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Chapel Hill Plumbing Repair: What is Water Hammer?

One of the most common plumbing repairs that we here is customers complaining of a loud banging in their pipes whenever they turn on a faucet or when an appliance shuts off. This type of issue is called "water hammer." Here is a quick explanation of what causes that and how you can fix it.

What is a Water Hammer?

The water coming into your home is under pressure so that it can flow throughout your home. When you turn on your faucet the water in your pipes will start to move and gain momentum. When you turn off the faucet, the sudden stopping of the water closest to the valve will send shockwaves back down the pipe which causes the pipe to rattle and bang against any nearby objects. The sound may be one loud thump or it could sound like a rapid banging noise that echoes throughout your home. This can also happen with other appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine.

Water Hammer Arrestors

The plumbing systems in most modern homes are equipped with air chambers that absorb the shockwaves at the valve. These are also called water hammer arrestors. However, over time these air chambers can actually get filled with water and become ineffective.

Reducing Water Pressure

Because the shockwaves are caused by fast-moving water, another solution is to reduce the water pressure going to the appliance or faucet that causes the hammer. If it's your sink you can usually find the water shutoff valve under the sink and turn it towards the "off" position. This will still allow water to come through the faucet but could eliminate the water hammer.

If you're having problems with a water hammer at your house, call the Chapel Hill plumbing repair professionals at JD Service Now today. We can install new water hammer arrestors for your house or help you come up with another solution that fits your home's unique needs.