Water Hammer Sounds Can Be Scary, Here’s How to Deal With Them
Most homeowners know all the everyday sounds that can be heard in their homes, but occasionally, a loud, unknown sound may surprise them. Thankfully, the loud, banging noises in the walls aren’t the sounds of a haunting this Halloween but could be a plumbing phenomenon called a water hammer.
Understanding What It Is
A water hammer may sound like banging, which is the result of hydraulic shock that transpires when the shut-off valve on a high-pressure water line suddenly locks in place. The sound is caused by a pressure surge when water in a pipe is forced to stop or change direction quickly.
Most pipes have pockets of air inside them that help cushion against the sound of a water hammer, so if the water hammer sound occurs in a home, this usually means that the air chambers are clogged or filled up with water. It’s important to clear the air pockets in both cases by draining the line. Otherwise, water hammer sounds will persist.
Potential Risks of a Water Hammer
Unfortunately, the risks of water hammers aren’t just about the inconvenience of dealing with noisy water pipes or banging sounds behind the walls where the pipes are located. There are very real risks to a water hammer that homeowners should take seriously to save themselves from a lot of trouble down the line.
Aside from noisy pipes, water hammers can result in damage to the piping as well as their joints and connectors. This can lead to problems like leaks, broken and ruptured pipes, damage to the pump and flow system, and extensive water damage to the property. So, if someone suspects a water hammer, they should call a plumber to fix it.
Methods for Professional Water Hammer Repair
A plumber can determine the best solution for a water hammer based on the situation, which may include one or a combination of the following repair methods:
- Draining the plumbing system: Because the transient flow of water in a plumbing system is likely to cause a water hammer when the air chambers are full of water, one possible solution is to drain these chambers and clear out the water.
- Installing a water hammer arrestor: Water hammer arrestors are built to absorb the jolt associated with a sudden water pressure increase. This is because they have air-filled cylinders that are designed for that purpose. It is a good option for most homes since these devices are easy to install for a professional.
- Adjusting the water pressure: Sometimes, a simple adjustment to the water pressure in the system by adjusting the pressure-reducing valve can do wonders in eliminating the water hammer.
- Tightening and stabilizing loose pipes: Banging pipes can sometimes result from pipes that haven’t been correctly fastened in place, creating more movement that can worsen noise and damage. Stabilizing these loose pipes with pipe straps or securing them with studs and screws can help eliminate these loud sounds.
About Heidler, Inc.
Heidler, Inc. is a family-owned and operated plumbing company serving Annapolis and the surrounding areas. They provide flat rates, live assistance, and a maintenance plan. Call them today for plumbing services in Annapolis, MD.