How to Stop Water Hammer, That Banging Plumbing Noise

 In General Plumbing

Chances are you know exactly what water hammer is; our Toronto plumbers certainly do, it’s that loud banging come from the pipes and you can hear it when the water has been shut off. Learning how to stop water hammer plumbing noise can be at the top of some people’s priority list depending on how fed-up they are with it.

We’ve spoken with a few people who are extremely frustrated with their water hammer problems. In the worst of cases it can be extremely disruptive to peoples sleep when a family member goes to the bathroom and the water hammer noise wakes others, also it can be a loud and annoying sound to have to live with. Beyond just being an annoyance however the cause of these noises also is a problem for your fixtures placing undue stress on your plumbing system. Luckily, this problem can be solved. But first let’s talk a little about what causes water hammer.

The Source of Water Hammer Sounds

an example of how water hammer happens

Finding and locating the source of water hammer sounds really depends upon the problem.  Water hammer can occur in any pipe that contains a liquid or gas. This is how it happens: the contents are traveling in a steady flow and under high pressure in a constant direction; that flow is halted abruptly such as by turning off a faucet; the water in the pipe is still traveling with considerable force so it slams into the closed tap which creates a pressure wave that shakes the entire pipe. This pressure wave can create a large enough vibration and shock that it causes damage to pipes and fixtures, so it is a good idea to make sure that you fix water hammer problems when you notice them.

Problems That Result In Water Hammer

A small chamber of air is usually built into plumbing systems to absorb and cushion the water hammer shock-wave. If this air chamber becomes clogged with water or other buildup there is a good chance it will no longer act as a cushion for the resulting pressure wave and you will have a significant water hammer problem on your hands. There are a variety of ways to clear this but it depends largely upon your specific plumbing system.

Water Hammer from High Water Pressure

Another problem that can cause water hammer is high water pressure. The higher your water pressure, the faster and more forceful the water is flowing though your plumbing system, when you shut off your faucet the water comes to a crashing halt producing the hammering. Adding a pressure reduction valve to reduce the water pressure can solve water hammering if you have water pressure that is too high.

A Water Hammer Arrestor Can Solve All Your Problems

how a water hammer arrestor works

Depending on your exact problem there can be a multitude of solutions. The installation of a water hammer arrestor can be a significant way to solve your hammering problem; especially if the hammering is associated with a specific appliance such as a toilet or washing machine. The arrestor is a shock absorbing small chamber of air that compresses and cushions the pressure wave, virtually eliminating the loud banging and potential for damage to the connecting plumbing system.

Always trust a licensed plumber to solve your water hammer problems and install a water hammer arrestor should your specific circumstances require it. For more information please contact us at 416-252-5557.

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