Common Questions About Water Hammer

We are here to answer your questions about water hammer

What is water hammer?

Water hammer by definition is the concussion and accompanying noise that results from a volume of water flowing through a pipe and then suddenly stopping or losing momentum. Understanding this may help identify the various causes of water hammer

For example, if you could imagine that your property has a very high water pressure and your washing machine turns off. When the machine stops running, there is a large volume of water suddenly being isolated or stopped in the pipes. The noise/pressure from the sudden stop could reverberate through the water supply pipe and potentially all the way through the pipe to the water meter, which is the “hammering” sound you can hear.

Types of noises associated with water hammer

If you’re experiencing water hammer, a few of the resulting noises you hear could include:

  • A large clunking when taps or other plumbed appliances are turned off
  • Water pipes rattling in the roof or wall
  • A vibration noise at a tap or along the run of pipe
  • A knocking sound near the hot water unit

Can water hammer damage pipes?

Water hammer can be problematic for your plumbing system and potentially cause damage to the pipes, valves and fittings each time vibrations travel through the pipes. This type of damage can lead to burst water pipes and other costly plumbing issues.

Unfortunately, in some cases, it can be difficult to determine if water hammer will cause damage until after the damage is caused. 

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How to fix water hammer

Water hammer can be caused by a variety of issues so it is hard to say doing any particular thing will reduce, stop or fix the water hammer. Understanding why the hammering is occurring is the only way that a solution can be found, and each case should be assessed individually.

The best way to identify and solve water hammer is to engage an experienced plumber that knows what signs to look out for. 

At O’Shea Plumbing we seek to find a water hammer fix by looking at one or more of the following:

  • Reducing water pressure (VBA recommends a water pressure of no more than 500KPA to any domestic property)
  • Replacing old valves which have failed
  • Changing tap washers
  • Changing taps (washer taps and or mixer taps)
  • Crawling under homes to check the pipe is clipped correctly. 

O’Shea Plumbing has over 40 years of experience finding and fixing water hammer and can come on-site to complete an investigation into your water hammer concerns.

Get in touch with our team today on (03) 9888 2887.

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