Pipes are generally designed to be silent and unobtrusive, quietly taking water where it needs to go throughout the home. However, if you hear a loud banging coming from your pipes, it's likely caused by a water hammer. Here's what you should know about water hammers and when you should call a plumber to fix the issue.
Commonly Asked Questions About Water Hammer
What Is It?
If you hear a sudden thumping sound soon after turning off a faucet, you likely have a water hammer. Also known as a fluid hammer, these incidents happen when the water flow stops, and the fluid quickly condenses before flowing back down the pipes.
Do they damage pipes and fixtures?
Water hammer sounds are a sign that the pipes are experiencing a lot of force every time you turn off the faucet. As the water reverses, the pressure builds and can slowly force the pipes apart over time or suddenly cause them to burst.
Does pipe age affect water hammers?
When plumbers install new pipes today, they install chambers called air cushions that create pockets to prevent water hammer damage. These areas slow the water as it reverses, limiting the pressure and force.
Older pipes are more likely to incur damage from water hammers because they don’t feature air cushions. Materials, like cast iron and galvanized steel, from before the 1960s weaken over time and are the most likely to burst or leak.
How can a plumber fix the issue?
A plumber may install an air cushion by adding a small vertical pipe inside the wall to limit the water pressure when it reverses. They’ll place this unique feature close to where the water supply pipe meets the faucet to protect the fixture.
If the plumbing already features air cushions, the areas may have filled with water through regular use. A plumber can drain this pipe to restore its original purpose to slow the flow.
Utility sinks, dishwashers, and washing machines feature large, fast-moving water flows that may need a water hammer arrestor. These air- or gas-filled chambers feature a piston or diaphragm to absorb the shock from the water returning down the pipes.
Individuals interested in setting up a plumbing appointment to address water hammers should contact E. Dake Ltd The Plumbing & Heating Doctors in Lake County, OH. The efficient and reliable team uses innovative plumbing and HVAC products to improve efficiency and keep your home in top shape. Visit the website or call the Perry-area company at (440) 259-5997 for information on their A+ Better Business Bureau® rating and comprehensive residential and commercial services.