What Is Water Hammer And How Can I Fix It?


That annoying knocking or banging sound coming from inside your walls is what is called a water hammer. This plumbing problem is caused by a sudden halt in the water flow which results in the water supply pipes repeatedly hammering or even vibrating loudly against the plumbing system. While it may be tempting to ignore the sound, this common issue could actually be damaging your home or business and end up costing thousands to repair. Read on to discover what causes water hammer and what you can do to fix it yourself to prevent expensive plumbing repairs down the road.

What Causes Water Hammer?

Water hammer happens when the water in the pipes comes to a sudden halt. The high pressure that results when gushing water is stopped causes hydraulic shock waves in the pipes that reverberate and sound like loud bangs or knocks.

While sinks, tubs and bathroom faucets can cause water hammering, washing machines and dishwashers are more often the problem as they can shut off water more quickly than by hand.

If left untreated, water hammer can cause a wide range of plumbing damage, from water leaks to broken and burst pipes, joint failure, appliance problems, structural damage and more.

Try these DIY repair tips to fix water hammer in your home or business:

Air Chambers

An air chamber can absorb the shocks when water comes to a sudden stop and quieten the water hammer effect. These chambers resemble capped pipes that extend from the water supply pipes and act as a cushion, compressing the air in the chamber to reduce the amount of pressure in the pipework. To install air chambers, you will need a professional plumber to get the job done.

Water Hammer Arresters

This is a simple device that gets installed onto a fixture or appliance. Like air chambers, they absorb the shocks caused by a sudden stop in water flow. The biggest difference between water hammer arresters and air chambers is that these devices are filled with gas or air and sealed with a piston or diaphragm.

noisy water hammer in pipes

Water Pressure Regulators

High water pressure is also a common cause of water hammering. By installing a water pressure regulator, you can maintain a safe overall water pressure from the main line to reduce the chances of this plumbing problem. Install them where the main water supply enters the home.

When All Else Fails…

Call a professional plumber to fix the problem! Barker Plumbing Services has over 30 years’ experience in plumbing repairs on the Gold Coast and can diagnose water hammer quickly and fix it the same day. We have all of the latest tools and equipment required to solve this issue before it becomes a costly problem in the future. Give us a call to book an appointment today.