Keeping My Power Bills Down

3 Possible Causes Of Water Hammer In Your Home's Pipes

When you shut off your kitchen's faucet, you may have noticed a loud bang, followed by a vibration that affects your faucet's spigot. If so, you most likely have what is called water hammer in your pipes, which can be caused by one of the following three issues.

Valve Is Closing Too Fast

When your home's plumbing system is working correctly, the valves will open and close at a slow, steady rate. The valves are then able to control the mixture of air and water pressure going through the pipes.

However, if the valves are closing too quickly and snapping shut, the pressure from both the water and air inside the pipes are abruptly interrupted. This sudden change in pressure and stoppage of the flow of air and water then has a percussive effect inside the pipes, creating the loud banging noises and vibrations throughout the pipe.

Water Flow Is Too Much for the Pipe

Another possible cause of water hammer in your home's pipes is that the water flowing through the plumbing system is too much for the pipe's size. If too much water is running through a small pipe, the pressure behind the water can increase significantly.

When this excessive water pressure is stopped abruptly by either a valve or the spigot on your kitchen's faucet, this creates the same effect as discussed in the previous section. The sudden stop of the water builds up the pressure, creating the effect of a hammer striking the pipes.

Air Chambers Have Been Absorbed by Water

When your pipes are working normally, air chambers are present within the pipes to absorb any excess force of pressure, as well as vibrations caused by the valves. However, if these cushions of air are absorbed by water or leak out through the joints, they no longer serve their purpose.

Because the air chambers have dissipated, they are no longer able to provide shock absorption for your pipes. When this happens, the pipes bear the brunt of the pressure, creating water hammer.

If you suspect that your pipes have water hammer, the condition could eventually loosen the pipe joints and damage your plumbing. Contact a contracting company that offers plumbing services, like C B Lucas Heating & Air Conditioning, to have them inspect your pipes to confirm your suspicions and find the exact cause. Then, they can make the necessary repairs to stop the noise and vibrations, as well as reduce the risk of damaging your pipes.