drawn from the utility company, local pressure drops off with demand and ur supply maybe supplemented by the 'holding tank effect' of the leak.

Tests for determining this are:-
1. test water quality for ground contamination- utility co would do this unless u have access to lab.
2. determine ur inlet pressure paramitters as set by ur water utility co.
3. have pressure test taken out on ur incoming supply pipe- either u or utility co
4. ask for local geographical survey of area between ur property and exit point of utility pressure reducing valve.
5. install ur own pressure reducing valve esp if ur incoming supply is very high.
6. ask local water co.(ur utility co) if they are losing water in ur area- many companies have water meters installed at major branch networks and usually know in an instant when they are losing water, by the overnight reads- unless u have got local all night businesses on the branch, not much domestic water is used between 12.00am and 4.00am- the usual measuring time.
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Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:13 am PostPost subject:
Harvey
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Thanx for the help. The important part I left out purposely was that I had a steadily leaking faucet which I assumed gave air a place to go when the rest of the water circuit (I live on a cul-de-sac and most residents are in bed at 2:00am judging from the lights in the windows) was inactive. Of course that hypothesis required an air source to be injected into the supply somewhere. I have not witnessed any air in the lines anywhere accept at the furthest faucet. Others on the net (and even you-tube vids) indicate that their problem occurs in the fall as temperatures drop to a certain point. Some have air, some do not.

We replaced the faucet. The problem is still here. I think the trouble may be related to thermal contraction of the hot water pipes that is somehow causing a vacuum in that part of the pipe as the water shrinks from cooling. With the old faucet, it would suck some air into the cold water pipe Shocked but not the hot Confused I have some dead stand pipes that once were used for water softener bottles and these may be packed or somehow attributing to the problem. I am very interested in learning if there is a resonant mode that can be found for room temperature water where energy is extracted from the 300K to produce the vibrational energy. It may be another form of water property similar to superheating and supercooling where very gradual temperature change with no disturbance can result in an oscillatory state change brought on by the realignment of the molecules as they cool. The condition still continues even with running water but is lessened until a sufficient quantity is removed. Why it affects the cold water pipe instead of the hot water pipe is another mystery. I have a pressure relief valve at the entrance valve. The next time I catch it really oscillating I'll run out and see if that valve is causing a chatter. It may be some how related to the barometric lows and cusp internal pressure. Neutral
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Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:30 am PostPost subject:
chrisbis
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Harvey,

What type of internal domestic water heating device does ur house employ?

Electric pressurized storage cylinder?
Gas fired boiler type primary heating suppling a secondary heat-exchanger?
Direct heating- instantaneous type?

Postioning a couple of what we in UK call "double check/anti vacuum" valves might sort the problem. We use them in this country to satisfy water by-laws and local water company regulations. These vales are basically one way vales like a diode- one letting water thro one way even if there's a negative pressure (vacuum) on the downside.
They stop used water or 'pooled' water like a pond from entering the water system in the unlikely event that say;-
the water was being used from a hose,
the water system fails due to the utility company,
u drop ur hose to investigate,
leave the stop tap open where u connect ur hose,
the system returns and as a consequence of piping design and branch layout, ur 'used', possibly dirty water from ur pool/pond is sucked into the water system and contaminates the utility's pipework.

I also use them to solve water hammer problems just like urs.

Ur system would have to be massive for it to sustain a cyclic change in temperature like u describe, to then alter the density properties of water, i see huge changes in temp and more importantly humidity in the systems that we install as a heating engineers, but dont have this type of mystery!

Me thinks ur quite enjoying the problem now as u try to seek alternative answers to it.

Scientific Methord says u should set up some temperatue probes then, and measure ur water density. Usually, only freezing conditions would give u the results ur after, tho a rapid change from ambient to cool might produce this atomic energy level change ur seeking.

Is ur water pH neutral? Usually around 5-7 (thats not the time either!!)

chris
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Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:06 am PostPost subject:
Harvey
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Natural Gas 50 Gallon center flue tank with top feed and exit water ports both configured with dielectric nipples and copper flex connectors. The copperflex have built in dielectric isolation nuts where they join the 1950's vintage galvanized pipe. The heater is almost dead center between the bathroom fixtures and kitchen fixtures. I don't have a schematic of the actual feed routes but I think it's been replumbed to facilitate the softwater tanks that used to be installed - meaning that the cold water feed runs to the kitchen first and then backtracks to the heater and then back to the kitchen on the hot water line. I'm pretty sure the feed hits the kitchen faucet and then tees off to the bathroom because if the kitchen faucet is run we can notice a reduction in pressure in the bathroom, but if any of the fixtures in the bathroom are run there is no noticeable drop.

I'm intriqued by the huge amount of energy release that occurs during the oscillations. Supposedly, it is only occuring because of some pressure condition and two fluids, one compressible and the other not. It is a resonance where the external pressure causes a collapse of the compressible air and the head moves in to occupy its space. The inertia of the moving water has energy and that energy is released as heat which can cause the air to decompress pushing the head back. This can go on for long periods of time, just sitting there resonating. Where does the energy come from? Can it be harnessed?

I probably won't be putting any measurement equipment on it. I havn't heard it for a few days. Temps have been warmer and we have a high pressure system. I'll pay attention to it the next low pressure system runs through here and see. It could be that pressure valve outside on the inlet chattering when the outside barometric drops alot and the inside water pressure is higher than normal (like nobody on the street using water).

Thanx for you posts on it, I do want to fix it but at the same time I want to study it.

Cheers,

Cool

ETA; Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure the city put in some new anti-siphon meters about two or three years ago, so back feed isn't a problem. My sprinklers have them and besides that circuit has a cut-off valve which I keep closed anyway. The Garage has an overhead water pipe on the cold supply line...I wonder if that could be causing something...hmmm.
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