What is Water Hammer, and How Can I Stop It

There you are, standing at the kitchen sink filling up a large pot with water. Once it’s full, you shut off the faucet. That sudden move can cause water to change direction, sending a shock wave through the pipe and fittings.

That shock wave also is known as “water hammer.”  Most plumbing systems have air chambers and other air locking features in place to prevent water hammer, but these can fail if they exist at all. The shock wave can damage pipes and fittings, potentially leading to a plumbing leak. This creates a major mess and the potential for mold, mildew, and lengthy renovations.

Once you’ve located all water valves and know how to turn them on and off, you can easily trouble-shoot for water hammer.

1. If the sound is in the kitchen and behind the sink, shut off the water supply, open the faucet, and let all the water drain out. When the water stops dripping, the pipes will once again fill with air and restore the air cushion.

2. If it sounds like water hammer is coming from deep within your pipes, turn off the main water valve and drain all supply lines, inside and out. Be sure to shut off all the valves before turning the water main back on to prevent flooding.

3. Whether you’ve shut a single-purpose valve – like the one for your kitchen sink – or the water main, now’s the time to turn it back on. Don’t be concerned if one or more spit out a little air – that’s normal after a valve closure process.

4. If nothing works to relieve the problem, it could mean that sediment from mineral deposits are clogging up your pipes or water connections, that you indeed have high water pressure – among other possibilities.

No need to live with water hammer or any other home plumbing problem when Pann Home Services is on hand to make all those problems disappear. Contact us today for the service you need, when you need it.