If you have ever heard a loud banging sound coming from your pipes after running the washing machine or sink, you are probably familiar with water hammer issues. Not only is this annoying noise disruptive and stressful, but it can also indicate an underlying plumbing problem that needs to be addressed. We have created a comprehensive outline of what water hammer is, how it affects your plumbing system, and how to fix it.
Top Causes of Water Hammer Noises
Water hammer noises are loud banging or thumping when water dispersed by an appliance, such as a washing machine, suddenly stops running. This sound is caused by the rapid pressure drop in the plumbing pipes, which causes shock waves to reverberate within the walls of the pipes. The velocity of the water in the pipe has a direct effect on how loud and damaging these shockwaves can become.
3 Ways to Fix Water Hammer Noises
There are some ways to stop water hammer noises from occurring. We have created a list of three ways you can fix water hammer noises.
1. Air Chambers
Air chambers are pressurized containers installed as part of a piping system and act as an absorber for sudden pressure changes, like those caused by water hammer issues. Water passing through the pipes creates pressure inside them, which is transferred to the air chamber.
Air chambers use pressurization to prevent backflow from coming into the pipes, which would create a hammering sound. By working with other components such as check valves, air chambers can reduce water hammer noise and keep your plumbing running smoothly.
2. Water Hammer Arresters
Water hammer arresters are a useful tool that can be utilized to fix and prevent water hammer noises. The arresters utilize air chambers and check valves to allow sudden surges of fluid pressure to be quickly released through compression, preventing clunks and slams typically heard when using faucets and showers.
Water hammer arresters come in various sizes, compatible with different pipelines and flow rates. Installed at accessible points in the plumbing system, they work efficiently and are usually an ideal long-term solution for any water hammer noise.
3. Water-Pressure Regulators
Water-pressure regulators stabilize water pressure to help fix water hammer noises in pipes due to excess pressure. These regulators reduce pressure spikes and surges, keeping pressure levels consistent and preventing any disruption to the piping system.
The regulator limits flow in the pipe, allowing it to operate constantly while providing sufficient water supply. They also help ensure that no part of the piping system is damaged or over-pressurized, which can lead to leaks and further damage if left unchecked.
5 Types of Noises Caused By Water Pipes
Water pipes don’t always cause hammering noises. Sometimes they may create other noises too. It’s essential for you to be aware of different types of noises your pipes may make so you can know what to do next.
1. Banging Noises
This occurs when water is forced to move quickly through the pipes, sometimes due to valve closures or increased velocity. When the sudden stop of water occurs, the force creates a violent shaking within the pipes that ultimately produces what we hear as banging noises. To reduce or stop this disturbing noise coming from water pipes, look for valves that can help slow the movement of water and limit pressure within the pipes.
2. Gurgling Sounds
Gurgling sounds in your water pipes are often caused by air bubbles being moved as the water flows. This is usually due to an issue with the plumbing system, such as a pipe restriction or a pressure buildup.
Air trapped inside water pipes can be created because of a switch between higher and lower pressure areas, causing it to be pushed around. Another possible cause of gurgling could be the slow drainage of wastewater from your home. If not taken care of, this can form sediment that restricts water flow and causes gurgling noises.
3. Rattling Noises
Your pipes may move a little when water travels through due to the pressure. However, when the pipes are loose, this can cause them to rattle when you turn on the water.
It is possible to reduce the rattling noise of pipes by securing them. However, most pipes are hidden behind walls and are not easy to reach. To fix the rattling, a plumber can check for loose fasteners and resecure them.
4. Humming Sounds
Humming noises in water pipes occur due to sudden changes in pressure within the water, creating fluctuations in flow. This can also happen if too many taps are opened in the house at once.
Since moving water causes vibrations amplified through adjoining pipes and fixtures, these pressure fluctuations create an audible hum that can last for several seconds until pressure is re-stabilized.
5. Squeaking Noises
Squeaking noises may come from a small part in the plumbing system becoming loose or damaged. Usually, this means a specific part of the plumbing needs to be replaced or repaired to stop the noise.
However, there might be a problem with the water pressure in your home if you hear squealing in every room. The water can make a squeaking noise as it tries to squeeze through narrowed pipes due to buildup. Lastly, the plumbing system can also whistle or squeak due to wear and tear.
Water and Sewer Line Replacement Services
If you’re hearing water hammer sounds in your pipes, give our team a call at (508) 301-1767 to book an appointment. Our team of emergency plumbers in Newton, MA and other areas are equipped with the tools necessary to fix water hammer noises in your house.
Our technicians also offer other types of plumbing services such as water line replacement, drain cleaning, sump pump installation, water leak repair, and water heater replacement. Our team can investigate the water hammer noises and offer solutions to eliminate the issue.