Sometimes, whenever homeowners use the faucets in the kitchen or the bathroom sinks, they would hear a strange sound from the walls – banging. There seems to be banging sounds coming from the water pipes. What is the cause of this? And what is the best solution to get rid of “banging pipes”?
Banging noises that seem to come from pipes are usually related to something called water hammer. This condition is basically caused by a lack of air in the pipes – and not actually by the presence of air in pipes. Water hammer is responsible for the banging, or even rattling, noises that one might hear as coming from the pipes. The sound is heard whenever faucets or valves are quickly closed. The pressure of the water slamming against a closed valve creates the noise, as there is no air in the pipes to cushion it. Loose pipes may also be responsible for the noise, because the vibrations made in the pipe by the sudden stoppage may cause pipes to knock against structural elements.
But homeowners have more to worry about than just the banging or rattling noise. Water pressure can actually cause premature damage to valves in appliances and fixtures, and that’s why it’s important to address the problem if you think you may have a case of water hammer in your pipes. (If unsure, simply consult home inspectors so that they can check on it.) One solution is to introduce air into your pipes, either by closing the main water valve in the house and opening the lowest faucet in the house (usually a basement or outdoor faucet). The key is to let the water drain out for about five minutes, until water finally stops coming from the faucets. The next step is to close all the faucets and reopen the main valve. As the pipes refill, air pockets can form at points in the system, thus creating that much-needed air cushion from the water pressure.
If, however, the banging noise persists, it’s recommended that one get a device called water-hammer arrester. Once installed, it can maintain the air cushion needed to prevent banging pipes, or the sound of some such.