Have you ever heard the pipes in your home make loud banging sounds when you turn off the water? This technical name for this noise is “hydraulic shock,” though it is more commonly known in the plumbing profession as “water hammer,” and it’s something every homeowner should be aware of. Water hammer occurs because the water in your plumbing has changed directions quickly, causing your pipes to reverberate and shake, hence that hammering noise. If you are experiencing water hammer in your home, your pipes and plumbing system could be at risk for more serious issues, so it’s important to deal with this problem right away.
How Water Hammer Affects Your Plumbing
Water hammer occurs most commonly because of high water pressure. It’s well-known in the plumbing industry that when water pressure gets too high, it can causes pipes to leak, burst, or become dislodged. You may also be affected by excessive water pressure in the shower, where the unexpected force and heat can make for an extremely unpleasant way to start your morning. Luckily, you can check if your water pressure is too high on your own by simply looking at your water pressure gauge, and adjusting it as needed. As a rule of thumb, anything higher than 80 psi is considered unsafe.
There are a few simple things you can do on your own if you find that your water pressure is too high and water hammer keeps occurring in your home. Water hammer gets worse the looser your pipes get, so you may be able to fix the problem by simply tightening the joints of a few pipes. For mild cases of water hammer, you can also wrap your pipes in some insulation to absorb the shock that comes with water pressure, thus stopping that noise. For more extreme cases, however, you may need to install an air chamber. This short section of vertical pipe creates an alternate route for your water to travel, so the change in direction that causes that hammering sound won’t be an issue. It is also a good idea to put in mechanical water shock arrestors. These devices consist of an air bladder and spring that you install around necessary plumbing joints to absorb the shock that occurs when water changes the course of direction in your pipes.
We Are Here to Protect Your Plumbing System
If high water pressure is causing water hammer to occur in your home, Smith’s Plumbing Services can help. Our expert plumbers offer a range of services to protect your plumbing system, as well as financing options to make our work affordable for everybody. If you have unsuccessfully tried to solve your water hammer issue on your own, do not hesitate to call us for fast, efficient, and affordable re-piping or pipe repair. We promise, you can trust our reputation for excellence!