From the Forum – Water Hammer problem

Photo by PoPville flickr user blueiris2006

Water Hammer problem:

“We have recently noticed a pretty serious sounding water hammer when we flush one of our upstairs toilets (3 story renovated rowhouse in Petworth). We have only noticed it for the last 6 weeks or so, but we must admit that does not mean it was not happening earlier, it may have been and just gotten louder to the point we noticed.

We have tried all the do-it-yourself tricks. First we drained the whole system and restarted, and it went away for about 2 flushes. Then we tried decreasing the water flow in to the tank, but no real change occurred on the water hammer.

Has any one dealt with this? Do you suggest we call a plumber? I am not sure how damaging this sort of thing can be. I see mixed reviews online about water hammer arrestors, and I am not sure one would help in our case as the sound does NOT seem to come from anywhere near the toilet/bathroom walls but from someplace else in adjacent walls. It is usually 2-3 loud bang/clunk sounds immediately post flush.

I welcome any advice from folks who have dealt with this before as the sound is increasingly disconcerting, but we are a bit afraid of calling someone in to only get taken advantage of if this is not actually that big a deal or there is some other trick we should have tried. We are also scared they will have to tear up a significant portion of our house to find the offending pipes, and we are expecting a baby in June so not an ideal time for chaos….

Thank you for any advice!”

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4 Comment

  • Did you have the house renovated or did you buy it renovated? Was the entire plumbing/piping renovated?

    Typically if a home is renovated and they install new PVC piping plumbing, sometimes they forget to anchor down the high volume pipes (washer dryer, toilets). A simple fix is to go to where the hammering can be heard the loudest, cut a hole in the wall, and anchor the pipe to the closest stud. I have seen this in many homes that have been renovated in DC.

  • Google “water hammer arrestor” and you’ll see the part you need (if you don’t already have one in your water system). They’re fairly cheap – $30 – $75. If you don’t have the skills, any competent plumber can install one fairly quickly.

  • i had this problem.
    try this first:
    open all taps, showers, etc…
    turn off water main
    let everything drain out.
    close all taps
    turn water back on.

    this could alleviate it.

  • Yup, we had this issue on a combo washer/dryer. 2 water arrestors from Amazon fixed the issue. They are pretty easy to install. Good luck!

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