Plumbing is essentially the movement of water through pipes. It therefore has the potential to be noise creating and create what is referred to as water hammer. This noise is created essentially by:
There are three very common noise complaints with water piping systems being:
A sharp banging or hammering is generally a result of faulty taps or broken tap washers or poor clipping of pipes. All of these causes can be accentuated by excessive water pressure as water pressure legally cannot exceed 500kPa inside the building. The ticking sound can generally build up then diminish and are in fact the sounds generated by pipe expansion. Generally this is caused by the pipe heating up when the hot tap is turned on as the hot water replaces the cold water and then cools down.
All of the sounds commonly referred to as water hammer tend to be highlighted in copper water pipes. Water hammer still exists in plastic piping systems but frequently it is diminished greatly as the plastic pipe absorbs the sounds.
Very simply water hammer creates a shock-wave that ricochet’s back from the valve through what is now a stationary water supply. The shock-wave creates enormous pressure moving at 1280 meters per second. Your plumbing reticulation pipes, taps, valves and appliances are all susceptible to damage created by the impact of shock waves even if you hear no noise. The noise is essentially an early warning system telling you to rectify the problem before damage occurs.
Water hammer is avoidable and can be rectified regardless of whether you have copper or plastic water reticulation piping. It is worth getting your system checked to prevent damage occurring so call Whywait Plumbing now to schedule a water hammer check up.