Introduction to the Problem
In many homes, especially older ones, a common plumbing issue is the sound of banging pipes. This is often caused by a phenomenon known as water hammer. Water hammer occurs when the flow of water in the pipes is suddenly stopped, such as when a tap is quickly closed. The momentum of the water creates a pressure wave that travels through the water, causing the pipes to shake and create a banging noise. This can be both annoying and potentially damaging to your plumbing system.
The Solution: Hammer Arrestor
A hammer arrestor is a device designed to mitigate the effects of water hammer. It works by providing a cushion of air within the arrestor that acts as a shock absorber. When a pressure wave hits the arrestor, the air cushion compresses, absorbing the shock and preventing the wave from shaking the pipes. This reduces the impact on your pipes and prevents the banging noise.
The hammer arrestor should be installed on your cold water supply line. It's typically installed at points where the water flow can be suddenly stopped, such as near appliances like washing machines or dishwashers. These are often the sources of water hammer, as they use a lot of water and can shut off quickly.
Other potential installation locations include high-pressure points in your plumbing system, or close to the main water line. The arrestor is attached to the water supply line using compression fittings, which create a tight seal to prevent leaks.
After installation, it's important to check for any leaks to ensure the arrestor is working correctly. If you notice any leaks, you may need to tighten the fittings or reposition the arrestor.
By installing a hammer arrestor, you can significantly reduce the impact of water hammer on your pipes. This can prevent the annoying banging noise and potential damage to your plumbing system. While the installation process may seem a bit daunting, it's actually quite straightforward and can be a great DIY project for any homeowner.