It's Not a Halloween Haunting. It's a Water Hammer!

How to Deal With the Noisy Pipes Behind Your Walls

It may be the appropriate season for haunted houses, scary movies, and spooky sounds, but while most of these are for Halloween, that loud banging sound behind the walls is not. They are likely the result of a plumbing phenomenon called a water hammer and should be fixed before they cause damaging consequences.

Water Hammers Explained

The sounds of banging pipes indicate a water hammer, which is often a result of increased pressure that occurs when the quick-moving flow of water is stopped or forced to change directions abruptly. Water hammer can be caused by issues such as fast-acting valves, worn valves, clogged air chambers, and loose pipes that aren't properly secured.   

In plumbing systems that are correctly installed and regularly maintained, this hydraulic shock doesn’t often occur because devices like water hammer arrestors and air chambers cushion the shock and prevent the vibration of pipes. However, when these air chambers become clogged or filled with water, or water hammer arrestors break, the buffer that prevents water hammer from occurring becomes nonexistent.

Hazards of a Water Hammer

water hammer While the first symptom of a water hammer homeowners notice, noisy pipes, may seem like a minor inconvenience that can be easily ignored, professional plumbers caution against neglecting this plumbing problem as it can lead to much worse problems for the pipes. 

The hazards of a water hammer are severe enough to warrant immediate attention because the stress it causes on the pipes can cause them to crack or burst. When a leak or rupture occurs in the piping, homeowners could find themselves with significant water damage to their homes, which can be costly and time-consuming to repair. 

Fixing a Water Hammer 

water hammer service Fortunately, fixing water hammer is something that plumbing professionals can do in a number of ways. One method for solving this problem is simply adjusting the water pressure-reducing valve to decrease the pressure in the pipes if high water pressure is causing it. 

Another potential fix is the installation of water hammer arrestors. A water hammer arrestor is a device that contains air-filled cylinders that are designed to absorb the hydraulic shock of a sudden valve shutoff. Air chambers filled with water will need to be drained to fix the water hammer if that is a cause.

Other possible methods to get rid of water hammers include fastening loose pipes with straps and screws to decrease movement or buffering pipelines with insulation to absorb shockwaves. Any number of these methods should be able to fix the problem, and plumbers can determine which needs to be done in a home to stop water hammers. 

About Scott Plumbing

Scott Plumbing has nearly ten years of expertise serving Huntsville and the surrounding areas. They offer straightforward pricing, on-time service, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for plumbing services in Huntsville, AL

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