Have you ever noticed a loud banging in your pipes when you shut off a faucet suddenly? Or maybe it sounds like something is slamming in your pipes while the dishwasher or washing machine is running? If you have metal pipes, these loud noises might be a sign that you have a water hammer problem. Known by its technical name, hydraulic shock, this annoying problem is caused when water changes directions or stops suddenly. When water changes paths or stops in this fashion, it creates a shockwave that clangs pipes against each other and against their wooden frames. Along with being loud, this problem can be so forceful that it can loosen the joints in plumbing and even break pipes. While it is harder to hear and notice, water hammer problems can affect plastic piping as well.
Secure Loose Pipes
In some cases, your water hammer problems may be caused by pipes that aren’t well secured. Start by checking areas where the pipes are visible, like basements, to see if any loose straps or hangers might be allowing the pipes to move. You may also want to try adding foam insulation to pipes to help absorb shock and prevent noise.
Add An Air Chamber
If you can identify where the hammering is coming from, an easy fix is to install an air chamber near the offending valves. This allows a cushion so that water can quietly rebound in the case of a sudden direction change. There are commercial options available for those who are handy, but it’s an easy and quick fix for an experienced plumber. Over time they will need to be drained to ensure that they continue to function as intended.
Add A Water Pressure Regulator
When the overall water pressure of your home is too high, it can cause the water hammer issue to occur. In general, water pressure should range from 30 to 55 psi. If the pressure is higher than this, and particularly if its higher than 100m, it can cause noise and even damage appliances. Adding a pressure regulator ensures that all of your pipes and features are protected, not just those you can install an air chamber on.
All of Your Plumbing Needs from Master Plumbing
Give Master Plumbing a call at (301) 650-9100 or contact us online to get more information on how our expert plumbers can help you with your dripping faucet (or just about anything else plumbing related!). We have received Angie’s List Super Service Award recognition for plumbing and drain cleaning every year since 2007, in addition to the Best Plumber award from Best of Bethesda. We are fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and our service is unparalleled. Give us a call today—you won’t regret it! To see examples of our projects, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.