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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!

Image Source: Flickr

Loud Pipes Disrupting Your Life? Quiet the Noise

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Loud pipes are a nuisance, and they can put a real damper on the peaceful atmosphere of your home. Imagine a quiet Sunday afternoon, curled up on the couch reading a book, and CLASH. Someone flushes the toilet, causing a cacophony of rattling and shaking. Find out what usually causes pipes to make these loud, offensive noises and what can be done about it.

Copper Pipes

Copper pipes are famous for creating noise. As hot water moves through the colder pipes, the material expands. This can cause it to make contact with a nearby structure, such as the home’s framing or wood floor. After the water moves out of the pipe, the pipe will contract back to its normal shape and stop rubbing against the other surface. Then, the noise stops.

To prevent copper pipes from making noises, it’s possible to install insulation around them to limit the expanding and contracting. Additionally, it may help to lower the setting on your water heater so that water moving through pipes isn’t quite as hot.

Minerals in Your Water

Water is full of minerals that can get left behind in the pipes. Essentially, these minerals create a coating on the walls of the pipes and cause air bubbles to form. As warm water moves through the pipes or as the water inside the pipes becomes warm, the bubbles pop and make noise.

If mineral buildup is the culprit, flushing out the water heater should help. Flushing is part of annual service a water heater technician provides. Scheduling annual tuneups for the water heater helps it operate efficiently and removes buildup that can harm not just the pipes but the system, too.

Loose Pipes

If pipes are loosely secured to surfaces in the home, they can vibrate as water moving through them creates pressure.

If the problem is as simple as loose connections causing vibrating pipes, tightening these connections should remedy the loud pipes.

Water Hammer

Water hammer creates a clanging or banging noise, which results from a closed valve stopping the force of water flow.

Sometimes, stopping water hammer is as simple as slowly turning water on and off to offset the strong force of water causing the banging noise. However, you may need a plumber to install control valves to absorb the strong force of water when it stops.

Before you can get rid of the annoying noises, you need expert help figuring out the source of the problem. Call a licensed plumber to inspect your pipes and find out the true culprit of the noises in your home.

For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.

Image source: Flickr