Should questions with similar descriptions be closed as dups, even though the cause or problem may be different (and not covered by the previous question)?

For example this question how to eliminate the whooshing sound of water running though pipes, was caused because the main water shutoff valve was partially closed. Then there was this question opening water pipe tap has hissing noise throughout the house, which was caused by higher than normal water pressure.

The initial questions answers only focused on valves, and did not mention pressure at all. What is the best way to handle this situation? Should the second question be closed, and any answers that would have been provided to it added to the first question. Or should the second question stand on it's own, as a similar but not exact question?

1 Answer 1


I think it has to be a case by case basis. All we can do is, like you have here, raise the issue where you think something has been incorrectly closed.

However, given that we are working in a area where the same symptoms can have radically different answers and apparently unrelated questions have the same underlying cause we ought to be more careful with close as duplicate votes than other sites.

Do you think the closed question should be reopened?

  • Not sure if the question should be reopened. I think it was too quickly closed, but now that it's closed I'm not sure. If you read the long string of comments on the question, I was trying to determine if the problem was the main shutoff (in which case it was a Dup) or high pressure (in which case it could either stand on it's own or be merged into the old question). I think we might want to let questions that might be dups sit for a bit before closing them. I know the community is small so closing questions with votes alone is difficult, but mods should maybe not be so quick to close.
    – Tester101
    Jul 15, 2011 at 12:39
  • @Tester - The question got a flag as well as the close vote - if it had just close vote I would have probably left it to the community.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jul 15, 2011 at 12:41
  • I guess it doesn't matter, it sounds like the OP got the help he needed. I just think we need to be a bit slower on pulling the close trigger (in some cases). I guess I shouldn't complain. You guys have a tough job as mods, and we appreciate the work you do. I just don't want to see people not getting help, and turning away from the site.
    – Tester101
    Jul 15, 2011 at 12:56
  • 1
    @Tester, sorry about that, I get flag happy some days.
    – BMitch Mod
    Jul 16, 2011 at 21:20

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