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Air in Water Supply piping?


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I seem to remember this being discuss before, but forget the conclusion.

Here's the scenario:

Two year old house, city water and sewer. If any of the fixtures are turned on, after no water use for a few hours, air can be heard coming out of the fixture. I could find no supply piping leak (and the meter needle doesn't move when the water's off), and there doesn't seem to be any difference between hot and cold (from the air problem standpoint). Water pressure to the house is on the high side (90 psi), but other than that, nothing else is out of the ordinary. Any thoughts?

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Hi Chris,

Down in your neighborhood lots of folks have irrigation systems for their lawns, don't they? Aren't they equipped with a kind of aerator device that lets air into the system? If that is the case, is it possible that there could be some kind of cross connection there?

Don't really know, I'm just swagging a WAG here.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Kurt,

Sounds kinds like when the water hasn't been used for a while, but not nearly as long. When flushing the toiket, I heard it for about 5 seconds, and about the same when running the tub.

Mike,

No aerators on the irrigation system. The house has fire sprinklers, but I can't see how that would make a difference. It makes no sense!

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At 90 lbs of pressure a few things come to my mind. The first is that air is far more likely to leak past a seal than water. The second is if there are vacuum breakers, it's conceivable that a venturi effect could be taking place and drawing air into the system. The third thing that may be happening is turbulence/cavitation. Lastly, air is easily suspended in water anywhere it has a soild surface to adhere to. Look at any glass of freshly poured water and you'll see air on the sides...for a while. As water moves past the air residing on pipe walls it gathers it all up and the tiny bubbles merge into bigger bubbles that have too much flotation to hang around; they'll rise to the highest point, which in many cases is the faucet. I'd bet on the vacuum breaker theory as the second most likely reality, with the first most likely being that Fabry's full of crap.

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  • 3 months later...
Originally posted by stevetheplumber919

The bigger question here is why in God's name you'd want to have 90psi running through a house??? Higher pressure = bigger problems. Unless you need to turn your shower into a blasting tank, a pressure regulator should be installed.

As SOP, I always recommend a regulator if the pressure is above 80 psi. Lack of a regulator still doesn't explain the air in the system.

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There's a certain area here where I regularly find 90 - 110 lbs PSI on systems (nearby and downhill from the water associations' main plant). I advise the clients accordingly, but I have yet to find a leak in any of the houses out there (some now approaching 25 years old). I don't know why.

Brian G.

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Brian,

Oftentimes the water dispensers in fridges, clothes washers or dishwashers will fail due to high water-pressure conditions. I've had several clients tell me--after I'd warned them and they did nothing about it--that one of those appliances had begun leaking after they'd moved into their houses.

John

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