What is Water Hammer? And How Do I Fix It?

when should you call your plumber

Have you ever heard a loud bang in your water pipes when you shut off a faucet? Though it can be a jarring experience when it first happens, it is a relatively common occurrence for metal pipes in a plumbing system to bang loudly when a faucet is shut off suddenly. This phenomenon is known as water hammer, and it occurs when water stops or changes directions suddenly.

Here at Ace Plumbing, we know that water hammer is something that you likely want to get rid of, and our expert plumbers are here to provide tips on how to fix it. When you contact us
about fixing your home’s water lines due to water hammer, here are a few ways that our plumbers can fix it.

What is Water Hammer?

Also known as hydraulic shock, water hammer is the most common and loudest common plumbing problem that occurs in the home. It’s a phenomenon that occurs when a faucet or appliance quickly shuts off the flow of water into the fixture or appliance, which causes a shock wave that makes the water supply pipes bang against each other or against wood framing members. The banging that you hear is the shock wave.

In addition to being annoying, water hammer can sometimes be so forceful that it can break pipes or loosen plumbing joints. If your pipes are experiencing water hammer, it is best to contact a local plumbing company in order to avoid further damage to your pipes.

How is Water Hammer Fixed?

There are a few different ways that our plumbers at Ace Plumbing can treat and fix water hammer issues.

Install an Air Chamber

A simple method of fixing air hammer is to install a short segment of vertical pipe, known as an air chamber, near the valves that are causing the water hammer. This method creates a segment of air-filled empty pipe that provides a cushion for water to rebound into when it wants to change directions. These air chambers are rarely visible, as they are hidden behind walls along with other plumbing pipes.

Air chambers are mostly fabricated on site by a professional plumber and installed just before the faucet’s water supply pipes reach the faucet. The only problem with an air chamber is that it can sometimes fill up with water over time and require draining.

Install a Water Hammer Arrestor

Another long-term solution for getting rid of water hammer is to install a water hammer arrestor or a water shock arrestor. They work similarly to an air chamber, but they also include an air- or gas-filled chamber that is sealed by a diaphragm or piston. Water hammer arrestors can be installed into utility sink faucets or washing machine valves and are known for being long-lasting.

Sacramento, CA Plumbing Company

Ace Plumbing is a fully bonded, licensed, and insured Sacramento, CA plumbing company that serves the entire Sacramento region. Our skilled plumbers’ expertise and focus on plumbing, drains, and sewers allows them to quickly diagnose and solve water hammer issues.

If you’re experiencing water hammer issues, give us a call at (916) 455-4548 today.