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Serving the Olympia, WA area since 1994



What Is Water Hammer and Is It Reason for Plumbing Repair?

Monday, June 16th, 2014 at 5:09 pm

The name “water hammer” sounds vaguely threatening, perhaps even intimidating. It refers to a phenomenon that can occur in your plumbing that creates a distinct sound—it doesn’t refer to any knocking sound that your plumbing might make, contrary to popular belief.

Although water hammer is a surprising noise to hear, is it a reason for you to be concerned? Should you call for repairs on your pipes when it happens? We’ll take a look at these questions more closely in this post.

Whatever is causing water hammer in your pipes, you can find reliable plumbing repair in Olympia, WA from the experts at Brooks Plumbing. We’ve served the Olympia area since 1994, and we stand by our motto: “Quality in Everything We Do.”

Water Hammer: What It Is, What It May Mean

Water hammer occurs when an open tap abruptly shuts and the rapidly-moving water comes to a sudden halt inside the pipes. The water creates a shockwave that produces a noticeable sound like someone hitting the inside of the pipes with a hammer.

But this doesn’t happen every time you suddenly shut off a tap; there is a specific reason that water hammer is unusual. Plumbing contains air chambers inside it, and this cushion of air softens the impact of the movement of water so that hammering doesn’t occur. If water hammer suddenly starts to sound in your pipes, then something might have gone wrong to eliminate the air chambers. To prevent water hammer, these water-logged air chambers will need to be drained, after which they will re-fill with water.

One of the reasons that air chambers become clogged is that build-up of limescale or chemicals inside them will prevent the chambers from properly draining. In situations like this, you need to call for plumbers. Professionals can clean out the chambers and find the source of the limescale and chemicals.

You cannot allow water hammer to continue, thinking of it only as a mild inconvenience. These shockwaves are damaging to plumbing, causing the failure of fittings or creating burst pipes. Keep in mind that without the air chambers, the water pressure inside the pipes will be too high, and this will lead to numerous problems inside the plumbing.

Professional plumbers will find ways to reduce the pressure inside the pipe of your home; sometimes this involves installing air chambers or globe valves. Plumbers are accustomed to these repairs, so they will find the source of the issue quickly and have it taken care of.

Brooks Plumbing can remove your troubles with water hammer. For plumbing repair service in Olympia, WA, trust to our skilled staff of plumbers to handle it.

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