Have you noticed strange noises coming from your walls? Is there a loud banging whenever you flush the toilet or start a load of laundry? This is a condition known as water hammer. It is a common problem in both new and old homes. Check out this troubleshooting guide from Las Vegas plumbing experts.
To prevent water hammer, homes built before the 1960s used air chambers. Air chambers are ‘T’ shaped pipe formations that create a space for air inside the fitting. When water suddenly flows through a track of piping, the air inside the air chamber acts as a shock absorber, thus eliminating water hammer. Over time, however, air chambers can fill with water and become ineffective. This type of fitting is no longer used today because of this reason.
Homes built after 1960 typically used air arrestors, the predecessor to the discontinued air chamber. An air arrestor is similar to the air chamber in that it allows a pocket of air to act as a shock absorber against water hammer. A piston inside the arrestor floats inside the chamber. As water moves through the pipes, the piston moves up or down to compensate for pressure but it does not allow water to fill the chamber completely.
Water hammer is the most common source of banging pipes whenever an air chamber or air arrestor fails. However, the source of the banging could also be loose straps. Pipes are attached to your home’s framework by metal straps. Over time they can come loose and cause banging inside the walls. High water pressure can also cause excess banging. A pressure reducer valve may fix this problem but they can be tricky to install.
For more information or help determining the exact source of your plumbing problem, contact your local Las Vegas plumbing professionals.
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