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Loud Banging Soundin Your Pipes Can be Stopped – Worcester, Boston

18 Dec 2013

Do you hear that loud banging sound in the pipes? It sound  like it is coming from inside the wall or the depths of your basement whenever your washing machine stops filling? That’s called ‘water hammer’. It’s caused by valves that close quickly, such as solenoid-type valves in washing machines and dishwashers, but it can also be a valve in your toilets, faucets and other fixtures. When the valve closes suddenly, all that flowing water in the pipe stops abruptly and backs up into itself, creating a lot of pressure. In fact, it is more pressure than your system is designed to handle. It also creates kinetic energy that causes the pipe jump to bang against the framing or other neighboring structures.

In many cases, the problem of water hammer is compounded by loosely secured pipes, which move more than they should, allowing them to get a nice, full “swing” before striking against the framing, and other stuff in your walls. This movement and hammering is not only annoying to you, it’s also bad for your pipes. It stresses the pipe joints and can ultimately lead to pipe leaks and other failures.

Effectively reducing or eliminating  water hammer usually involves two solutions: securing the pipes and installing one or more water hammer arrestors. A water hammer arrestor is a capsule-shaped device that installs into a water supply pipe. The capsule contains an air- or gas-filled sealed chamber that acts as a shock absorber to suppress the pressure surge inside the water line. Often installing a water hammer arrestor require soldering pipe, which is a job for a plumber unless you really know what you’re doing.

For help with banging pipes contact Greater Boston Plumbing and Heating.