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The Water Hammer Fix: Can You Stop Banging Pipes?

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Are you looking for a water hammer fix? Is the noise starting to drive crazy? Water hammer occurs when you turn the water on and your pipes respond with an audible bang – a thundering boom that is sometimes loud enough to rattle your windows and may be followed by other disturbing noises.

Water Hammer and Your Pipes

When you first hear a water hammer, it sounds incredible – like something that shouldn’t be happening inside your home at all. But the cause is surprisingly simple: the “hammer” is made from a combination of blocked pipes and pressure waves.

When you turn on water, especially for high-demand applications like pouring a bath or turning on a shower, your water system sends in a powerful gush of water through your pipes and toward its destination. But along the way, sometimes water encounters a slow valve, a sudden turn or a loose pipe that forces a sudden change or a quick stop. But the water is moving so quickly that this sudden crash creates a powerful pressure wave as the water is suddenly compressed and released. That wave is the explosive sound that travels outward, often making pipes throughout your house rattle.

Water hammer is more common with older pipes, poorly installed pipes and pipes that carry heated water. Think about a water hammer fix that will address these problems for overall healthy plumbing.

Water Hammer Problems

The blast of water hammer does not mean that something is immediately broken – after the pressure wave, water typically continues to travel as normal. But water hammer isn’t something that you want hanging around. The shockwave can knock pipes from their brackets, cause serious valve damage, encourage leaks to develop and more.

Finding a Water Hammer Fix

There are several different solutions to water hammer issues, depending on the source of the problem. One of the easiest is air chamber maintenance – most homes use air chambers that have pockets of air in the pipes to provide some cushioning as water makes tight turns. That air can sometimes leak out over time, creating problems, but you can replace it with new air. This usually requires professional help.

If your problem is a stuck valve, this is a more immediate problem that can be fixed with a simple replacement. Sometimes there is a more far-reaching issue, such as a problem with the pitch of your pipes (the angle at which they decline over a distance), but this is relatively rare.

Water hammer can also be treated with special valves call arresters that help water slow down in better ways. If you cannot solve your water hammer problems any other way, then contact a professional and ask them about installing an arrester or similar device to help prevent future noises.

For answers to your questions or a fix for your water hammer problems, contact the Pink Plumber today!

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