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Don't Ignore the Banging From Your Pipes

Exploring the Impact of a Water Hammer

Homeowners may have heard noises from their water pipes when switching off the water. Pipes may sound like they’re pounding against something within the walls. When the flow of water is abruptly stopped, a minor shockwave may form inside the pipe. This causes the pipe to wobble and slam against wall studs or floor joists. While the noise of a water hammer may sound harmless, it can indicate a larger issue.

What is a Water Hammer?

A water hammer occurs when there is a sudden change in flow velocity. The noise made by the water hammer can identify its presence. However, noise is not the consequence of a water hammer but rather a symptom of it. Water hammers can have many negative effects on plumbing systems. Water hammers can cause damage to equipment, pipe breakage, and interruption in access to water. Water hammers have caused injury risks too. Water hammers are a safety hazard as well as a system issue.

The pounding impact of water is a pretty prevalent issue. It occurs when a pipeline system unexpectedly shuts down. The valve closes too rapidly for what is currently in the system. This process results in the accumulation of pressured water. Because the water continues to rush at full capacity, it slams into the blocked valve. When water strikes the valve, it produces a shockwave through the pipe system.

When a part of the water system is used, whether it’s a sink, shower, hose, or anything else, homeowners should hear the smooth-running water going through the plumbing system. If the homeowner hears a loud thud or pounding in their pipes, they most likely have a water hammer and should reach out to a plumber immediately.

How Do Water Hammers Impact the Home?

pipeWater hammers, at the very least, create pipeline noise and vibration. However, considerably worse results can occur, including:

  • Pipeline failure
  • Pipe fittings and joints leaking
  • Other pipeline components, such as flow meters and pressure gauges, may fail
  • Pipe support system damage
  • Sudden pipe rupture, causing serious injury to anyone nearby

Professional Fixes to Water Hammer

professionalEven a minor shockwave might be an annoyance if the pipes aren't properly secured. In circumstances when the risk of pipe damage is minimal, all that is required to resolve this issue is to ensure that all pipes are firmly attached to their joists. Remember that this only works for minor situations. Another solution may be required if the water hammer is severe.

Professionals may need to install an air chamber or multiple chambers. An air chamber is a simple but efficient way to control water hammers. They are simply an additional section of pipe with one end open and the other shut, resulting in an empty chamber that softens the violent impact of the water when it changes direction abruptly. The compressed air absorbs the rush of water that would otherwise cause the pipes to bang loudly. Numerous chambers should be put at crucial spots throughout the plumbing system to enhance its effectiveness.

High water pressure is sometimes the cause of water hammer. Pressure is typically between 30 and 50 psi. Anything above this might cause a shockwave and damage to equipment. This difficulty is readily solved by installing a regulator, which allows for smooth and risk-free water flow.

About Guardian Plumbing and Drain

Guardian Plumbing and Drain is committed to providing the residents of Cobourg, ON, and the surrounding areas with the best solutions at the best value. They offer free estimates, same-day service, and financing. Call them today for plumbing services in Cobourg, ON.


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