Best Tips to Prevent Water Hammer
Water hammer refers to a particular plumbing noise, and not a generic name for pipe clatter. It takes place when you shut off the water abruptly and the fast-moving water traveling through the pipe is brought to a sudden halt, producing a type of shock wave and a hammering noise. Plumbing that is correctly installed has air chambers, or cushions, that compress when the shock wave hits, softening the blow and preventing this hammering. The chambers can fail, though, because water under pressure gradually absorbs the air.
Why is Water Hammer Dangerous
Water hammer can lead to death, serious injury, or expensive damage to property. The impact of the pressure change can seriously displace piping, equipment or machinery housing. This in turn can cause damage not only to gaskets in junctions, but also to tap rims or the tap themselves. In this scenario, a plumbing leak is very likely. The potential for mold, mildew, and prolonged renovations is also something to consider.
Furthermore, keep in mind that when a hot water tap becomes damaged, large quantities of steam or hot condensate can start blowing out, which could lead to a serious accident. There have even been reports of deaths occurring as the result of water hammer.
Controlling Water Hammer
Try the simplest solutions first. Drain the system by shutting off the water supply to the house. Then, open all of the taps (sinks, showers, and tubs) in the house. Ensure that you go to the lowest water outlet. It will generally be a hose bib, but it could also be a laundry basin in your basement. When you get rid of all the water in the system, close all of the taps and turn the water supply back on. Slowly turn each tap on to purge the air from the system on each tap leave washing machine taps cistern taps and taps to hot water system off. Go to each tap ten it on and off to see if water hammer is still present. Hopefully, this will get rid of the water hammer. If not call Active Plumbing . If it does then turn on the other taps for washing machine cistern and hot water heater one at a time. and go back to one of the other taps and again test for water hammer This should work to isolate the tap of hot water system which is causing the water hammer once isolated call Active Plumbing to have the tap serviced or replaced. You may need to repeat the process regularly.
Water hammer could also occur when a pipe-mounting strap gets loose. A pipe mounting strap is used to connect pipes to framing to decrease incidence of pipe movement when water is moving through it. It is not advisable to use galvanized or steel straps on a copper pipe, because material reactions could produce electrolysis, resulting a plumbing leak. The use of clips decrease the likelihood of water hammering in the pipeline, since they will impede the movement of pipes.
Water Hammer Arresters
The most effective way to control water hammer is using a measured, compressible cushion of air which is permanently separated from the water system. Find a licensed plumber to install a surge arrester. Arresters employ a pressurized cushion of air and a two o-ring piston, which permanently separates this air cushion from the water system. When the tap closes and the water flow is abruptly stopped, the pressure spike pushes the piston up the arrester chamber against the pressurized cushion of air. The air cushion in the arrester reacts immediately, absorbing the pressure spike that results in water hammer.
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