The only hammering sound you usually want to hear inside your home is from your own hammer, working on a project or putting in a nail to hang a picture. You don’t want to hear it coming from your house’s plumbing. What is that bizarre hammering sound from the pipes, anyway? How could water running through pipes cause that sort of noise?
This hammering noise in plumbing is a common problem, and we’ll explain why it happens and what you should do about it. Whenever you need more help with plumbing issues, no matter what they are, you can look to BZ Dependable if you need an excellent plumber in Bergenfield, NJ. We put our promise of quality right in our name.
That hammering sound is a specific issue called, appropriately enough, “water hammer.” It can occur in kitchen pipes, but it’s most likely to happen on the piping attached to washing machines and dishwashers. It happens when the solenoid valve, an electrically operated valve, shuts quickly. When this occurs, it can cause an abrupt stopping of 5 to 10 pounds of water moving at a high speed. This sudden stopping of momentum can make the whole pipe shift forward—and that’s the sound you hear.
Normally, a sudden stoppage of water from a valve won’t result in water hammer. Properly constructed and installed pipes have air chambers to brace against the force of water. If hammering suddenly starts, it might be because the air chambers have become filled with water. This can sometimes occur because of a buildup of scale or mineral deposits.
Water hammering is not healthy for your pipes. Each impact causes excess stress on them. Modern pipe manufacturers construct their products for high endurance, but too much repetition can damage the best-made piping.
One way to solve water hammer is to have a plumber install a shock absorber—a foot-long piece of pipe—near the valve. This creates an air cushion to slow down the rush of water. Another option is a spiral of copper piping. If the problem is continuous, even with repairs, a plumber might suggest you get a pressure-reducing valve installed on the main water line of your home. This is a good solution if you have experience high-pressure problems in other parts of the house.