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HANDYMAN Q&A

Valve Repair May Silence Pipes

April 29, 2001|MORRIS CAREY and JAMES CAREY | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Question: I open any tap in my house and hear a train-like noise. It feels as if air is being sucked into the tap. When we use two taps, the noise disappears. Using two taps is not a permanent solution. What kind of problem are we facing, and how do we fix it?

Answer: If faucets screech when you turn them on and pipes hum when water's running, chances are you have a bad main inlet valve or a bad pressure-regulator valve.

Water enters a home at only one point: the main inlet valve. If all faucets groan and howl the same all through the house, the main inlet valve is probably bad.

Over time, rubber gaskets can become brittle. When running water passes over the gasket, pipes can carry the sound to every faucet and fixture, making it hard to pin down the source. In this case, check the main inlet valve.

But if you hear the screeching at only one location, check the gasket of that particular faucet. Repairs can be done, with basic tools, for less than $10.

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