Banging Pipes / Water Hammer ?

Arrestor

Have you ever noticed your pipes banging immediately after shutting off your water?  This is called Water Hammer that commonly occurs when a valve closes suddenly at an end of a pipeline system, and a pressure wave propagates in the pipe. It’s also called hydraulic shock. This pressure wave can cause major problems, from noise and vibration to pipe collapse. It is possible to reduce the effects of the water hammer pulses with arrestors and other features. Dont wait to long figure out the problem, it could cause major damage.

Fix Water Hammer

So what do you do to fix this problem and what can you expect this to cost ?  Well, if you have remodeling going on in your home and you are aware of this water hammer, then this may be a good time to fix the problem assuming you are working in an area by the pipes causing this. Many homes do not have access to the pipes that may be causing this problem where cutting out a hole in the drywall may be your only access, so if you are remodeling in this area, then this would be the best time to resolve this issue.

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Resolving water hammer or Banging Pipes can be fixed in a few different ways. One way could be just by locating the pipes that are banging and insulating them with some type of material so they aren’t banging against other pipes or areas where they are mounted, usually this is sufficient if the water hammer is minimal. Other actions may have to be taken if its severe enough, but this could take a plumber or if you are handy with plumbing, you could do it yourself. The best way to fix water hammer is to use what is called a Water Hammer Arrestor. this is a device installed usually near the faucets or shut off valves that you are experiencing the water hammer from. This device is put in line with the flow of the water to your faucets, which acts like a shock absorber to cushion the water hammer shock. These devices can range in cost from $5 up to $50 depending on the brand and the quality. Some of these arrestors are just an air chamber while others have a piston type mechanism that helps absorbing the shock better, these are usually more expensive. You will see in most home, that there is usually an added piece of pipe above the shut off valves around 12″ or more, that is used to stop water hammer. Sometimes these pipes can get clogged up with residue from the water and eventually stop doing their job. Also water pressure being to high coming into your house may cause the water hammer as well, where you can try just turning down the main water valve coming into your house may fix your problem. Depending on how large your home is, this may not work for the fact you need more pressure to get the water to the far ends of the home or upper levels.

Some of these arrestors are fairly easy to install, as they do not require sweating the pipes, this type of arrestor would have what is called “Shark Bite” connectors which almost anyone can install, though you will pay more for them. These connectors basically just snap on the ends of the pipes that you cut to put it inline. If you are good at sweating pipes and you want to save a few dollars then this might make more sense for you. If you need to have professional plumber do the job, you can expect an additional cost somewhere from $75-$100/hr for their labor. There is enough information on the internet to find in great details that show you how to do this yourself if you decide to take on this project.

 

Comments

2 Responses to “Banging Pipes / Water Hammer ?”
  1. Kay Henry says:

    We have a beautiflully remodeled kitchen and 2 bathrooms. They did a terrific job. This has left us with water hammering that is quite loud and, of course, in the walls between the 2 bedrooms we use. Every faucet, toilet, any appliance that uses water causes those pipes to hammer. The plumber has been out numerous times and can’t seem to fix it. The builder, who contracted the plumber, says our pipes are old. Our house was built in the 60’s; it’s not that old. What should we do?

    • admin says:

      Well, if you cant narrow down where its coming from or have tried the water hammer arrestors, it would be time to call a plumber. In my house, I put in all the water hammer arrestors I could find and it still didnt fix the problem. I figured out the problem was 2 of the bathroom showers that have the 1 knob for both cold and hot water was causing all the noise. I replace the whole inserts with the exact kind and never had another issue. In a million years I would of never thought that would be what was causing it. One way to narrow it down would be turn the water off one a time at the main valves of each tub, sink or etc, then turn the water on elsewhere, when the water hammer stops, you’ll have narrowed it down. I would check the one knob faucets that control both hot and cold water first, turn the water off to them and then run water elsewhere and see it you still get the water hammer … Good Luck

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