How to Eliminate a Water Hammer in a Sprinkler System

Your spinkler system may get water hammer.
Your spinkler system may get water hammer. (Image: sprinkler image by Joann Cooper from Fotolia.com)

Water hammer is a noisy, annoying condition that can happen in sprinkler system and indoor water pipes. You can use three criteria to tell the difference between air in the pipes and water hammer. If you hear the noise when the valves close, if it occurs when the pump starts, or if you hear rapid bumps or thumps and then silence, you have water hammer. You can fix this yourself with easy-to-find items.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • Water pressure gauge
  • Wrench
  • Plumber’s tape
  • Water hammer arrestor

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Turn off all the home appliances that use water, including faucets, dishwashers and water filters. Close the water supply valves. Don’t flush any toilets until you’re finished working on the sprinkler system.

Place a towel under the water supply valve for the sprinkler system. Disconnect the sprinkler from the valve. Let the towel collect the water that comes out of the valve.

Attach a water pressure gauge to the valve. Turn the valve back on. If the reading on the gauge is higher than 60 psi, contact a plumber for assistance in dealing with the pressure problem. Do not perform any repairs yourself. Turn the valve off and disconnect the water pressure gauge.

Reconnect the sprinkler to the water supply. Turn all the valves back on.

Turn on all the faucets in the house and flush all the toilets. Turn on any appliances that use water.

Let the water run for a few minutes to remove all the air that may be trapped in the system. If the problem isn’t corrected after running the water, move on to the next fix. Turn off the faucets in the house.

Inspect the hoses and pipes running from the sprinkler to the water supply. Look for leaks and loose connections.

Tighten all the connections with an adjustable wrench. Double-check all the connections to make sure everything is tight.

Repair any leaks with plumber’s tape, or replace the problem section if necessary. Leaks and loose parts can create water hammer. Turn off the water before making repairs.

Disconnect the sprinkler from the water supply valve. Use a towel to catch the excess water.

Attach a water hammer arrestor to the supply valve. Reconnect the sprinkler system and turn the water back on. If the water hammer persists, you need professional assistance.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not ignore plumbing problems. They may indicate something serious.

References

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