Is Water Hammer in Pipes Harmful?

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Water hammer is a noisy plumbing issue. This condition causes pipes to knock and bang. The sounds range from a single bang to a series of noises.

What's That Noise?

  • The noises are created by pipes knocking into each other or knocking into other objects, such as bricks, sinks and fixtures. The harder the blow, the louder the noise.

Cause

  • The cause of water hammer is a sudden build-up of pressure in the pipes. This is usually caused by the sudden closing of a valve, as happens when a sink is turned off quickly.

Potential Harm

  • Water hammer can be harmful to plumbing. The pressure which creates the sound also creates high pressure within the pipes.

Resulting Damage

  • The damage that can result in the pipes takes time to occur. However, with repeated bouts of high pressure, pipes and joints will give and start leaking.

Prevention/Solution

  • Since the cause of water hammer is high pressure, the best solution to the problem is to relieve that pressure. Relieving the pressure will prevent the damage.

Relieving The Pressure

  • Replacing the faulty valve that closes too quickly will relieve the pressure. Installing an air valve is another solution.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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