Fix loud ticking noise in pipes...

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I just bought a condo, it was built in 2009. When the tenants above us use the water in their bathroom, a ticking sound is generated which is soooo loud and annoying (the HOA maintenance guy says it's water dripping down the stack). I asked him how he would fix it, and he emailed me this: I

cannot promise we can do anything about it. We have found that it is caused by the fire caulking where the drain pipe goes through the top and bottom plates in the stud wall. The fire caulking fills the gaps between the pipe and the hole cut in the plate to allow the pipe to pass through. It is required by code to stop fire from passing between floors. It seals the gap so tight that it doesn't allow the pipe to expand and contract as it changes temperature with the water that is running through it. The only way we know of to stop the noise is to cut open the wall and remove the caulk around the pipe. That is not an option in this case because it would be illegal in multi-family housing.

Does anyone have any ideas on other ways to fix the problem? Thank you so much in advance...

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quickest and easiest thing to try first would be to use a different type of fire caulk. there must be many different types on the market with varying degrees of flexibility for different purposes.

the problem is probably caused by the existing caulk being too rigid.

i suggest you do some research into the local building and fire regulations where you are and find the purpose of that caulking; is it merely to stop smoke or is it to give a 30 minute fire barrier - or longer?

armed with the correct requirements you can then approach some suppliers with your problem and requirements and obtain some really professional suggestions.

one interesting solution which could allow a clearance for expansion is to use an intumescent sealer which would expand and seal the gap in the event of a fire...

i believe there is also a variety of flexible and semi-flexible collars available for many types of pipe...

even some of the high grade silicone sealers are resistant to some very high temperatures but remain very flexible - even in permanent contact with car exhaust systems...

it probably was not necessary to use that method of sealing in the first place to overcome the problem. it was probably done that way to cut building costs. prepare for some resistance from the guys who have to fix it.

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