Diagnosing & Solving Water Hammer

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Water Hammer

If you’re annoyed by banging and hammering noises in your plumbing, you have a problem you want to fix as soon as possible, if only to save your sanity. Should you call the plumber immediately or is there something you can do to stop the noises on your own?

What Causes Noises in Plumbing?

There are two causes of noise in plumbing:

  1. Air hammer is a result of air being trapped in your water pipes. It happens when you turn on a faucet or valve.
  2. Water hammer happens when you suddenly shut off the water. It often starts with a big “bang” followed by a series of diminishing hammering sounds.

When you turn on a faucet or valve and air is trapped in a pocket or pockets somewhere in your pipes, the air is compressed. Turning on the valve releases the pressure and causes a loud hammering sound like the sound of the air pressure being released from an air gun.

Water hammer works a little differently. The reason why it occurs when you turn off the water is that the momentum of the water causes it to crash into the faucet valve, causing an initial hammering sound. Further down in the pipes, an air cavity and a vacuum is formed. This makes the water surge forward repeatedly until the air pressure gradually diminishes.

Diagnosing and Solving Water Hammer

You may be able to stop air hammer from occurring by turning off the water at the mains, draining all the water from your pipes and then turning the water on again. This may work on water hammer, too, but if it doesn’t, the only other way to prevent it from happening is to slowly turn off your faucet to prevent the sudden onrush of water against the valve.

Modern plumbing systems have air chambers installed to prevent water hammer from occurring. If your plumbing system has these air chambers, they may be clogged with mineral deposits. A plumber can clean them and you won’t have to remind everyone in the family to slowly close the tap or taps where water hammer occurs.

If you live in an older home, you have two choices. You can reduce your water pressure and see if that works or you can get quotes for installing a hammer arrestor into your pipes. This is probably the best solution because if left unchecked, water hammer can cause pipes to burst. As annoying as those banging sounds are, a broken pipe is a far bigger problem and more expensive to fix.

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Willetton Plumbing & Gas

Plumbing License 1127 Gas Fitting License 4913

Do It Yourself Plumbing. Should You?

A do it yourself plumbing job.
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Do It yourself plumbing

Should You Do It Yourself Plumbing?

A do it yourself plumbing job.
Do It Yourself Plumbing

No! I mean that sounds harsh doesn’t it? In Australia we have rules and regulations stopping people from doing what is known as illegal and dangerous plumbing. Why? TO PROTECT YOU.
 
Look, I’m not talking about changing tap washers and little things like that, but when it comes to connecting water services, gas services, hot water units and sewerage pipes the rules and regulations are put in place to protect the home owner or commercial property owner and if you choose to do your own plumbing or gasfitting you are risking not only your own health or being injured but that of the rest of the community also. When hot water units are not properly installed the outcome could be catastrophic. If you happen to connect a sewerage pipe to a water pipe you could put a communities health at real risk.

Is Do It Yourself Plumbing Worth The Risk?

I know at times consumers feel plumbers can be expensive, but the protection you are afforded by using a licensed plumber far outweighs the cost to employ them. These people are trained professionals who understand their responsibilities to the community as a whole and install plumbing in a way that protects the community from mishaps and injury.
 
You know that weekend plumber you employ? Make sure you check he has insurance and has a Contractors License not just a Plumbers License. If he doesn’t have these you run the risk of not having a callback if things go awfully wrong, and it does.
 
Imagine how the streets and your home would look if we didn’t have rules in place for the installation of your plumbing. Perth is a beautiful place but imagine that there was no control over how we disposed of sewerage from our houses. Oh Man! Disaster.

Employing A Plumber.

When you do employ a plumber stay loyal, don’t always go searching for the cheapest. Find someone you can trust and build a relationship with. Most will look after you and when you have that emergency (and you will) they will be prepared to come and get you out of the poo, so to speak. Plus most will look after you when it comes to presenting you the invoice.
 
Most plumbers will happily give you good free advice when you ring them up. They won’t want to lose you as a customer because they appreciate your loyalty. Seriously they want you as a long term customer and friend.
 
So think about it when you go to do that bit of plumbing. Is it worth the risk, will you put others in danger, will you put your families health at risk and when you go to turn it on, will it work?
 
For peace of mind and the right advice call me on 0423 854 687

more great plumbing tips

To Help You Save Money

Call Liam Now On 0423 854 687

Willetton Plumbing & Gas

Plumbing License 1127 Gas Fitting License 4913

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Flooded By Sewerage

Sewerage Overflow In Perth
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If We All Flushed Our Toilets At The Same Time

What If Everybody In Perth Flushed Their  Toilets At The Same Time!

If we all flushed our toilets at the same time you would suspect we would be flooded by wastewater and I think you might be right.

As far as I know no state or country has ever tried. It might be a hoot and we can’t for sure know what the outcome might be but we can take a pretty good guess. It’d probably be ugly.

Sewerage Overflow In Perth
Perth Sewerage Overflow

The average home in Perth is fitted with sewer pipes around 100mm in diameter. The pipes from your home are connected to subdivision systems, which connect together at street systems. Street systems tie into road systems, which go to main road systems, and, ultimately, wastewater treatment plants. Underneath your town is a wastewater system as complex as a spider’s web.

The closer you get to the treatment plant, the larger the inside diameter of the pipes becomes. So a 100mm pipe from your house connects to a 150mm pipe and so on. The pipes can hold a lot of water, but can they hold enough for everyone to flush at once?

If everyone in Greater Perth ‘s 700,000 (approx.)households all flushed just one toilet at the same time, and each of those toilets expelled 6 litres per flush, then Perth’s sewer system would suddenly be inundated with 4,000,000 + litres of wastewater. And we’re not even counting all of the public toilets in the city.

Of course, the earth isn’t level underneath many cities, and to overcome changes in elevation, sewer systems use pump stations, wastewater plants that push sewage uphill toward its final treatment destination. These stations would be the first overwhelmed by unanimous flushing. There would simply be too much wastewater trying to pass through the pipes at the same time — kind of like trying to force an orange through a drinking straw — and the flow of sewage would stop. Sewage already past the pump stations would return downhill, and as the pump stations flooded, the lines leading to them would back up.

Eventually, this sewage would find its way to the place where this whole debacle originated — your home. Backflow valves probably wouldn’t help. Not only would your toilet overflow, but so, too, would every wastewater line in your home, including your shower, kitchen and bathroom sinks, and even your dishwasher and washing machine.

Outside, the manhole covers dotting the street would also flood and overflow, leaving people in sewage possibly more than ankle deep. Depending on how many people live in your city and how large the sewer pipes are, it could be even worse.

Wow! Could you imagine that?

So as not to worry you this could be all hypothetical and my assumptions could be completely wrong, but best to buy a small rubber dinghy just in case.

Remember if you think you have a blocked drain you can go here and read more about it or give me a call now on 0423 854 687

more great plumbing tips

To Help You Save Money

Call Liam Now On 0423 854 687

Willetton Plumbing & Gas

Plumbing License 1127 Gas Fitting License 4913

Bathroom Plumbing Problems

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Galvansised Water Pipe

Emergency Service 24/7 Home Our Reviews Pricing FAQ’S Contact Does Buying An Old House Mean Big Plumbing Problems? Plumbing Problem Number One: Galvanized Pipes For a quick test of an old house, turn on the water. If the pressure is low, the house probably has galvanized pipes that have corroded and are seizing up. It … Read more