When you use your taps to fill up a glass, do the dishes or jump in the shower, all you expect is water – not the frustrating, worrying and destructive sound of hammering pipes. We’ve all heard it before, and it’s most common when either you or an appliance like your washing machine abruptly shuts off the supply of water. Technically known as hydraulic shock, what you’re hearing is the effect of a shock wave triggered by water suddenly stopping or changing direction in your pipes.
But enough of the explanations and onto the really important stuff – like how to stop water hammer from waking up the kids at night and eventually rattling your pipes, plumbing joints and nerves to bits.
DO NOT IGNORE WATER HAMMER! You may get away with those pipes noisily pipes banging for days, weeks and even years. But eventually, all of this could lead to devastating results including damaged plumbing, loosened joints, leaking taps or serious water damage from burst water pipes – a plumbing emergency from hell!
So our affordable Sydney plumbing team listed down these 7 simple solutions on how to stop water hammer and avoid that dreaded plumbing nightmare.
With a bit of luck, the ‘water hammer’ you’re hearing isn’t really water hammer. It could just be a build-up of air pockets in your pipes, and luckily there’s a quick water hammer fix for this problem.
Start at the tap closest to your water meter, and turn it on. Move on to the next-nearest tap, and turn that on too – and repeat the process until every single tap in your house is flowing. Turning them all back off in reverse order should get rid of the problem.
Ok, so when it comes to water hammer solutions, this is a bit of a halfway house – but it will at least give your pipes a break before the plumbers can see to it properly. If most of the water pipe hammer occurs when your washing machine or other appliances are in use, try turning the intake valves to the half-way point rather than full-on. Another idea is to replace the connection hoses on these appliances for wider ones.
Got a hardware store nearby and hoping for change from a $100 note? Then you’re all set to buy a water hammer arrestor, which can almost magically kill water hammer in pipes by compressing the air and soaking up the pressure.
If you know exactly which pipe is doing all the noisy and destructive hammering, you can ease the impact of the hydraulic shock by firmly securing the pipe to something solid – if it’s accessible, of course.
As well as water hammer arrestors, there is something even cheaper that can really do the trick. A hammer relief valve is easily installed on washing machine and dishwasher taps – grab one at the hardware store today. And if excessive water pressure at your place is too high, a pressure-limiting valve can be installed at the meter and this can be a water hammer fix for the entire house.
Is your house old? Does it feature modern mixer taps? You’ll notice that while mixer taps are very handy and easy to use, all you need to do to shut off the water instantly is to slap the handle down. If that’s causing water hammer, you might want to consider replacing the taps with ones that have to be more progressively closed.
While the methods above can be effective, the truth is that water hammer doesn’t always have a quick and easy fix. Also crucial to bear in mind is that your water hammer might be occurring almost silently if your pipes are made of CPCV or PEX – but the damage can be just as destructive and expensive.
The solution? Give the most experienced, skilled and friendly plumbers in Sydney’s North Shore and beyond a shout! The fully licensed professionals at Affordable Plumbing Solutions have seen every type and severity of water hammer before and can tailor a fast and affordable fix with no sweat. So say goodbye to your water hammer today by giving Affordable Plumbing Solutions a call today.