Tapping noise in bathroom wall

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by cls2891, Oct 12, 2021.

  1. cls2891

    cls2891 New Member

    Hi,

    I recently posted this thread elsewhere but have yet to find the source of the problem! The pattern doesn't seem to add up to the obvious answer of pipes expanding / contracting, so I have broken down the key points below.

    If anyone has any ideas of what it might be that would be super helpful! Here is a video of the sound:
    https://youtu.be/XCpi6KU-6_w

    The noise
    • Tapping / clicking / popping sound (quite high-pitched, rather than a bang or knock) seemingly coming from the bathroom wall or ceiling (internal stud wall).
    • When you put your ear to the wall, you can hear a lot more going on than what is audible in the room. Lots of smaller taps, each one different in pitch and volume. Sometimes sounds like crunching, dripping, or someone dropping tiny wet stones.
    • Can't hear any rustling, scurrying or munching.
    When and for how long
    • Duration varies, but mostly lasts for at least 2-6+ hours at a time.
    • Happens every day, with no pattern to times or duration; can be morning, afternoon, evening and throughout the night.
    Triggers
    • None! Not linked to any activity within my property; not caused by running water, using the heating, having a shower, using extractor fan, or running any appliances etc.
    • Due to it happening all times of the day or night, possibly not triggered by temperature either?
    What I've tried so far:
    • Checked for areas of damp - no water leaks
    • Turned of mains water supply - no change
    • Turned off all power via fuse box - no change
    • Banged on the walls - no change
    • Have listened to the wall / ceiling using a stethoscope but it's not picking up the source
     
  2. Jiml86

    Jiml86 Screwfix Select

    It sounds very like water dripping to me?
     
  3. just pumps

    just pumps Screwfix Select

    Ground floor, first floor. House or flat.
    Any mirrors or pictures hanging on the wall.
     
  4. cls2891

    cls2891 New Member

    First floor flat, building was built in 2007. Nothing hanging on the wall.
     
  5. cls2891

    cls2891 New Member

    It does in the video, but in person it's a very loud tapping or clicking sound. I've sent the video to a plumber and they don't think it's dripping water, but don't have any other suggestions!
     
  6. just pumps

    just pumps Screwfix Select

    Have you spoken to flats above you, can they hear the same.
     
  7. cls2891

    cls2891 New Member

    Ahh yes I should have clarified, the flats above and below me can't hear anything, and neither can the flat next door
     
  8. ramseyman

    ramseyman Screwfix Select

    Think I'd drill a couple of holes in the area where perceived loudest and have a look with an inspection camera, someone you know might have one otherwise theyre not too expensive connected via an app on your phone.
     
    cls2891 likes this.
  9. AnotherTopJob

    AnotherTopJob Screwfix Select

    It has to be pipe related really, I can't think of anything else in a wall that could cause any noise.

    Find out where in the wall it sounds loudest and as mentioned, drill a small hole in that area to insert a borescope type camera.
     
    cls2891 likes this.
  10. cls2891

    cls2891 New Member

    Do you think it could possibly be electrical? I don't think any pipework runs down that wall, but I have scanned it and there is a lot of electrical cable in there.
     
  11. AnotherTopJob

    AnotherTopJob Screwfix Select

    Hard to tell from the audio but I'm thinking dripping water inside a soil pipe?
     
    Creek likes this.
  12. cls2891

    cls2891 New Member

    The soil pipe is in that corner closest to the noise. We took the shaver point out this weekend to have a good look inside the soil pipe section, no signs of a leak. I would have thought if it was dripping in the pipe itself the floor above or below would be able to hear too?
     
  13. AnotherTopJob

    AnotherTopJob Screwfix Select

    If the pipe is within reach, you could try using a screwdriver as a stethoscope.
     
    quasar9 and cls2891 like this.
  14. quasar9

    quasar9 Screwfix Select

    What’s on the other side of this stud wall ? Your flat ? Can you hear it as well on the other side ? Does sound like a drip on an existing pool or wet surface. It could be the soil pipe, some overflowing cistern from flat(s) above hence noise but no leaks. Unlikely anything electrical
     
  15. cls2891

    cls2891 New Member

    The other side of the stud wall is the corridor, and you can't hear the noise from there (or sometimes only very faintly). It sounds more like a tap or a click rather than a drip (only sometimes sounds like dripping if you press your ear to the wall). That does make sense about the drips in the soil pipe, but I'm just confused as to why nobody else would hear it?
     
  16. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    My sons can hear lots of things that I can't and my hearing is actually quite good.
     
  17. Jimbo

    Jimbo Screwfix Select

    Does the rain have any impact.
     
  18. quasar9

    quasar9 Screwfix Select

    Noises in pipes is a science in itself ! The noise can resonate within the pipe making it loud in one part of the pipe and practically silent in another. See if you can use a stethoscope on the pipe via vour shaver socket access.
     
    cls2891 likes this.
  19. Danny32

    Danny32 Member

    It does sound like a steady drip from a height. I listened with headphones for better sound.
    The pipe or wall space amplifies the sound.
     
    cls2891 likes this.
  20. cls2891

    cls2891 New Member

    No the rain or wind doesn't seem to make a difference
     

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