I hear a loud banging sound when I turn off a faucet. What causes this problem?
The loud banging/knocking sound is known as ‘water hammer’ and is a problem that can cause plumbing components – water heaters, valves, seals, joints, and pipes – to fail prematurely. Water hammering is caused when a valve shuts off water flow and a high intensity pressure wave travels back through the piping system until it reaches a point of relief. The pressure will then surge back and forth between the point of relief and the point of stoppage until the destructive energy is dissipated.
The only way to stop this destructive force is to install a water hammer arrestor. Water hammer arrestors should be located as close as possible to the source of the shock wave. Arrestors have diaphragms that separate an air chamber from the water in the piping system and the air chamber absorbs the shock rather than your plumbing.
Know your plumbing!
Every plumbing system has a series of shutoff valves throughout the home – the Main Shutoff Valve, the Kitchen Shutoff Valve, and the Bathroom Shutoff Valves. Take time to locate each valve and make yourself familiar with their operation. There is nothing worse that trying to find and operate a valve during a plumbing emergency!
Winterizing Your Plumbing
Try some of these simple winter weather proofing plumbing tips:
- Be sure to heat your entire house. Keep your doors open to allow air to circulate throughout your house.
- Insulate your pipes using foam pad sleeves to keep them from freezing.
- During extreme cold, be sure to keep any exposed pipes or plumbing fixtures warm or run water from every valve in your house at regular intervals. This will help keep your pipes from freezing.