You may hear it, you may feel it – and you’ll probably experience both! We’re talking about water hammer, which in the plumbing context is also commonly known as hydraulic shock. If you’ve quickly turned off the tap once those bangs, clangs and vibrations began, your next thought will be about just how much damage it’s doing – and how to stop water hammer before it hammers your pipes to bits!

What causes water hammer?

Water hammer is a phenomenon caused by a sudden change in the momentum of water flowing in your pipes. It may be caused by your operation of taps, and very often it’s because of the way appliances like washing machines and dishwashers shut off the water supply so suddenly. The result is that your water pipes start to ‘dance’ and clang against other pipes or even beams, joists and studs behind your walls.

How much damage is done by water hammer?

If you cringe when you experience water hammer, that’s the correct reaction – because all that clanging, banging, shimmying and hammering can do an awful lot of damage to your plumbing components. We’re talking leaks, damaged joints, cracked pipe walls, burst pipes, deformed pipe supports, and much more – and the damage can be devastating, expensive and even unhealthy.

How to stop water hammer?

What you really want to know, of course, is whether there is a water hammer solution. So here’s the good news – our local plumbers know of at least 5 ways to fix water hammer that really do work:

1. Fix waterlogged air chamers

If your place is old, there could be air chambers built into the taps, recognisable as an upside-down ‘T’ joint. Over time, these chambers can fill up with water and cause water hammer. Simply by emptying the air chamber may just fix the problem.

2. Reduce the water pressure

In many cases, water hammer is caused by excessive water pressure. Although water pressure values are fairly standard these days from house to house, it can be variable from tap to tap. You can check individual outlet pressure values with a water pressure gauge, and if it’s too high you can either adjust it at the pressure regulator with a few turns of a screwdriver.

3. Install a water hammer arrestor

Alternatively, you can install a water hammer arresting device at the problematic outlet, or even explore your options for a whole-of-house arresting solution.

4. Replace faulty taps

Sometimes, it’s not your plumbing system at fault per se, but individually faulty outlets – like taps or shower heads. The problem is usually the valve springs, whose job is to keep the flow of water in a single direction.

5. Secure loose pipes

As explained earlier, the hammering or knocking is often the physical movement of your pipes against other pipes or nearby structures. If you can actually locate the hammering pipe and secure it with a bracket or cover it with rubber, that can do the trick.

Stop water hammer with Ryan Old Plumbing

Still having trouble trying to fix water hammer? We didn’t say it would be easy, but that’s why the professional team at Ryan Old Plumbing is always standing by 24/7 to assist with all of your plumbing needs. Whether it’s urgent, a super-shimmy, just the occasional knock-knock, or it has become a plumbing emergency – water hammer needs to be taken care of – so why put it in the hands of anyone other than the fully-licensed and highly experienced professionals across Brisbane, Moreton Bay and out to the Gold Coast & beyond?

For the fast, guaranteed, thorough and affordable water hammer solution, call Ryan Old Plumbing today!