Is the simple task of filling up a glass of water or taking a relaxing hot bath in the evening making you worry that your pipes and home are being hammered to bits? Water hammer sounds annoying, concerning and damaging – and that’s very close to the truth. If you’re tempted to think it’s all noise and no real problem, consider that those hammering pipes very often cause plumbing damage to the pipes, joints, gaskets and anything else that gets in its way. So is there a way on how to stop water hammer? Read on:
What is a water pipe hammer, anyway?
If you’ve lived in an old house, you’ve probably heard water hammer in pipes. And if you’re new to the phenomenon, you’ll probably notice it first when your washing machine abruptly cuts the water supply – and what happens next is the BANG BANG BANG BANG of pipes clanging about near the wall studs and floor joists.
The cause is a shockwave created by the abrupt change of direction of water in your pipes – otherwise known as hydraulic shock. But what we’re going to discuss today are the potential water hammer solutions that experienced plumbers recommend the most.
How to stop water hammer – the 7 questions to ask yourself:
You may get away with those noisy pipes banging for days, weeks and even years. But eventually, all of this could lead to devastating results. Before you call on your trusted local Brisbane plumber, ask yourself these questions on how to stop water hammer and avoid that dreaded plumbing nightmare.
1. Are those hammering pipes really ‘water hammer’?
As outlined above, water hammer is a specific phenomenon otherwise known as hydraulic shock. But that may not be causing your particular clanging, which might just be one air pocket too many within your pipes.
Mercifully, it’s usually a much easier problem to solve. In fact, this quick fix may solve it immediately.
- Turn on the tap nearest the water meter
- Turn on the next-nearest tap, then the next-nearest after that, and so on until every tap is flowing
- Turn them all off in reverse order.
Voila! Your faux water hammer may just be fixed.
2. Are your valves open all the way?
As we also suggested earlier, a water hammer may first emerge at your place when the washing machine automatically cuts off its supply of water. If that’s true, or it’s another appliance connected to the water that is triggering the problem, try turning the intake valves to the half-way point rather than 100% open.
Switching the water supply hoses for wider ones can also be an effective water hammer fix.
3. Have you heard of a water hammer arrestor?
For the cost of a cheap pair of sneakers, you can afford one of the best DIY water hammer solutions. Just ask the guys at your local hardware store to tell you how to fix a water hammer, and they’ll direct you to a water hammer arrestor. It works by compressing the air in the pipes and as a result ramping down the pressure.
4. Is the pipe loose?
Is one particular pipe doing all the clanging and banging? If you can easily access it, try securing it to something solid.
5. Have you tried a pressure-limiting valve?
Even cheaper than a water hammer arrestor, hammer relief valves are also easily installed on the taps that may be causing the water hammer – like the washing machine and dishwasher. High water pressure is commonly associated with water hammer, so you can also put a pressure-limiting valve at the meter for a whole-of-house fix.
6. Does your old home use modern mixer taps?
If the answer is “yes”, you’re one of many people who discovered that old plumbing and new mixer taps often don’t work well together. That’s because while a traditional tap needs to be steadily wound shut, a mixer tap can shut off the power instantly by slapping that handle down – which can trigger a water hammer.
7. Are you all out of options?
If you’ve tried the 6 simple water hammer solutions mentioned above and your pipes are still BANG, BANG, BANGING your plumbing and walls to smithereens – it’s time to call in the big guns. Not only that, water hammer could be happening almost silently in CPCV or PEX pipes, so it’s always a good idea to get your plumbing systems checked over regularly to ensure you’re not doing expensive damage that could lead to a plumbing nightmare further down the road.
Say goodbye to hammering pipes with Brisbane’s best plumber
The easiest and most effective of all the water hammer solutions? Give Brisbane Plumbing and Drainage a call right now, for friendly and affordable services and advice on every single plumbing issue – from clanging, blocked and burst pipes to hot water, blocked drains, 24/7 plumbing emergencies, and so much more. So don’t let water hammer or any other plumbing issue get you down, and instead give the skilled, licensed and experienced team at Brisbane Plumbing and Drainage a call right now!