Noisy pipes are an annoying circumstance faced by many a wary homeowner. Plumbing systems are capable of generating a wide variety of noises. Trickling or whooshing sounds as water travels through the pipe are innocent enough, so they usually go unnoticed. However, chattering or banging sounds — commonly referred to as water hammer — within the walls can present a serious problem to your plumbing system as well as your sanity.
What is Water Hammer
Water hammer most often occurs when the flow of water is suddenly stopped by actions such as turning off the faucet. Since the water inside of your pipes is not compressible, it bangs against the inside of your pipes causing them to vibrate or chatter. When the pipes are touching the wall, studs or each other, the resulting sound is amplified even more.
Causes of Water Hammer
The most common causes of water hammer are plumbing systems improperly installed or modified by inexperienced plumbers and homeowners. Poorly installed systems or modifications might lack the proper strapping required to secure the pipes to the wall’s interior studs to prevent them from moving during use. Without the strapping, the pipes can vibrate, rattle and even knock against the walls, studs and each other.
To eliminate pipe chatter or water hammer, a plumber will inspect any visible pipes while trying to pinpoint the ones making the noise. During this phase, the plumber should secure any loose pipes by tightening loose straps or adding additional straps and padding as needed. If the problem persists, the next option would be to install anti-hammer devices to curtail the noise. The most common type of anti-hammer device is called an air chamber. The device is simple a vertical piece of pipe or conduit which is installed close to a faucet. The chamber holds air, which acts as a cushion to help prevent water hammer and chatter.
Noisy pipes due to inadequate strapping can also aggravate your wallet. Failure to address loose plumbing issues can lead to leaking or burst pipe. Not only will loose plumbing lead to additional plumbing repair costs, but also to the possibility of serious water damage in your home.
Although the repairs mentioned might seem simple enough, it is recommended that only a licensed and experienced plumbing contractor perform these modifications to your home’s plumbing system. For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.
Image Source: Flickr