You may not know what it’s called, but if you have water hammer, you hear it. Water hammer refers to the loud clunking noise that occurs when a faucet is turned off – or when the water stops flowing into a plumbed appliance, such as a dishwasher or washing machine. Water hammer isn’t just loud and jarring; it’s also a sign that your plumbing is experiencing significant wear and tear. If you have water hammer, there are some things you can try on your own, but if the issue is serious – or you just want to make sure you get it taken care of correctly the first time – it’s time to call in a professional Coral Springs plumber.
Why so Loud?
The water that flows through the pipes in your home or office is under significant pressure. When that pressurized water slams up against a closed valve – such as an open faucet that’s suddenly closed – it creates a physical shock that jolts your pipes, which is where the noise comes from. This repeated impact can lead to serious damage to your plumbing, including loose fittings, broken pipes, and damage to your plumbed appliances. If your pipes aren’t adequately secured to the joists in your home with appropriate pipe straps, they can also experience a good deal of physical movement, which can exacerbate the damage and make the noise that much louder.
Dealing with Water Hammer
If you have water hammer, it’s important to take care of the issue before it causes further damage. While calling in a professional plumber is the best way to remedy the matter and ensure that the water hammer hasn’t already caused damage that requires repair, there are some things you can try on your own:
- Air Chambers
Unless the plumbing in your home is quite old, you likely have air chambers installed. Air chambers are short lengths of vertical pipes that are installed right behind your plumbing valves. Because these chambers sit higher than the valves, they fill with air instead of water, and this air serves as a shock absorber when the flow of water is suddenly stopped. Sometimes, however, water finds its way into these protective chambers and reduces or nullifies their effectiveness.
This is where your DIY skills come in. Simply shut off your home’s main water valve and then turn on a faucet at the both the lowest part of your home and the highest. As any water that remains in your pipes drains out, the air chambers should automatically empty themselves of water. Turn your water back on and take a listen to see if the issue has corrected itself. If not, you need an experienced Coral Springs plumber.
- Water Pressure
If the water pressure in your home or office is too high, it can render your air chambers useless – and be hard on your plumbing in general. You can easily check your water pressure by purchasing an inexpensive water pressure gauge at your local hardware and attaching it to your outdoor hose bib. With all other fixtures and faucets in your home closed, fully open the hose faucet. Safe water pressure should range between 50 and 80 psi. If yours is above this range, it’s time to take action. Your local water utility company may be able to reduce your water pressure. If not, a professional Coral Springs plumber will provide you with options, including a water pressure regulator.
Fixes for Water Hammer
While these DIY options are a good place to start, if your home or office has been experiencing water hammer, you should do yourself a favor and call in an experienced plumber. You may have hidden damage that can lead to costly structural repairs and/or mold and mildew, which can be a health concern. When it comes to water hammer, a professional plumber will provide you with a long-term fix:
- Installing air chambers if you don’t already have them
- Replacing air chambers with water hammer arrestors, which are sealed systems that won’t fill up with water
- Installing water pressure regulators that keep your water consistently running at a safe psi
- Minimizing pipe movement by ensuring they are appropriately tethered
If You Have Water Hammer in Your Home or Office, Consult with a Coral Springs Plumber Today
If you have water hammer in your home or office, you know the familiar clunking sound. The plumbing professionals at Erica’s Plumbing and Restoration in Coral Springs are here to help. Our experienced plumbers have the skill and professional tools to not only remedy the problem but also to repair any damage that’s already been done. If it’s an emergency, we’re available 24/7 – so please contact or call us at 561-275-5688 today.
Erica's Plumbing, Air Conditioning and Restoration
Phone: (561) 275-5688