A noisy water system in any house can be very alarming, and even frightening, especially when all the pipes start to rattle at once. You are unlikely to know what is causing it, but your friendly Ormond plumber will tell you that the most common cause of this is water hammer.
Water hammer in pipes makes a very noisy, banging sound, and it usually happens when we close taps too quickly or when we suddenly stop the flow of very fast-flowing water for some reason (usually not deliberate). This is why screw-down taps were originally designed – so that we couldn’t close them too quickly, and could therefore prevent water hammer in pipes.
When water hammer does occur, the water pipes vibrate and make a horrible noise. There are various reasons why this may happen, including damage to pipe work or to plumbing parts. But water hammer is also caused by pipes that have not been laid out and fitted correctly, and it might happen if tap washers are worn-out or damaged, or washer plates, clips and straps are too tight. It may also be caused by thermal expansion of pipes.
This is where your Ormond plumber based at Electrical and Plumbing Precision comes in
There is no doubt that it is the responsibility of plumbers to lay pipes so that noise and water hammer don’t happen. So if your plumbing starts to rattle, call in a reputable Ormond plumber to sort out the problem and make sure that the pipes don’t cause a level of noise that is unacceptable.
Causes of Water Hammer
Sometimes appliances, particularly dishwashers and washing machines, cause water hammer. If this is the case, a simple solution is to have water hammer arresters installed. Those manufactured for washing machines are installed in the waterline hose, and those made for dishwashers are normally installed under the sink.
Another cause of plumbing rattles are airlocks, which are basically collections of air bubbles at the top, or at a high point, of any plumbing pipeline. If there is an airlock in your water system, when you turn the tap on you will probably hear a hissing or gurgling sound in the pipes, and the water won’t flow out of the tap. It depends where the airlock is, but you may be able to force it back up the pipe by taking a damp cloth and plunging it forcefully against the spout of the tap that is affected, so that suction is created.
Houses built after the 1960s usually have air chambers incorporated in vertical pipe work near laundry tubs and sinks. When the chambers are full of air, the air prevents rattling. But sometimes the chambers become waterlogged and ineffective. If this seems to be the problem, try shutting of your water supply at the mains, and then open all the faucets or taps and let all the pipes drain. Once they have drained, the air chambers will fill up with air again and the rattling should stop.
If airlocks keep forming, it may be that the storage tank isn’t filling up as quickly as it drains. What happens then is that the pipes suck in air instead of water. Check that the stopcock is opened fully. If the problem persists, you might have a faulty ball-valve controlling the supply of water to the tank, in which case you will need to call in a reliable Ormond plumber, or someone based in your area.
Drains can also be noisy, for example when waste going down a drain draws air through the seal of the trap. Usually this happens when part of the discharge pipe from sanitary fixtures to gullies is vertical or nearly vertical. The only way to stop this from happening is to call in a plumber from Precision Electrical and Plumbing to vent the system and get rid of it right away.