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Water Hammer

What is causing your pipes to bang, clunk and sputter? Generally, such sounds are usually caused by a phenomenon called 'water hammer.' Water hammer doesn't accompany flowing water, so if your sound occurs while water is running, it isn't water hammer.

Water hammer happens when you turn OFF a water flow suddenly (like a dishwasher, a clothes washer, a toilet or even closing a hand faucet suddenly. Shutting off the flow suddenly sends a pressure or shock wave down the water line through the water shocking the pipes and creating the 'hammer' noise.  These shock waves travel faster than the speed of sound and can exert very great  instantaneous pressures. 

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Over time, water hammer can damage pipes, valves and eventually weaken pipe joints. Some of the more common damages can occur:

  • Ruptured piping
  • Leaking connections
  • Weakened connections
  • Pipe vibration and noise
  • Damaged valves
  • Damaged check valves
  • Damaged water meters
  • Damaged pressure regulators and gauges
  • Damaged recording apparatus
  • Loosened pipe hangers and supports
  • Ruptured tanks and water heaters
  • Premature failure of other devices

Clearly, repairing any of these conditions "after the fact" is more expensive and inconvenient than designing a system right from the start.

So, at the first signs of water hammer, it is best to give us a call at (303) 750-4242 right away or click on the image below. We will have it fixed in no time.

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