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Rattling water pipes fixed

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Post by gassygassy on Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:18 pm

If you have replaced your Whale submersible with a Shurflo and you get pipe rattle in the washroom, it is easy and cheap to fix.
Get two one metre lengths of 15mm foam pipe insulation. (Amazon are still working )
Remove the access panel behind the wash basin in the washroom
Slit the foam pipe insulation along its length - it has a cut-out so you can do it with a finger or thumb
Slide the foam down each pipe - blue and red - for nearly a metre. You might find you get more on if you reach down towards the floor and push the insulation along a bit as you go.
Cut off about 1ft of surplus insulation when you can't push any more on to the pipe.
Refit the inspection panel.
Turn on the tap and stand back and listen to the gentle hum of the pump, and no pipe rattles.

I couldn't help remembering that some (German) motorhome manufacturers insulate their water pipes, as they should be on a decent quality built machine. I notice these things when I go round the NEC poking my nose behind panels and in cupboards.

My next revelation here will be 'how to refit your kitchen sink drain so it runs downhill'. Apparently A/S is unaware of the fact that water runs downhill. They are not alone: Rapido also don't know this secret.


Last edited by gassygassy on Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by kaspian on Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:31 pm

As long as the Whale is working well I think I will 'sensibly ' leave well alone but agree with your insulation sentiments  Have done this on several Van's especially the hot side.
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Post by gassygassy on Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:39 pm

It has been mandatory for a few years now to insulate all hot pipes in new build houses. I thought it was silly at first until I did mine in my 50 year old house. What a difference! You can run hot water, go away for two hours, run the hot water again and within two seconds hot water comes out of the tap. It's well worth doing in a house but I can't imagine it makes much difference in a motorhome.
As for sensibly or otherwise replacing the Whale submersible, well I am just biased against them having had several pack up on me when they are reasonably not-very-old, if you get my drift. Like computerised cars and motorhomes they are fine when they work, but annoying when they don't. ShurFlo pumps can be reckoned to last ten years, then all you do is buy a renovation kit and rebuild them. My experience of Whale submersibles ranges from two weeks to two months use before they pack up and go in the bin. I have heard that other people are happy with them, so fair enough, keep using it.

Edit: I don't want to annoy anyone so I have removed the word 'sensibly' from my original post. These are not times when we should be annoying one another.  wave
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Post by kaspian on Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:15 pm

No problem GG!   Agree first thing I did when we bought this house all those years ago was replumb and Insulate every pipe including the central heating flow and return.....my back has never been the same since, crawling around under floors!
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Post by Caraman on Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:20 am

Thanks gassygassy.  That's given me a little job to do during this period of confinement.  The pipe noise in the bathroom hasn't bothered us but it will be nice if the Shurflo can be made to run more quietly in that area.  I reckon it is quieter than the whiny Whale outside the bathroom.
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Post by gassygassy on Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:44 am

Caraman wrote:Thanks gassygassy.  That's given me a little job to do during this period of confinement.  The pipe noise in the bathroom hasn't bothered us but it will be nice if the Shurflo can be made to run more quietly in that area.  I reckon it is quieter than the whiny Whale outside the bathroom.

Well that will occupy you in between morning elevenses and lunch time. What are you doing this afternoon? hugegrins
15 minutes is all it takes.

I suppose the bangyness of the pipework is dependent on where the pipes happened to position themselves in the cavity.
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Post by Cymro on Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:38 pm

Thanks GG: a nice little job done!  Had wondered why, after fitting the Shurflo, there was rattling. Only had enough lagging to do one pipe (the hot) but that might be enough to eliminate or reduce noise when pipes knock each other and the insides of the unit.  Used a cable tie to gather loosely together the 3 pipes (hot, cold and waste) just inside the cover plate, to reduce movement / opportunity to bang against the sides.  

Thanks for the tip.

All I need now is the chance to use the van!  Perhaps in the Autumn - who knows....

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Post by gassygassy on Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:45 pm

I think I will amuse myself by sending it off to MMM. See if I win a bottle of car wash shampoo.
Won't all our motorhomes be all shiny and polished when the Great Rush to use them comes about at the end of it all?
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Post by Caraman on Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:40 pm

gassygassy wrote:

Well that will occupy you in between morning elevenses and lunch time. What are you doing this afternoon? hugegrins
15 minutes is all it takes.

Done it - lagged both pipes and cable tied to the waste water pipe.  It was very easy although getting the self tapping screws of the access panel to relocate into their holes required a bit of patience.  I removed the drawer above the Combi and the plastic ventilation grill on the panel beneath it to see if I could feed lagging onto the pipes from there but only had limited success.  Spent the rest of the afternoon washing the van.
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Post by Caraman on Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:55 am

I have just tested mine out.  I can't remember exactly what the noise was like before or what it was like with the Whale.  When the water is flowing now there are no rattles - just the quiet hum of the pump.  After the tap is closed and the pump is still running, a rattle develops as the system pressurises.  It happens for both the hot and cold including the toilet flush but lasts longer with the hot.  It also happens when I run the kitchen taps.  The rattle on pressurising is definitely coming from the bathroom area.  Its doubtless a pipe vibrating against the fibreglass somewhere but not a problem.
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Post by gassygassy on Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:08 pm

I think my next job is to remove the cooker (I have an EB) and refit the kitchen sink drain so it runs downhill. Then I might find the water pipes leading to the kitchen tap and lag them as well.
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