Water Hammer Clogging Your Pipes? Finding the Source
Water hammer does more than create annoying banging and knocking noises. It can cause leaks and even burst pipes in your home. The risk of damage means the noise always merits attention. Even if you don’t plan to repair your pipe problems yourself, pinpointing the source helps your plumber get the job done faster, which saves you money.
The primary cause of water hammer is an abrupt cut off of the water flow in your pipes, such as when the washing machine shuts off or the toilet tank stops filling. The sudden stop causes a pressure spike that sends noisy shock waves through your pipes.
The problem can originate from a number of sources, including:
Appliances and fixtures with quick-closing electric solenoid valves are prone to water hammer. Washing machines and dishwashers are the most common sources, but some faucets and toilets also use these valves. If you noticed pipe noise after installing a new appliance, that appliance is probably the cause of your problem.
Metal plumber’s tape, ring hangers, brackets or other mounting straps secure your pipes to your home’s framing. Loose mounting straps contribute to water hammer. Check your accessible pipes to ensure they’re secured in a way that allows some movement but doesn’t let the pipes shake forcefully.
If you hear the hammering noise only after shutting off a particular faucet, the cause is likely to be a worn-out faucet washer. Simple plumbing maintenance, such as tightening the washer screws, may help. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to replace the stem assembly.
Toilet fill valve issues
A faulty toilet fill valve that doesn’t close completely or a quick-closing fill valve are both possible causes of water hammer that occurs after you flush a toilet.
If you’ve noticed loud noises in your plumbing system, contact us at Sobieski Services. We’ll help you find an affordable, effective solution before your pipes sustain serious damage. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: neillharmer