water / pipe hammer?

I've got a 20 year old bi-level - and have an interesting phenomenon. Just lately I've noticed that when I flush the downstairs toilet, just after the tank refills I get a low-frequency droning/vibration that seems to be coming from the main water lead from the water meter in the basement.
It drones/vibrates (almost seems like "bass" from a kids car outside) for between 5 and 10 seconds and then goes away. I've noticed that when its vibrating, if I run the basement sink, it stops instantly. No other faucets/toilets cause the pipe to do this.
Any thoughts? I've read this is water hammer, but its not a banging or clanking, but rather a fast vibration. Whats the cause and any cure? I don't care about the noise as much as I am worried that the vibration is going to cause a broken solder joint somewhere which leads to flooding....
??
bmoney
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Hamilton Audio wrote:

Not water hammer. Caused by a particular brand of ballcock when it is worn out. Replace the ballcock in that toilet.
Jim
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Sounds more like you have a problem with that toilet valve closing too slowly (valve flutter is often caused by torn or worn rubber in the valve seat). Especially if this is a recent development. I used to get this when I closed a certain shower faucet just the right amount, replacing the rubber washer was the fix there.
Possible that you hear the vibration far away from the toilet because that is the only part of the piping system not secured to something solid. Pressure waves from a faulty tailet valve may propagate through the pipe until it hits a valve (or meter) and reflects. Opening another faucet changes the pressure in the pipe and either shuts down the vibration directly by lowering the pressure or more likly allows the valve in the toilet to slam shut. Only cost you <$10 to buy and replace the toilet valve yourself to find out.

Just
the
coming
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Hamilton Audio wrote:

It could be water hammer, but I would tend towards a worn ball cock valve.
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Joseph Meehan

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Hamilton Audio wrote:

No! Ballcock is the "float" valve *inside* the tank.
Closing the shutoff partway may seem to solve the problem for now, but can cause other problems. Many of those shutoffs are designed to be either fully closed or fully open. Partway can make the washer inside vibrate and REALLY produce hammering.
Jim

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When you say ballcock valve I have to assume its the small shutoff valve right before the tank? I closed it about 3/4 of a turn today and behold! No vibration. When it starts happening again I'll change it out. Thanks to those who chimed in - I never would have guessed a worn out ball valve could make the pipes sing like this!
bmoney

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Hamilton Audio wrote:

No sorry. I just copied an error totally without any thought process. It is the float valve you need to check.

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So we're talking about the rubber "flapper" deal that has the chain/handle attached to it? Or is it the white mechanism to the left of that which allows the water to enter the tank? Sorry - I'm a newbie toilet guy :)
bmoney

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Hamilton Audio wrote:

No we are talking about the valve that controls the water coming into the tank. It is call the "Filler valve" in the example below:
http://home.howstuffworks.com/toilet1.htm

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Joseph Meehan

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http://snipurl.com/e2nv
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

Just replace all the stuff inside your toilet tank. Not convinced that is your problem, but it's a fun project and probably needs doing.
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Man, I'm having similar problems and hope someone can help me. Found this thread/forum via google typing stuff in....
This is a very recent development. About 10 days ago, I changed the...the thing that stops the water in the toilet...they don't even name it in that howstuffworks link. It's the ball thing at the end of the chain. My last one, something rotted away, so I bought a new one. Now, whenever the toilet is flushed, there's this massive vibration happening immediately after the toilet is filled with water. It's crazy! I've tried just turning off the toilet and it still vibrates. It's vibrating right now as I type. So it's not just 5-10 seconds.... Couple things: I don't know...the filler valve is that big thing that floats, right? You know, as soon as I replaced the plug/chain deal, when you flush the toilet you have to hold the handle down until it's done flushing, it didn't just float/regulate and let you walk away. That's definitely a symptom of my main problem, right? Should I get out of my house? Should I replace everything inside the toilet?
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