Water Hammer or Noisy Pipes on Gold Coast
Plumbing is essentially the movement of water through pipes. It therefore has the potential to be noise creating. This noise is created essentially by:
- high water pressure
- quick closing mixer taps
- quick closing solenoid valves
- faulty or worn brass seats in taps
- broken tap washers
- air locks in pipes
- shock waves in pipes
There are three very common noise complaints with water piping systems being:
- sharp banging or hammering sounds coming from pipes
- a loud bang from a valve or tap
- audible ticking sounds that diminish after the tap is turned on
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.
A loud bang that appears to originate from a valve such as the toilet cistern or dishwasher or mixer tap is generally a result of a shock wave being generated by the quick closing of the valve or a solenoid valve. Once again this problem can be accentuated by excessive water pressure although poor clipping of pipes also aids this problem.
The ticking sounds that are a soft sound that generally build up then diminish 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.
Water hammer is essentially a shock-wave generated as a valve closes instantly creating a wall that suddenly stops the water that is moving forward under pressure. Very simply this creates a shock-wave that ricochet’s back from the valve through what is now a stationary water supply. It is the same as a car hitting a concrete wall at 120km per hour. 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.
Gold Coast & Tweed: (07) 5580 4311