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Scary Banging Noises From Inside the Walls

The spooky season is here, and everyone is taking delight in being scared. But, for homeowners, the fear can be all too real. When the spooky noises usually reserved for haunted houses start showing up in their homes, it can be too much to bear. 

A common haunt in homes is loud banging noises coming from somewhere in the distance, usually behind walls but sometimes in the attic or basement. This sound is caused by a phenomenon called "water hammer," which can harm the home. Here is some advice from local plumbers about preventing and stopping water hammer before homeowners are scared out of their wits. 

Water Hammer Explained 

Shock waves are easily seen in explosions on TV. A high-pressure wave surges out from the epicenter of an explosion, kicking up dust and doing damage. The same thing happens in water piping; if banging pipes are a problem in a home, water hammer is to blame. 

Liquids are very efficient at carrying excess energy through a wave of pressure. This happens when the velocity of water in a pipe suddenly changes, as when water hits a tight bend or a valve slams shut. Most often, the cause of water hammer is from appliances that shut water off much faster than a knob or faucet being turned off. The resulting surge of pressure causes an audible noise as water slams into pipe walls and pipes rattle against studs inside the walls. 

What Problems Does Water Hammer Cause?

pipe Water hammer itself isn't a sign that anything is necessarily wrong with a home's plumbing system, with the exception being that something is wrong with water hammer arresting devices. However, water hammer is usually the cause of problems in a plumbing system

The excess pipe movement caused when the pressure wave bounces around inside a pipe causes pipe joints to weaken and pipe straps to come loose. The excess movement of pipes will only get worse until something bad happens.

Burst pipes are a common problem that results from water hammer. When pipes are repeatedly weakened during the rattling of water hammer they will eventually give way and allow water to quickly flood a home. That's why repairing water hammer quickly is so important. 

Fixing Water Hammer and Its Complications 

professional Qualified professionals are needed to adequately address the causes and fixes of water hammers. Usually, they will start by determining a cause, looking for appliances like clothes washers to be the culprit. After that, they will look for water hammer arresting devices in service that may not operate correctly. 

Water hammer-arresting devices are installed according to building codes. They can be special devices that cushion the shockwave from water hammers or air cushions built into piping by adding short capped runs of pipe full of air. 

After ensuring these devices are in place, plumbers inspect piping for wear and add new pipe straps to re-secure the pipe. 

About All Purpose Plumbing

All Purpose Plumbing's motto is "service all about you." Their fully-stocked trucks mean they can fix problems on the spot, not needing to make trips back to the warehouse. Call today for industry-leading plumbing service in Tacoma, WA.