Do you often hear a hard thump in your walls when you turn water features off in your house? No, it is (probably) not a ghost or rodents scampering around in there. If it happens in conjunction with the washer changing cycles or turning the tap off somewhere in your home, that is a water hammer. That thump sound happens when there is an abrupt stop in flow or change in direction inside your pipes. Traditionally, air gaps are installed to cushion the blow of water stoppage to prevent a hammer. If there is no air pocket to cushion that blow, it creates the noise.
Water hammers are to be expected sometimes. Residential water pressure can fluctuate sometimes and results in the occasional water hammer in your home. However, if you hear them frequently in your home, something needs to be done. If water hammers are left alone, they cause damage to your pipes. It causes excess wear and can even be responsible for a burst pipe down the line. The older your plumbing is, the more dangerous every water hammer becomes to your plumbing.
Typically, the most common fix for a home with a water hammer problem is a water pressure regulator to control the water pressure that causes the water hammers. However, if you notice water hammers in just one area, they may be caused by something as simple as a loose pipe, or an air gap needs to be installed.
In some situations, the water hammer may not be caused by water pressure, but simply because an air gap could not be installed. Not every area of plumbing is appropriate for an air gap. When installed, a mechanical arrestor should have been put in place specifically to prevent water hammers. If one was not, a plumber will need to come out and put on in.
Contact our team today for more information!