How To Stop Water Hammer

If you have banging or thumping pipes, you may have an issue called Water Hammer – read on to find out what damage this can cause, and how to stop the problem…

What is water hammer?

The term water hammer refers to the noises and pressure surges associated with the movement of water through the plumbing system. When flowing water comes to a sudden stop, this is referred to as water hammer.

When a valve or tap is shut off, the water come to an abrupt stop. The momentum in the water turns into a pressure increase within the pipe, because water cannot be compressed. This pressure wave results in the banging noise.

Sioux Chief have demonstrated the cycle of water hammer. Click here to view the short video from the Sioux Chief YouTube channel.

Can water hammer cause damage?

Aside from the annoyance of having thumps, bangs and crashes occuring in your pipes, water hammer can cause actual damage too.

  • Valves – pressure from the shock waves caused by uncontrolled water hammer can pop, loosen or even crack valves within the system. Safety Relief Valves and Pressure Reducing Valves can be affected, and reduce the safety of your plumbing.
  • Water heaters – although not the main cause of tank failure, the repetitive shock waves and pressure can reduce the lifespan of your water heater and exacerbate any failure.
  • Fittings and joints – welded fittings and joints are vulnerable to damage caused by water hammer. Internal pressure can exceed the system’s rating, while pipe movement can create external pressure on different parts of the system.
  • Hangers and brackets – due to the way water hammer moves pipes, they are the biggest cause of loose pipe hangers and failed supports. This can even cause additional noises. The noise of rattling pipes added to the water hammer sounds.

How can you control water hammer?

To avoid the irritation and potential damage caused by a water hammer, there is a simple solution. The most effective way to control a water hammer is to install a Water Hammer Arrestor.

Arrestors use a compressible cushion of air or gas that is used to separate from the water. When a valve closes, the moving column of water travels into the arrestor and compresses the gas/air, reducing the momentum of the water and preventing the water hammer occurring.

Unlike having a simple air chamber or simple capped pipe, an arrestor doesn’t become waterlogged over time – the fact that the gas or air is kept permanently separate means it doesn’t get absorbed by the water, a risk that can leave air chambers and capped pipes ineffective.

Sioux Chief water hammer arrestors

SparesPRO offer a range of Sioux Chief Water Hammer Arrestors – all of which are guaranteed to control water hammer for the lifetime of the plumbing system.

  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Ultimate protection against water hammer damage
  • Can be installed at any angle
  • Easy to install
  • Mini resters with a male 1/2″ thread are simply fitted with female 1/2″ x 15mm iron tee
  • Mini resters with a hose tee connection install directly on a washing machine supply valve, or directly onto washing machines or dishwashers.

Find out more about our water hammer arrestors, or contact us if you have more questions.

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