Air in the water pipes?

A friend of mine is having a problem where her faucets are spurting water when she opens them. It's like what happens after you shutdown the water supply for the whole house and then re-open it, except it's happening all the time. She tried to run all of the faucets until they ran cleanly but it's still happening.

So it seems like air is getting into the system, right?  From where?


I wonder if a central pipe is partially frozen. If some water in an outdoor hose freezes, and the hose is not completely blocked, and water is then run thru the hose,  spurting like what you describe occurs till the ice either melts or is pushed out the hose. It’s been cold recently. Did I mention I’m not a plumber?


Any f/u on the problem, drummer boy?

 If it was ice, the sustained warmer temps last 24 hrs should have fixed the problem without other intervention.

If “air was getting in”,  I’m thinking it must have been air forced in under pressure sufficient to overcome water pressure in plumbing system. Otherwise a break in the line would result in leak (out). Air would not be entrained in, I would think.


nothing yet. status quo.


Long shot - if there was/is grunge in the system from, eg, work on nearby mains, could the aerators/screens be partially blocked?  Unscrew and clear out any bits?

If it's actually air, i'm clueless.


Good idea, mjc. Foreign bodies. I’d guess that’s most likely now.  A few years ago, discolored water refilling a toilet here was the first sign something was amiss. I saw it was resin beads from water softener resin bed. Went on bypass, and flushed the hot water heater. The softener was 15 years old. I’d still like a plumber to explain how ( if)  air could get into the pipes.


dickf3 said:

Good idea, mjc. Foreign bodies. I’d guess that’s most likely now.  A few years ago, discolored water refilling a toilet here was the first sign something was amiss. I saw it was resin beads from water softener resin bed. Went on bypass, and flushed the hot water heater. The softener was 15 years old. I’d still like a plumber to explain how ( if)  air could get into the pipes.

 The only way air gets into the plumbing supply is when it’s opened to repair or replace something. There’s a small strainer in every faucet and shower head that occasionally gets clogged. When the main is shut off to do repairs, say, change a valve air gets into the system, but the air eventually clears out along with the discolored water. Unscrew the strainer in the faucet and clean it out. 
if air was getting into the system then there would be leaking water somewhere. Do they have a sprinkler system in the yard? 


No sprinkler system. Spurting seems to occur at all faucets.


I've had this happen when street work on the mains was being done somewhere in the area but usually only lasted for a day or so.


Question for drummerboy:  Does your friend have a public water supply or do they have a well.   Wells can go low.  


What happens when the toilet is flushed?  Is there a gust of air released?


public supply.

not sure about toilets.


What's the nearest intersection we'd know? 

Neighbors having or had same problem? 

Is the water discolored now?

When did this begin?  2 days since last post-still happening?

All faucets?  at the same time?  Toilets and shower(s)? Clothes washer?  Dish washer?

Test hot and cold separately.


um, let me gather my forensics team and I'll get back to you.  cheese


Did the spurting faucets mystery get solved?  Inquiring minds want to know!




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