Sometimes, when you run a load in your washing machine or dishwasher, or flush the toilet in your bathroom, you may run into some plumbing problems. Noisy pipes is one of them. What’s causing the noise?
You are most likely hearing something called a “water hammer.” It’s a problem that can take place in normal taps, although it is more commonly observed in pipes, such as those found in washing machines, dishwashers and toilets.
What is it?
The best way to explain water hammer is to picture any of these appliances filling up with water. They have a component called a solenoid valve inside that is typically electrically operated. This valve is open when the appliances are being filled up with water. However, it closes very abruptly once the washing machine or dishwasher is full.
Now picture the pipes that carry the water to the appliances. Before the valve suddenly shuts, there is a significant amount of water moving at high speed. When it becomes cut off by the shut valve, the momentum of the water causes the pipe system to move forward; this shift in the pipes is the cause of the loud banging sound.
How to stop water hammer? Let our plumbing expert help you out.
What can you do to stop it?
Experienced plumbers, Melbourne homeowners know, would be the right professionals to consult for such problems. They’ll be able to resolve this issue with a quick visit to your home, but just to help you understand what they do to address the problem, here are some of the typical solutions that can be applied to a water hammer:
1. Fit the pipe closest to the valve with a shock absorber. This could pertain to a vertical pipe, filled with air, that will be attached near the valve; once the valve closes, the rushing water will move up into the vertical pipe, cause the air to compress, and help the water gradually slow down (instead of suddenly).
2. Use a spiral of copper pipe instead of a vertical pipe.
3. Install a valve that reduces pressure on the water supply line (this is ideal for properties that have high water pressures).
4. Fit water heaters with an expansion tank on the cold water side.
5. Have the house fitted with 3/4-inch pipes instead of the standard size (because larger pipes will help cause water to flow at a slower speed). Different situations can call for different solutions. Sometimes, water hammer can also be caused by broken taps or valves, loose pipes, steam heat, and gurgling and banging caused by forced hot water systems. The best course of action is to contact your trusted plumbers who can perform quality emergency or routine repairs, renovations and adjustments to help solve your noisy water pipe problems once and for all.