Your Anaheim Plumber’s Tip For Dealing With Noisy Pipes
When you turn the water off at one of your fixtures, do you hear a loud “bump” and feel the house vibrate? The good news is, your house isn’t haunted. What you have felt is what is known as a “water hammer”. This happens when the water moving through your pipes comes to a stop quickly. With nowhere else to go it slams into the closed fixture and reverberates throughout the plumbing in your house. At best this is just annoying and loud. At worst it can damage your plumbing at its joints.
Typically if the valve is closed slowly, either by the operator or by design of the valve, the creation of a water hammer is avoided. As fixtures age their gaskets become hard and they do close more abruptly. This increases the chance of generating a water hammer.
Fortunately, a slow closing valve is not the only means for preventing noisy pipes. While water will not compress, air will. For this reason air chambers are generally installed into a home’s plumbing system. When the water is shut off quickly, these air chambers compress and absorb the shock that might otherwise resonate throughout your plumbing.
Some homes have air chambers installed at nearly every location where there is a fixture that turns on and off. The most common locations though are at appliances such as the dishwasher or clothes washer. These appliances utilize electric valves to open and close and are much more likely to do so quickly. You probably can’t see the chamber because it is hidden in the wall. It is a small, vertical cylinder plumbed just before the fixture.
Sometimes a leak or other circumstances can cause an air chamber to become filled with water. This will render it useless and noisy pipes may result. If this is the case, you can try to refill the chamber easily. Just turn off the water at the main where it enters your house. Then, open a couple of faucets in your house. Next, open the faucet with the lowest elevation in your house. This may be a hose spigot outside or a wash area in your basement. Opening this faucet should drain all the water for the pipes in your house. Now close all the faucets and turn the water back on. Hopefully you have replenished the air supply inside the chambers and the pipes will remain silent.
If you still have noisy pipes or aren’t comfortable doing this yourself, give the professionals at Owen Plumbing a call. We can give you peace of mind and peaceful pipes!