How To Diagnose And Repair A “Water Hammer”

How To Diagnose And Repair A “Water Hammer”

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Homeowners may hear a repeated banging noise when flushing a toilet or turning on the faucet. This occurrence is known as a “water hammer.” The name is derived from the sound it makes, which resembles that of hammer against metal. What is the cause and should you be worried?

The Cause

Water hammering is typically due to a sudden rush of water causing the pipes to bang against the wall. The water rush followed by the valve closing causes an abrupt momentum loss in the water flow. Any loose pipe then jerks from its location.

A water hammer may also occur if the wall studs are loose or if there is a surge in water pressure. In any case, you need to bring in a professional if you hear water hammering on more than one occasion.

Water hammering sends shockwaves through the pipes. If left untreated, the force can cause a pipe in the wall or underground to burst. Much of the relining work we do, in fact, is due to burst pipes, a good number of which are caused by consistent water hammering.

The Solution

Several solutions may be available depending on the exact cause. Installing air chambers may do the trick. One of these is placed next to the water valves and prevents water from rushing through in waves.

Alternatively, you can install a pressure reducing valve that regulates water pressure. This is installed at the main water valve line. We actually recommend this even if you haven’t noticed any water hammering. Too much water pressure can also damage toilets and dishwashers and void warranties.

We’ll Spot and Prevent Water Hammering

Hear banging in the pipes? Call Sewer Solutions to get to the bottom of the problem. We do utility installation, which includes pipe relining and repairs. Our special offers make this type of service affordable. Water hammering is not an issue that you should ignore even if you don’t find the banging bothersome.


Applies to sewer line repairs requiring digital camera diagnosis.