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Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. Blog

What Is Water Hammer?

Water hammer is a common problem with boiler systems. It occurs when water doesn’t have an air cushion and abruptly hits against the pipes, causing a loud noise. This can be a serious issue, as it can damage pipes and fittings. Which, in turn, can lead to expensive repairs and possible flooding.

Today’s article discusses water hammer and what to do if it ever happens to you.

The Dangers of Water Hammer

Water hammer is a common problem in steam systems. You may hear a banging noise when the system is first turned on. This happens because of an abrupt pressure change. When water molecules hit the pipes with great force, they can cause serious damage.

Water hammer can damage:

  • Pipes
  • Fittings
  • Valves
  • or cause Flooding

If you have any of these issues, it’s important to call a professional as soon as possible. They will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of action.

If something like a valve becomes damaged, large quantities of steam or hot condensate can start blowing out. If this happens, it’s essential to shut off the system immediately. Once the system has cooled down, a qualified technician can make the repairs.

Failing to handle this properly could lead to a serious accident. While there isn’t a lot of information about water hammer prevention, there are a few things you can do that could help prevent it.

How to Potentially Prevent Water Hammer

One way to prevent these loud bangs and potential damage from happening is to drain your plumbing system. To do this, you should first shut off the main water valve. Then, we’d advise you to call our team to help flush the system. This can help rid your boiler of any problematic materials like metals and sediments that have developed and are causing issues.

Another method is to regulate the pressure in the pipes of your home. This can be done by installing water hammer arrestors. These small cylinders can absorb the jolt of sudden water pressure. They can be fairly easy to install, but if you’re unsure, it’s best to consult with an expert.

Taking these precautions can help keep your home safe and free of damage.

What to Do When Water Hammer Happens

When you hear the loud banging noise, but don’t see any damage along your pipes, consider it a warning that something bad could happen in the future. If you hear water hammer in your home, call a professional and see if they can do something to protect your property and prevent costly damage.

If a pipe does burst or you notice damage in your pipes, turn off your main water valve immediately, and begin cleanup. Of course, you should call a professional as soon as possible to fix the problem and restore your water system.

We hope you found this article helpful. Water hammer can be a serious problem, but with the right knowledge and precautions, you can hopefully avoid any damage to your home.

For reliable service, contact Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. for boiler repair in Arlington, VA.

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