What is Happening
Water hammer is characterized by a unique series of quick thumping sounds or sometimes a single loud sound followed by complete silence. How can you differentiate it from other noises from your home plumbing system? Water hammers only occur when a valve, faucet, or similar fixture suddenly closing. Sounds when the valve is opening, pump starting, or faucet sputtering has nothing to do with water hammers, but can result in one.
When can you expect water hammer to happen? You can expect the condition of water hammer to happen in any of the following conditions:
- Water pressure of more than 80 psi;
- Pipes with less than ¾-inch diameter;
- Valves connected to larger pipes; and
- Valves that close too fast.
The sound created by water hammer can become worse if you have loose pipes that can vibrate, which puts your plumbing at risk because of the potential for burst pipes because of expansion. Even fittings, joints, and fixtures can be in danger. PEX pipes are commonly at risk from water hammer damages.
Fixing the Problem
Making sure that all pipes are secure and have the necessary support is the first thing that you should do to fix water hammer. This eliminates the noise as the result of loose pipes. Next in the process of elimination is to make sure that all the pipes in your plumbing system match.
To check the water pressure, get a test gauge and make sure that you are within the normal range of about 50 psi to 60 psi. You can also ask professional plumbers to install pressure regulating valves along with an expansion tank that will absorb the excess pressure from the thermal expansion.
Another way of fixing the problem is to have an air chamber installed on your supply lines. This chamber will absorb the shock and keep your plumbing protected. Unfortunately, the drawback of this solution is that the water can also absorb the air. To make sure that the chamber does not get clogged with residue and scale, make sure that the water and air are separated.
With the installation of the water hammer arrester, the air chamber solution becomes obsolete. Water hammer arresters make use of rubber diaphragms or pistons fitted with O-rings. This help ensure that the water and air remain separated and achieve optimum shock absorption by keeping the air locked inside.
So when a problematic valve closes, the water will go through the path of the arrested. In turn, it will force the diaphragm or the piston to the up position resulting in the compression of the air inside. This will continue until the force gradually scatters. Make sure that the arresters are installed within about 6 feet of your plumbing valves; otherwise, they will lose their effectiveness.
Keep in mind that excessive noise should never be present in any plumbing system. Never ignore noises from your home plumbing system. Now that you have a better understanding of water hammers, you can take the right steps to protect your home plumbing.
Contact jonosplumbing.com to get the professional plumbing service for your property, and let yourself worry free of any plumbing problems, we will fix your plumbing problems immediately.