A hand pressing on a faucet handle

What is a Water Hammer?

What is a Water Hammer?

Have you ever heard a loud banging noise in your pipes? Have you noticed that it seems to correlate with when you’re using your shower, sink, or other appliances? This loud noise is called a water hammer, and it has nothing to do with pounding nails.

A water hammer stems from an exchange of pressure and air displacement within your pipes. When you open a fixture, water flows rapidly, and once you close the fixture, the water stops suddenly, making a loud bang. Here’s more about water hammers and how you can fix one if you hear it.

Water Hammer Examples

A water hammer can occur in any of your water pipes that have access to an open and close valve. You may hear it when you finish washing your hands and turn off the sink, or you may hear it while your washing machine runs and the basin fills and drains. Water hammers can also occur when using:

  • Showers & bathtubs
  • Outdoor faucets
  • Dishwashers

How to Fix a Water Hammer

It’s not just a strange noise happening in your pipes. A water hammer means that there is a pressure imbalance. The sound is a jolt that could be moving your pipes and knocking into other pipes, walls, floors, or other structural elements of your home. The high water pressure is also damaging to your pipes’ joints and connections.

A simple way to “reset” the pressure in your pipes is to drain the system. Just turn the water off and open both the highest and lowest faucets in your house. Once no more water is coming out, turn the water back on and see if the noise has reduced.

If your water hammer continues to happen and you need to keep draining the system, you may benefit from having a plumber take a look.

Plumbing Service You Can Trust

The Rainforest Plumbing and Air team is an industry leader in plumbing service and is dedicated to providing the best solutions to our community. Contact us today at (602) 755-2995 to learn more about how we can help you.