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What is water hammer? Our Doncaster plumber explains that startling “thud!”

2018-12-18T22:36:31+00:00 December 20th, 2018|Plumbing|

Ever wonder where that sharp and startling “thud!” comes from when you suddenly switch off your taps?

The banging sound that you hear every time you turn off water at various sources around the house could be the sign of a plumbing issue that’s referred to as “water hammer”.

Water hammer is caused by high water pressure when a valve, tap, or other appliance is turned off briskly.

The banging sound is heard as the water – when you turn off your tap – hits the shut-off valve in your home’s plumbing system.

The problem with water hammer is more than just a startling noise you hear – when water hammer occurs, the water pressure can be up to ten times stronger than your pipes can withstand!

As you might expect, then, prolonged water hammer can lead to cracked, broken, or damaged pipes leading to both internal and external leaking.


Causes of water hammer

Water hammers can affect your home’s piping system leading you to costly repairs and pipe replacements.

So before the problem gets worse, don’t ignore that unmissable sound.

Contact a qualified Doncaster plumber who can investigate the issue and provide a solution to your water hammer problems.

Water hammer occurs due to the combination of the following two factors:

1. High water pressure

Did you know that the average water pressure in Melbourne is 20 litres per minute?

It’s probably not something you think about… until, that is, your water pressure drops and you’re left with a weak trickle of water during the middle of a shower in winter!

But did you know that high water pressure can cause significant damage to your home?

Excessive force placed on your plumbing system can lead to pipe damage, especially if the force is prolonged.

If you have the skills and know-how, you can check your water pressure with a pressure gauge.

If you’re unsure how to do this or what it involves, we urge you to call a certified plumber to perform this task for you.

Not only will they do it safely and correctly, but they’ll know what the outcomes mean, and provide a suitable solution.

2. Quick-shutting valves

Valves that shut-off quickly can also lead to that startling thud, which is especially prevalent for appliances that consume a lot of water, like dishwashers and washing machines.

When it comes to valves, water hammer can also be caused by poorly fitting or installed valves.

Contributing causes of water hammer

While above we’ve outlined the two most common causes of water hammer, there are also a couple of secondary causes that may contribute or amplify water hammer.

Old pipes or poor pipe installation

Old and worn out pipes sometimes become loose and as such, rattling can be intensified by high water pressure.

Similarly, poor pipe installation can have the same effect.

If this sounds like your case, get a professional plumber to inspect, repair, or replace your old or poorly installed pipes.

Household appliances

As mentioned above, household appliances that generally take in and release a high volume of water can increase the chance of water hammer occuring.

If your appliances are on the older side, they may be in need of repair. Depending on their age and severity of any problems, replacement could be a most cost-effective solution.

Looking to upgrade your water appliances? Here’s why it pays to choose water-efficient fixtures and appliances!

Poor plumbing maintenance

Avoiding regular plumbing maintenance simply means water has more time and opportunity to do its damage!

Left unnoticed and untreated, water hammer can lead to broken pipes, leaks, and more plumbing woes.

If you’ve been putting off a seemingly minor problem in your home, take this as a sign that you ought to call a local plumber! Prevention is better than cure, as the saying goes.

Stainless kitchen sink and Tap water in the kitchen. The interior of the kitchen room of the apartment. Built-In Appliances. Kitchen Appliance. Domestic Appliances

Solutions to water hammer problems

If you know that your pipes are suffering from water hammer problems, then it is time to solve the issue before things get worse. Our Doncaster plumber may recommend the following treatments:

Install a water pressure regulator

You can avoid pressure surges, leaking, and damaged pipes with the help of water pressure regulators.

These devices as their name so obviously suggests! – regulate water pressure before it reaches your plumbing fixtures and appliances, easing the pressure and as such, managing the risk of water pressure.

Install water shock arrestor

Keep your pipes from creating a banging sound by installing water shock arrestors that absorb sudden changes in water pressure.

Secure loose pipes

Your plumber may recommend checking and thus tightening any loose pipes that are contributing to that horrible sound.

Not only will this reduce the noise, but it’ll also help prevent further pipe damage or leaks.

Contact a professional plumber

If you are unsure what to do with a water hammer problem, it’s best to leave it to the pros!

Contact a licensed and qualified plumber who can determine the cause and as such provide the right solution to your water hammer woes.

Solve water hammer issues with the help of H2-Pro’s Doncaster plumbers

Take care of your pipes by scheduling regular maintenance done by your certified professional plumber in Doncaster.

H2-Pro specialises in all types of domestic plumbing including emergency, maintenance, and repair.

No job is too big or too small for our team of expert plumbers.

We help you solve your plumbing woes by providing a complete range of plumbing services, including:

  • The sewer connection required for around 1000 homes in Melbourne’s northeast
  • Blocked drains leading to slow-flowing water or in worse cases, toilet backflow
  • Leaking pipes that are not only wasting water, but driving up your water bills
  • Hot water services for when your hot water system fails you
  • And of course, diagnosing and solving water hammer problems

Searching for a reliable plumber in Doncaster who can accurately diagnose and solve your plumbing issues?

Call H2-Pro’s team of emergency plumbers anytime – and speak to a real person! – on (03) 9844 1444.

For less urgent matters or to request a booking, fill in this form and we will get back to you!

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