We're all familiar with clogged drains and blocked toilets, but do you know what water hammer is? While it may sound like an old superhero name, water hammer is a serious plumbing issue that can cause severe damage to your pipes and water systems. Like all plumbing problems, it's essential to know what causes water hammer, how you can identify it, and how you can stop it from happening. In this post, we're going to explore all of these topics, so you're prepared for any plumbing emergency.
Plumbing systems work by moving water through a piping system in your house. However, as water is not compressible, a sudden change in pressure such as the closing of a valve can cause a spike in pressure. With nowhere to absorb this pressure, it slams against the valve and walls of the pipe. Also known as hydraulic transients, people commonly refer to this instance as a water hammer. It has the potential to cause large-scale structural damage to your plumbing system, as the pressure can cause leaks and break your pipes. As leaky pipes are one of the most common plumbing issues in Australia, it's easy to see why water hammer is such an important issue.
One of the most obvious signs of water hammer is a banging sound in your walls. This noise is the shockwave travelling through the pipes and causing them to move. If you've identified that there's a noise, try to partner it with a particular appliance or value. For example, if you always hear the banging when you use the bathroom sink, then it's likely that this branch of your plumbing system is the problem.
As briefly mentioned above, the most common issue caused by water hammer is a leaky or broken pipe. In particular, pipe joins gaskets are at risk of more significant damage as a weak point in the plumbing system. For larger, industrial plumbing systems, the frequent spikes in pressure can damage monitoring components like pressure gauges and flow metres. This issue can inaccurate readings for the whole plumbing system and cause unmonitored strain in other areas.
There are several ways you can stop a water hammer. While there are low-cost solutions, such as half-closing water valves, this isn't best as a long-term resolution as it may reduce the effectiveness of appliances such as your dishwasher. Some solutions may include:
If you're in any doubt about water hammer, then call a member of our team at Plumber To Your Door. We can help identify the source of your plumbing problem and install lasting solutions to keep your system in good repair. Plus, our emergency call-out service means we're available 24/7. Call today to find out more.