Water Hammer

“Water Hammer” is generally caused by either high water pressure, loose pipes or faulty plumbing components.

Water hammer is a condition that occurs in buildings where copper water supply pipes make a banging sound as a tap is turned off or a loud squealing sound when a tap is running. It may also occur when a washing machine is filling.

So, is it possible to eliminate water hammer in your home? Definitely, by using one or more of the methods described below:

1) Securing pipes. Copper water pipes should be secured at intervals of no less than 1.2 metres; by re-securing the pipes at more regular intervals, the pipes cannot move or vibrate. By doing this, water hammer can be substantially reduced, if not totally eliminated.

2) Servicing of taps. Having damaged or worn washers or old taps replaced or serviced, including the meter tap, will at least reduce, if not rectify, water hammer problems.

3) Toilet Cisterns. Servicing or replacing faulty toilet cisterns or cistern taps will eliminate or reduce certain types of water hammer.

4) Hot water heaters. Hot water heaters and associated valves can also cause water hammer. Servicing of the heater and replacement of the faulty valves or incorrectly rated valves will rectify or reduce water hammer.

5) Hammer arrestors. These are devices that work like a shock absorber and when placed near the source of the hammer say near a washing machine supply pipe or washing machine tap will help reduce water hammer considerably.

6) Fixed and variable pressure limiting and reduction valves. Valves can be fitted where the water supply enters the property to reduce the water pressure. By reducing the pressure, the flow rate remains about the same, or slightly less, but the pressure is noticeably less. This reduction in pressure will have a marked effect on the water hammer, if not completely eliminating it, then at least greatly reducing it.

7) Fitting plastic water pipes. Where plastic pipes are fitted to a property, the most common “clanging, banging” type of water hammer is not present.