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What is a Water Hammer?
What is a Water Hammer?
Sep 14,2023

What is a Water Hammer?

Water hammer refers to that unsettling clanging or banging noise in your home’s plumbing. This is a phenomenon that many homeowners are familiar with. While it may seem harmless, a water hammer can damage your plumbing system, so a professional plumber is needed. As a trusted plumbing service, Rooter Man can help you understand what a water hammer is and recommend effective ways to fix this issue.

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What is a Water Hammer?

Water hammer, or hydraulic surge, occurs when there is a unexpected change in water flow within your plumbing system. This abrupt change can happen when you turn off a faucet, an appliance draws water, or a valve closes rapidly. As water flows through pipes, it builds up momentum. When this flow is suddenly stopped or redirected, a shockwave travels through the pipes, resulting in the characteristic banging or hammering noise.

The Dangers of Water Hammer

Water hammer can lead to serious problems if addressed. The abrupt shockwaves from the water hammer can weaken pipe joints and connections with time, causing leaks or even burst pipes. In addition, the added stress on appliances like washing machines and dishwashers can reduce their lifespan, leading to costly repairs or replacements. While it may initially seem like a mere nuisance, a water hammer poses a genuine threat to your plumbing system’s structural integrity and functionality, making it imperative to hire a plumbing service for maintenance. Let’s look at the ways you can fix water hammer issues.

Securing Loose Pipes

Securing loose pipes is an effective method for addressing water hammer issues, and it involves stabilizing and securing the pipes in your plumbing system to prevent them from vibrating or moving when water flow abruptly changes. To execute this solution, identify the loose pipes or causing vibrations by listening for the noise source during water hammer episodes. Install pipe clamps or hangers along these pipes regularly to hold them in place firmly. Opting for cushioned clamps or hangers is crucial to minimize vibrations effectively. If you prefer a more hands-off approach, consider hiring a qualified plumber to address the issue.

Install an Air Chamber

Installing an air chamber is an effective method for addressing water hammer problems in your plumbing system. This process involves creating a space within the plumbing, where air can cushion the shockwaves produced by abrupt water flow changes. To install an air chamber, you must identify the location in your plumbing system where the water hammer is most pronounced. After safely turning off the main water supply to your house, cut the water supply pipe at this identified location. Next, attach a T-fitting with the air chamber connected to its top. If you lack the expertise or tools, leave the heavy lifting to a professional plumbing service.

Install Mechanical Water Shock Arresters

Mechanical Water Shock Arresters effectively resolve water hammer issues in your plumbing system. The installation involves shutting off the main water supply, identifying the problem area where the water hammer is most pronounced, and then disconnecting the water supply pipe. Next, attach the mechanical water shock arrester, a compact device that uses a piston or diaphragm to absorb the shockwaves. Once securely installed, you reconnect the cut pipes, ensuring they are tightly connected.

Schedule a professional inspection if you experience a water hammer in your home or workplace. Contact us at Rooter Man and schedule a consultation with our experts. We provide a range of plumbing services at competitive market rates.

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