Plumbing Advice and Understanding Water Hammer: A common plumbing issue

Plumbing Advice And Understanding Water Hammer: A common plumbing issue

Plumbing Advice: What is Water Hammer?

Water hammer is a common plumbing issue that occurs when a tap is turned off suddenly, causing a shockwave through the pipes. This shockwave can create a loud banging noise, similar to a hammer hitting the pipes, hence the name ‘water hammer’. It’s a problem that can not only cause a racket but also potentially damage your plumbing system over time.

 water hammer; is a pressure surge or wave caused when a fluid in motion is forced to stop or change direction suddenly; a momentum change. It is usually observed in a liquid but gases can also be affected. This phenomenon commonly occurs when a valve closes suddenly at an end of a pipeline system and a pressure wave propagates in the pipe.

This pressure wave can cause major problems, from noise and vibration to pipe rupture or collapse. It is possible to reduce the effects of the water hammer pulses with accumulators, expansion tanks, surge tanks, blowoff valves, and other features. The effects can be avoided by ensuring that no valves will close too quickly with significant flow, but there are many situations that can cause the effect.

Signs of Water HammerPlumbing water hammer

The most obvious sign of water hammer is the distinctive sound it makes. However, there are other indicators to watch out for:

– Banging or thudding noises when turning off taps

– Vibrations in the walls where pipes run

– Pipes visibly shaking

– Spitting from the faucet when first turned on

These symptoms can be more than just annoyances; they can be warnings of potential pipe damage.

Identifying Water Hammer

Certain appliances and fixtures are more likely to cause water hammer. These include:

– Washing machines, due to their rapid on/off cycle during operation

– Mixer taps, especially when switched off quickly

– Dishwashers, similar to washing machines with quick valve actions

– Toilets, when the fill valve closes after refilling the tank

If you notice the signs of water hammer after using these fixtures, it’s likely you’re dealing with this issue.

Causes of Water Hammer

Several factors can contribute to water hammer:

– High water pressure: This can exacerbate the force of the shockwave.

– Loose pipes: Pipes that aren’t securely fastened can move and bang against surfaces when the water flow is stopped suddenly.

– Quick-closing valves: Found in many modern appliances, these can shut off water flow too rapidly.

– Lack of air chambers: These are designed to cushion the shockwave but can become waterlogged over time.

Preventing and Fixing Water Hammer

There are several ways to address water hammer:

– Securing loose pipes: This can prevent them from knocking against structures.

– Installing water hammer arrestors: These devices absorb the shockwave.

– Reducing water pressure: If the pressure is too high, it can be adjusted at the main valve.

– Checking air chambers: Ensuring they are not waterlogged and are functioning correctly.

Call to Action

If you’re experiencing water hammer, it’s not just a nuisance—it can lead to serious plumbing issues and costly repairs if not fixed. For homeowners who have identified water hammer, it can be easier and more cost-effective to call a local licensed plumber. A professional can assess the situation, identify the root cause, and provide a lasting solution.

Consider reaching out to Get Unblocked, a trusted plumbing service. They have the expertise to handle water hammer and any other plumbing concerns you may have. Remember, addressing water hammer promptly can save you from future headaches and costly repairs in the future.

Don’t let water hammer disrupt your home. Take action and ensure your plumbing is in top condition with the help of a professional plumber.