What is water hammering and why it’s an important conversation to have
Lets start with what this sounds like and why its harmful to the plumbing system in your home.
Water hammering sounds exactly how you would imagine. It starts with a strange banging type of sound as if someone was banging the pipes with a hammer. It may happen all at once or gradually over a few seconds. The leading cause for hammering in pipes is back pressure or “air” in the system that causes turbulence.
What are some reasons why hammering occurs?
There are a number of reasons as to why water hammering can happen. Let’s list a few of them
- Lose pipes – Whether it’s lose copper or pex or even galvanized. They’ll all make noise
- Appliances – When an appliance is out of date it can also create hammering
- Faulty shower or faucet cartridge – A faulty cartridge can create backpressure from not mixing the hot and cold lines properly which then leads to hammering.
- Faulty Sprinkler valves – If the irrigation system isn’t up to date or needs servicing, it will also create vibration through the entire house. If this happens contact your landscape professional right away.
- No water hammer arrestors installed – It’s very important to install these if your home has copper plumbing. Copper is known to transfer noise onto the studs therefore creating unwanted noise. Water hammer arrestors will suppress this back pressure and eliminate most of the hammer.
What happens if the hammering isn’t addressed?
When this type of issue occurs it’s best to deal with it as soon as possible. Water hammering can become a larger and more serious issue if it’s not dealt with properly. Over time the pipes will begin to shimmy their way out of their fasteners and the noise will become louder. The turbulence will eventually create pitting in pipes which can lead to a pinhole leak. And a leak can be a few hundred dollars to repair to a few thousand.
Water hammering is certainly one of those issues in home maintenance that the sooner it’s dealt with the less expensive the overall cost will be. Playing the waiting game with this type of issue will most certainly create a much larger expense and headache in the future.
Solutions for the problem
Repiping your home with PEX piping can ultimately solve the issue as PEX does a great job in eliminating most of these issues. PEX suppresses most water hammering as the material does a great job in absorbing the backpressure in the system. Another great option would be to install water hammer arrestors if the home has already been repiped. The arrestors will suppress much of the unwanted backpressure and quiet the plumbing. Finally, there can be a few instances where the hammering can’t be found as easily and a professional with experience is required. If this happens to be your situation contact the team here at Pipease Repipe & More for more information on solutions for this common issue.