General Question

syz's avatar

Why does the sound of my shower change?

Asked by syz (35647points) August 22nd, 2008

When I turn my shower on in the morning, I can tell by the change in the pitch/sound when it is warm. It seems odd to be that a change in temperature can so significantly affect a torrent of drops rushing out of a tube and then splashing against a tile floor. Anyone know what“s happening?

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6 Answers

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Cold water expands and hot water contracts so as the hot water reaches the shower head it is in greater volume then the cold was and then expands as it hits the cool air making for a bigger splash. Or something…

gailcalled's avatar

When my plumber was here recently to give my plumbing system its much-needed annual physical, he removed the shower head. Then he soaked it in vinegar for about 15 minutes and reinstalled it.

Night and day; I had more hot water, faster flow and could take a 3-minute shower unstead of a 60-second one. (Hard water, and a well so particulate matter also clogs all spigots.)

mac316's avatar

Actually, the hot water is slightly expanded, and through a fixed orifice, like a shower head, it will sound different.

Adjust to the sound you like and “Shower On!”

mvgolden's avatar

The speed of sound in gases and liquids is dependent on their temperature. The fluid flow causes turbulence that sets something (the pipes or the water column) into resonance. The frequency of resonance is related to the length of pipes or water column and the speed of sound. Therefore as the temperature of the water rises the frequency increases.

gailcalled's avatar

@Golden; well, I have had my last enjoyable shower. Will a pitch pipe rust if it gets wet?

marinelife's avatar

Wouldn’t it be great if our showers sounded like this?

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