Go Back

How to Fix a Spooky Water Hammer

Diagnosing Banging Noises Behind the Walls

It’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare. It’s the dead of night when suddenly, a horrific banging noise comes from behind the walls. Before hoping for the best, first, locate the source of the sound. If it’s behind a toilet, sink, washing machine, or faucet, it’s likely water hammer

Homeowners might think to themselves: “What’s the big deal? It’s just noise.” In the best of times, water hammer fixes itself once water drains from the pipe system. In the worst of situations, the pipe bursts and floods the home. To prevent any damage, one should consider the benefits of calling a plumbing service in their area. 

Understanding Water Hammer? water hammer

Water hammer isn’t a physical object; it’s when fluctuating water pressure from within a pipe causes a hammering sound. The noise may have a fast or slow rhythm, depending on the pressure. 

Take, for example, a washing machine. When a homeowner turns it on, water rushes through the pipes into the appliance’s barrel. If water does not drain from the pipes, and the valve keeps water from moving through, this can increase pressure since the water has nowhere to drain. This creates an unpleasant sound that will either fix itself or require expert help. 

Should You Be Concerned?

Water hammer can go from persistent knocking to flooding in a matter of minutes. A home’s pipes cannot withstand extreme amounts of water pressure. Continued pressure strains the pipes’ interior, the valves’ grip, and even the walls surrounding the pipe. 

Unaddressed water hammer can cause: 

  • Corroded pipes, connectors, and valves 
  • Burst pipes 
  • Water damage to drywall, insulation, and wood 
  • Thousands of dollars in possible repair fees 
  • Damage to the home’s property (if it floods) 
  • Damage to water-based appliances, like washing machines and dishwashers 

Some online DIY tips include shutting off the power main, running all faucets in the home at once, and securing the problem pipe’s valve. If these measures don’t work, homeowners likely need the expertise of a professional plumber. 

Fixing Water Hammerplumber

A plumber will fix water hammer by first identifying the source of the problem. This may involve turning on multiple faucets at once or even running certain appliances. Afterward, their goal is to drain the home’s pipes. This sounds like a big deal, but it’s not. The plumber will turn off the water main and run all of the faucets in the house at once. That way, excess water drains from the pipes, but the water main does not supply more fluid. 

Depending on the issue’s severity, a plumber may recommend: 

  • Repairing or replacing the problem pipe 
  • Changing the settings on the homeowner’s water-based appliances 
  • Installing a water hammer arrestor, which relieves the pressure inside pipes 
  • Replacing certain appliances 
  • Replacing pipes’ connectors and valves 

The ideal solution rests on the severity of the problem, its source, and how long it has existed. 

About S and J Plumbing 

S and J Plumbing is a plumbing repair company serving Arlington Heights, IL and the surrounding area. These experts pride themselves on upfront pricing, transparency, and prompt customer service. This Halloween season, homeowners shouldn’t worry about what goes bump in the night. Call now for plumbing services!