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Water dripping behind walls

I can hear water dripping behind the wall in my bathroom. I checked to see if there is in water coming into the house or discoloration of walls or baseboards but there is none of this. I shut off the water valves to the toilet and sink in my bathroom but the sound has not gone away. What could be the problem? How concerned should I be? By the way, the temperature here is 22 degrees.

Re: Water dripping behind walls

You could have frozen water slowly defrosting inside the walls,

You could have a broken pipe slowly leaking as the pressure fades (that can take hours)

You could have a vent pipe allowing the sound to travel further and no problem at all.

Re: Water dripping behind walls

By now this may be of little help, but....

Many times a pipe which has frozen and burst is discovered only when it thaws and flows again (and that's usually going to happen in a spectacular way). Usually if you still have full water flow during the freeze, you're OK. If you're concerned about this, don't turn the supply valves off- rather turn them on and open the affected faucets for awhile. That will allow you to check for full flow, allow smaller ice particles to be flushed out, and allow the near-by hot water piping to warm up hopefully transferring some heat to the near-by cold water lines.

If you don't see full flow as normal but a weak trickle instead, and full flow doesn't return after leaving the faucet on for a couple minutes then cut the supply off to the affected pipes before the fixture and drain them (or at least try to). And prepare for some plumbing work when things thaw.


A. Spruce
Re: Water dripping behind walls

Another option, which isn't destructive at all, could be that the pipe is rubbing on framing as it expands and contracts with heat changes. Run hot water through a cold pipe and you're gonna get a clicking/dripping sound if it's in contact with anything.

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