Haunted Houses: Plumbing Edition

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Banging Noise From Behind The Wall? 

Sudden unexplained sounds can create fear in any household. While unusual banging noises may seem mysterious, it’s likely caused by faulty plumbing. So, get water hammers repaired instead of a home feeling like a haunted house.  When fixed correctly, the phenomenon known as a water hammer can no longer haunt the home. 

What Are Water Hammers?

Loud banging noises can be an indication of irregular water flow. Although the noise can be quite loud, it emanates from small spaces in the water pipes. The term for this issue is called water hammer. 

When a surge of pressure suddenly changes or stops the flow of water, it sends a shock wave down the pipe, creating noisy sounds. Water hammers can damage pipes and the valves and fittings of the pipe structure. Neglecting to fix this problem can easily lead to a burst pipe. 

What’s So Dangerous About Water Hammers?

pipePipe damage is a costly problem that takes time to fix. To prevent additional wear and tear, homeowners must pay attention to their walls. Banging pipes can be heard behind washing machines but may be mistaken for the spin cycle. 

Water hammers can damage gaskets and pipe joints throughout the plumbing system and lead to a burst pipe. If leaks occur, homeowners may notice cracks forming along the wall. Wherever there is water hammer, mold, and mildew are sure to follow.

Waterlogged air chambers and loose pipe-mounting straps are often to blame. Outside the pipes, appliances may also affect water flow. Dishwashers and washing machines use solenoid valves that affect air chambers. This does not mean appliances must be discarded. Pipes can be adjusted instead. 

How Pros Fix It

professionalThere are a few ways to minimize pressure within the pipes. While this will help reduce banging sounds, trained professionals will still need to handle the problem. Emptying air chambers is recommended as a temporary solution. This is done by completely draining the pipes before refilling them. The air chambers effectively blunt the shockwaves to keep water running smoothly.

Pressure regulators are usually found between the water meter and the shut-off valve and can be adjusted by turning counter-clockwise. Before attempting to fix any part of the plumbing system, all appliances should be completely shut off. 

The first step to reducing noisy water pipes involves the main water valve. This is usually found under the kitchen sink or near the water heater. Once this is turned off, the highest faucet in the house needs to be opened while the downstairs faucet is running. After the pipes are completely drained, the main water valve can be turned back on. 

Standard residential water pressure should never reach 80 PSI. Ideally, it should be between 40 and 60. Permanently fixing the water hammer will likely require the installation of an arrestor. Water hammer arrestors are placed inside the pipe to provide a designated air-filled section. This is used to buffer the immediate jump in pressure if the water valve slams shut. 

A qualified professional has the right knowledge and equipment to fix a water hammer. Using slip joint pliers, plumbers can disconnect the supply lines to access the pipe valve. Trying to do this without the right tools can damage pipes and exacerbate the problem. 

About Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing

Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing is a family-owned and operated business serving Sparks, NV, and the surrounding areas since 1986. They offer honest, upfront service, instant savings, and a preferred customer program with many benefits. Call them today for plumbing services in Sparks, NV.

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