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When someone’s in the shower or watering the garden with a hose, do you pay much attention to the noise your pipes make? Answer: Probably not! You may hear a gentle whooshing; otherwise, it should be quiet on the western front. No gushing, no whistling, and no water hammer.

So, if you’ve just turned off a tap only to be met with a shuddering BANG that almost made you drop in fright the cup of coffee you just made, what on *earth* is going on? That loud noise you just heard is called water hammer.

What Causes Water Hammer?

Normally, you’ll hear this banging – or hammering – when you turn off a tap or water appliance, especially if your home or pipes are getting old. All that water was happily cruising along your pipes at speed, doing its thing, when suddenly it had nowhere to go. What causes water hammer is the water changing direction, clashing against the walls of the pipes or the closed valve, or causing the pipes to crash against one another.

Now, you’ve probably looked up this article because you want to know how to stop water hammer – and we don’t blame you. In your precious house, noises that deserve the title of ‘hammer’ are definitely not what you want to hear.

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Your instinct is correct because a water hammer fix will be necessary to look after your pipes and prevent what could become damaged, loosened joints, leaking taps or even devastating water damage from a burst pipe.

So, while the most common water hammer occurs when a valve is suddenly shut off, you may even hear a series of hammer blows or bangs when the water pressure in your pipes increases.

How To Stop Water Hammer

If you’ve been putting up with water hammer for years, dismissing it as just the quirky personality of your beloved old home, then here’s some crucial advice: Don’t ignore water hammer! While you may get away with it for days, weeks and even years. Eventually, all that clanging, banging and hammering will have fairly predictable results (i.e. a plumbing emergency from hell).

So let’s get into 8 water hammer solutions and show you how to fix water hammer in your home.

1. Are air pockets the problem?

Another issue that can cause a similar banging sound is air pockets in your pipes. If the noise starts just as you turn those taps on, air pockets are probably the culprit. So this water hammer fix involves starting from the taps nearest the mete and turning them all on individually. Then, turn them all off in reverse order. This can potentially release air pockets in your pipes.

2. Close valves half-way

It’s not a long-term solution to water hammer problems, but it’s worth a try before it’s properly fixed. Washing machines and dishwashers typically cause water hammer because the shut-off valves close very quickly. So try turning these intake valves on halfway.

3. Replace intake connections

For these same problematic appliances, swapping the hoses for the intake connections with wider ones may be possible.

4. Install water hammer arrestors

Theniftyool little gadgets, which can be bought from any good hardware store, are installed at the cold water outlet. They can solve water hammer where multiple appliances are connected to the same taps.

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5. Secure the pipe

If you can locate the noisy water pipe that is always the main water hammer culprit, see if you can access it, check if it’s loose, and try securing it.

6. Install pressure limiting valve

If the high water pressure is causing your problem, your friendly residential plumber can install a pressure limiting valve on the water meter.

7. Install different taps

Often, water hammer is caused by these new, modern mixer taps that shut off the water instantly with a single flick. Replacing them with soft-close taps can solve the problem.

8. Call the plumber

Is water hammer still getting you down? The best and easiest water hammer fix is to call the local plumbing specialists at Gold Coast Plumbing Experts. As you will have noticed, there is a range of things that might be causing water hammer, and therefore,e there is a range of often complex techniques for how to diagnose and how to stop water hammer too.

Stop Water Hammer in Its Tracks

Are you dealing with the nuisance of water hammer? The loud banging and hammering sounds in your pipes can’t be ignored. Water hammer can damage pipes, leaks, and even water damage if left unchecked.

The good news is there are solutions for fixing water hammer for good. Replacing old pipes and connections, installing water hammer arrestors, and securing loose pipes can all help. For more complex issues, call in a professional plumber.

At Gold Coast Plumbing Experts, we offer a range of plumbing services and can fix your plumbing in Labrador, Ashmore, Parkwood, Biggera Waters, Benowa, Nerang or anywhere else on the Gold Coast! Our licensed plumbers can inspect your plumbing system and implement the right water hammer solutions, and provide long-term solutions for any emergency plumbing situation.

Don’t put up with the headache of water hammer – get your pipes fixed and flowing properly again. Contact Gold Coast Plumbing Experts today at 1300 600 632 to stop water hammer for good!

Water Hammer FAQs

What are air chambers, and how do they help prevent water hammer?

Air chambers are devices installed in the water supply line that help absorb the shock wave that causes water hammer. Having properly sized air chambers near fixtures and appliances can help prevent the loud banging noises from water hammer.

Where should I install a water hammer arrestor?

Water hammer arrestors should be installed as close as possible to problem areas where you hear banging noises from water hammer. They can be installed on supply lines to appliances like washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators.

My pipes make a loud banging noise when I turn off the water. Could this lead to burst pipes?

Yes, the loud hammering or banging noises from water flowing through pipes when water is turned off abruptly can lead to damage over time. Water hammer can eventually cause pipes to burst or leak if left unaddressed.

How can I tell if the noisy pipes in my home are caused by water hammer?

If you hear a loud bang or hammering noise coming from the pipes when turning the water on or off, this is the hallmark sign of water hammer. The noises only occur when there is a change in the water flowing through the pipes.

Is it difficult to install a water hammer arrestor to stop the banging noises?

Water hammer arrestors are actually relatively easy to install as a DIY project. They thread directly onto pipe fittings and valves, where you hear the banging noises coming from. Following the manufacturer’s instructions can help install a water hammer arrestor properly.