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How to get rid of Noisy Pipes - (Water Hammer)

Usually just a bang when water is turned off sudenly, but it can describe a vibration that builds up when water is flowing continuously

Q: Noisy pipes. Our water pipes sometimes make a loud "hammering noise" after the toilet has been flushed or sink, etc. has been used, especially first thing in the morning when water has not flowed through the pipes for several hours. Is this serious? Can it easily be fixed? Thanks for any help. -- D McMahon Reply (Ref:0276)

Answer #1: RE: Water Hammer. Try supporting the pipes with clips, this can stop a minor problem. A pressure reducing valve will often work, but the actual problem is is often to do with the resonant properties of the pipes and the water in them. Pascal Welles Comment   (Ref291005

Answer #2: Fitting a pressure reducing valve will do the trick, but there are special devices that will absorb shock and reflections in piping systems. Damage to the pipework can happen over time and the noise can be irritating, sometimes it can be so bad that it even annoys the neighbors -- K Conrad Comment

Water Hammer. I have bought a kit for fixing water hammer but am unsure at what point in the system I should attach it. The salesman told me to connect it to the highest point I could access. Where in the system is this most likely to be as I live in a three-storey house. -- Ron Howatt Reply (Ref:0426)

A: You should have a tank in your loft or garage. We think he means as close to the storage tank as possible -- qznaz

 Q:   'Water hammer' problems. Can anybody elaborate on the 'Noisy Pipes' problem, other than advising a 'fitting or some such' thing? I would preferably like to be able to retain some form of dignity in the local plumbers merchants. Yours, Mark Lane, Blackburn -- Mark Lane Great Britain. Reply

Answer #1: Buy a Water shock absorber kit from ebay or Amazon - It worked for me - Jim McAskill Comment

Answer #2: Water Hammer  Hello - water hammer is caused when steam eventually condenses in a pipe and pools as water in the pipe. The velocity of the steam travelling through the pipe carries the water through the pipe at a high rate of speed. When the water meets an angled piece of piping it is "slammed" into the pipe. In some sever cases the water at such high velocity can burst through the pipe and cause it to fragment and explode - but thats at pretty high steam pressure. If you install "steam trap" - or figure on another way of removing the condensation from the pipes - you will eliminate the water hammer. 

I work in a refinery where we use high pressure steam (250lb. - 600lb.) - we power all sorts of pumps with it - but the principles remain the same - bleed off or drain the water if possible - but I think installing a simple Steam Trap is probably your best option.
good luck! -- Mark Lane Comment 
24 Mar 2004

Comment #1: Forget about steam traps. Steam induced water hammer is very different from the type encountered in a domestic central heating system. The pressures and temperatures described by Mark in the previous answer would be very dangerous indeed if used in anywhere other than in an industrial environment. qznaz Comment


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