Noisy Water Pipes – How to Install a Shock Absorber


Have you ever turned the water on in your home and listened to that annoying noise of pipe rattling? That noise is caused by what is called Water hammer. Water hammer is not only annoying but it can also cause damage to the water lines, causing water leakage.

Water hammer is caused by a pressure surge when the water in motion is forced to stop suddenly (momentum change). In most cases, water hammer occurs when a valve is suddenly closed at the end of the pipeline run.

In order to avoid future problems, immediate action should be addressed.

How can the home owner fix this problem? There is a solution to this problem and that is to install a shock absorber also called air chamber. A shock absorber provides a cushion to absorb the force of the moving water inside those water pipes.

Use a shock absorber that has tread ends and compression fittings. This type of absorber does not need soldering which makes the job that much easier for the do it yourself home owner.

This method is easy to apply and needs only a minimum number of tools. Pipe cutter and adjust wrenches is all you need to perform this project. To solve a Water hammer problem, follow the instructions below to install a shock absorber.

Where is the noise coming from?

Find out where the noise is coming from. You can turn the stop valves on and off (water faucets), one at a time until you discover which stop valve is creating the noise. Once you find out which stop valve is causing the Water hammer, install the absorber somewhere before that stop valve on the same line.

To install the shock absorber.

Shut the water off. (You might have to shut off the water main).

Measure the shock absorber and use a pipe cutter or a hack saw to cut the pipe to this measure. (Allow some extra pipe to be able to insert it into the absorber). Clean any burrs from the ends of the pipe.

Drain the water line and slip a compression nut, (with the thread facing towards the absorber) on each end of the pipe that has been cut off.

Next slip the ferrules onto the pipe ends. connect the nuts to the absorber and fasten the nuts to the absorber. Use a wrench to finish tightening the nuts. Turn the water slowly to check for leaks. There you have it!