What Causes Water Hammer?

Have you ever encountered a loud banging noise when you turn off your taps? You can’t see where it is but you know it’s coming from the plumbing system – that’s what you call water hammer!

Water hammer is generally caused when water at high pressures is stopped suddenly by a valve, tap or a solenoid valve on an appliance. When the flow of water is stopped suddenly it causes shock waves to travel back down the pipes making the pipes bang and thump, resulting in the banging noise.

Sometimes a worn tap washer on a tap can cause water hammer. This can occur when the tap is being turned on and as the washer is worn and stretched to a larger than normal size, it tends to bounce on and off the tap seat, turning on and off the water and sending the shock waves down the pipe, this can result in a continuous vibration, that is a type of water hammer.

Faulty pressure reduction or duo valves are also possible causes. Changing the pressure reduction valve to a different type – e.g. a right angle to a straight valve – or altering the adjustment of the pressure of the valve may be required to remedy this.

Water hammer should be fixed or at least reduced as soon as possible as it can create further damage to your plumbing system, such as burst pipes, damage to appliances, reduced life of mixer taps and flexible connectors.

Reducing hot and cold water pressures is the first step to stopping or reducing water hammer. Replacing damaged tap washers and valves may also be required. Supply and installation of an air chamber and or a water hammer arrestor may also be needed. O’Shea Plumbing can help you identify the best fix for your water hammer.

Some plumbers have attempted to fix water hammer by installing a section of plastic pipe like Auspex, Rehau or Sharkbite into a copper water service. This may stop the water hammer, but this section of plastic pipe will be under a lot of pressure and could eventually burst, therefore it is not a recommended solution.

O’Shea’s plumbers will work hard to ensure they find the best water hammer fix for your property. We will determine where and why the water hammer problem is occurring and then take the necessary steps to fix it. No more banging or thumping pipes – We have the water hammer fix you are looking for! If you are looking for a plumber Melbourne residents trust, call O’Shea Plumbing today – (03) 9888 2887

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