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What Is Water Hammer, and How Can You Control It?

Water hammer

Water hammer — or hydraulic shock — happens when the water flow in your household pipes suddenly changes, causing a surge of high pressure. This can cause a number of problems, including vibrating pipes and water leaks. The majority of plumbing systems have water hammer control mechanisms in place, but pipes and fittings can fail over time. This is why it’s essential to call in a professional plumber to inspect your system on a regular basis.

What Causes Water Hammer?

When a tap or valve closes, it causes hydraulic shock waves to travel through your water pipes. When these shock waves are strong enough, they are called water hammer.

Water hammer is often associated with a loud vibrating sound coming from the water service pipe.

“The banging you hear is caused by the shock wave that causes plumbing pipes to move and strike against one another or against wooden framing members,” says The Balance Small Business. “In addition to being annoying, water hammer can be so forceful that it can break pipes or loosen plumbing joints.”

General wear and tear can cause a water hammer. Mild water hammer won’t cause much damage, but more severe cases can result in leaks.

Water Hammer Solutions

There are various ways you can fix water hammer. Installing mechanical water shock arrestors and air chambers will improve water flow and prevent damage to your pipes. However, you will probably find it difficult to install these devices yourself, so it’s best to call a professional plumber.

An expert can inspect your water system, find the cause of the water hammer, and replace any damaged parts quickly.

Benjamin Franklin specializes in plumbing services in your area, including equipment installation and repair.

What Does Water Hammer Do to Your Pipes?

In severe cases, water hammer can seriously damage your plumbing system and increase the likelihood of leaks. This is why you should act quickly.

Contact a professional immediately if you have a leaking or frozen pipe. The quicker you call an expert, the sooner you can solve the problem and prevent it from becoming more serious.

Looking for a water hammer control specialist near you? Contact us for more information.