What is Water Hammer and How to Prevent It

prevent water hammer

Water hammer and its effects

If you’ve ever heard a loud bang when your washing machine stops its filling cycle or a thumping when you turn off a faucet, you’ve heard water hammer. Water hammer is a shock wave inside your pipes that results from water turning off suddenly, and the result is shaking pipes and banging noises.

Water hammer isn’t just annoying. It can cause damage to pipes, joints, connections, and fittings. If it continues for too long, you could experience water leaks or costly repairs.


How to reduce and prevent water hammer?

There are several ways to reduce the effects of water hammer on your pipes. High water pressure is the general cause of water hammer, so the first step is to check the water pressure levels in your home. If the pressure exceeds 80 psi, it may be best to install a pressure regulator on the water mainline.

Besides excessive water pressure at the main valve, water hammer can also be caused by water or debris in air chambers. If the plumbing in your home is older you may not have any air chambers installed.

If a single appliance seems to be causing your water hammer, you can install a water hammer arrestor. Arrestors will absorb the water jolt that comes from water valves closing suddenly which should stop the hammer noise from bothering you.

Lastly, it’s always important to make sure your pipes are mounted securely and fixed in place. Not properly secured pipes shake freely when water runs through them providing an ideal setting for water hammer.


Keep your home’s plumbing worry-free

If water hammer is bothering you, the first step is to call a plumbing professional. Waiting too long may lead to water leaks or expensive repairs. To make sure your home’s plumbing system is inspected each year, consider signing up for a Lee Company Home Maintenance Plan. As a member, you’ll receive annual plumbing inspections to make sure everything water-related in your home is working properly. And if you suspect water hammer is a concern, ask one of our technicians to get an answer you can trust.