mc-hammer

This post is not about this guy teaching you water aerobics—>>

It is actually about that loud banging sound in your pipes often referred to as water hammer. This banging commonly happens whenever your washing machine or dishwasher stops filling and the valves close quickly. It can however also occur with faucets, toilets, and other fixtures. When the valve closes the flowing water in the pipe stops quickly and creates more pressure than your system is designed to handle and the energy produced  makes the pipe jump and bang against your houses framing or other structures.

Loosely secured pipes can make the water hammer problem worse. Less secured pipes vibrate more before striking against the frame. The hammering in addition to being aggravating to you is also bad for your pipes. The stress on the joints and pipes can lead to leaks.

How to stop banging pipes - secured pipe.How to Stop Water Hammer

There are two possible solutions to reducing or stopping water hammer.

1st solution: Securing the pipes.

In most cases it is easy to secure your loose pipes. You need to first find which appliance is causing the banging. To do this have someone turn on the water on the suspected appliance or fixture as you search for the pipe that is hammering.  The pipes are often in the basement or crawlspace.

If the pipes moves (more than a small vibration when the water backs up)  you need to add anchors to the pipe.  First secure the pipe to the floor, wall, or framing by adding appropriately sized pipe clamps or straps secure the pipe to the floor, wall or other wood framing. The clamps can be either metal or plastic but if using metal make sure they are the same material as the pipe in order to prevent corrosion.  It is a good idea if you are using straps to  add a piece of pipe insulation to help keep the pipe snug and add some shock absorption.

Securing the pipes should fix any minor cases of water hammer. If it does not  you need  an arrestor.

2nd solution: Installing Water Hammer Arrestors

 Water hammer arrestors designed for easy installation are single-fixture units that use compression fittings for splicing into the supply line of individual fixtures and appliances. In the case of  faucets,toilets, and dishwashers, the arrestors can be installed  between the water supply line and the fixture’s shutoff valve or between the shutoff valve and the supply riser or tubing leading to the fixture.  For washing machines arrestors screw right in between the water hoses and the shutoff valves. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions when installing arrestors on appliances with banging pipes. Appliances and fixtures that use  hot and cold water need an arrestor on each water line.

If needed you can get Arrestors designed for branch lines that can serve multiple fixtures or appliances. These come in solder-only, threaded and compression versions and must be sized and positioned correctly to work effectievly. Non-solder types can be replaced easily if the arrestor ever fails , but threaded arrestors still need a soldered fitting to screw into. Since branch water lines are usually concealed, standard arrestors should be installed by a licensed Greenville plumber.

In many upstate homes, securing the pipes and adding arrestors on specific fixtures is enough to stop most water hammer problems. If not, it’s time tocall a local Greenville Plumber.
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