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The Four Most Common Causes Of Water Hammer And How To Fix It

Aug25

By Dave Bangar

The Four Most Common Causes of Water Hammer and How To Fix It

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Water Hammer is a term that refers to the loud banging or knocking noises inside your pipes that can occur when there is pressure fluctuation and a sudden change in water flow. This is also known as hydraulic shock or surge and is a common plumbing issue in many Kelowna homes.

The reason this occurs is that the water inside the pipes has momentum. When the flow suddenly stops or is redirected, the water can crash into the pipe walls and create pressure waves that travel back through, leading to loud hammering noises in your pipes. Hence the name, Water Hammer. 

While this can be an incredibly annoying issue for Kelowna homeowners, the good news is that there are tons of easy ways to resolve the problem. Keep reading to find out what they are and learn more about what may be causing your water hammer issue.

What Causes Water Hammer?

When it comes to the sudden pressure and flow changes that lead to the Water Hammer issue, there could be a number of causes, such as:

Unsecured Pipes

When pipes have been improperly installed and are not anchored or secured, water flow changes can cause them to shift, leading to Water Hammer.

Quick Valve Closures

Anytime a faucet, valve, or other flow control device is suddenly closed, the water flow will also stop abruptly, which can cause Water Hammer.

Excessive Water Pressure

Strong water pressure is something most homeowners yearn for, but sometimes, an underlying issue like a broken water pressure regulator can cause your water pressure to surge, leading to Water Hammer.

Problems With The Air Chambers 

Air Chambers are vertical pipes in your plumbing system that help to regulate pressure and absorb shock from Water Hammer. However, over time, as these pipes start to fill with water, they become less effective and you may start to hear the distinctive banging Water Hammer sound.

How to Fix Water Hammer

There are several different ways you can help resolve your Water Hammer issue, depending on the underlying cause. Here are a few recommendations from our team of Kelowna Plumbers.

Adjust Your Water Pressure

Water Hammer is often the result of water pressure being too high as it can lead to rapid pressure fluctuations. If you suspect this is what is causing the Water Hammer at your home, consider installing a pressure-reducing valve (PRV), as this will help decrease your water pressure to a safer level.

Drain and Recharge Air Chambers

As previously stated, when air chambers are functioning properly, they can act like cushions that absorb the sound of Water Hammer and reduce the loud clanging noises from water crashing into the pipe walls. If you suspect your air chambers have filled with water and are no longer doing their job, simply turn off the water supply and turn on the faucets at the highest point in your home to help drain your plumbing system. Once everything has been drained, turn off the taps and turn the water supply back on. This will recharge the air chambers and hopefully get rid of the Water Hammer issue.

Replace Your Valves

Replacing your quick-closing valves with slow-closing ones is an extremely effective solution for Water Hammer, as it reduces the sudden stops in water flow that often cause the issue.

Insulate Your Pipes

Insulating your pipes can help to absorb some of the sound and vibration caused by Water Hammer.
If you live in a colder climate, insulating your pipes is also a good idea to help prevent your pipes from freezing in the wintertime.

Install Check Valves

Installing check valves can help to mitigate Water Hammer as they prevent water from flowing backward through your pipes and only allow the water to flow in one direction.

Call a Plumber

If you are unable to fix your Water Hammer issue yourself or don’t have the plumbing expertise to do so, we always recommend calling a plumber to take a look. 

At My Plumber Kelowna, we have a team of licensed, trained, and highly experienced plumbers who can diagnose, troubleshoot, and resolve your Water Hammer issue any time of day. So, if you are hearing a loud banging noise from inside your walls and suspect Water Hammer may be the culprit, give us a call at 250-601-0000 or fill out a form on our website and we will be in touch ASAP.

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