For a few months now, the water pipes in our house have been making this terrible noise like someone is beating on them with a hammer. It only happens when we use the sink in the guest bathroom. It’s driving my wife and I crazy, my wife is ready to sell the house and move
Grass Valley, Ca.
Dear Banging Pipes in Grass Valley, CA.
This can be tricky. There are a couple things that can cause the water pipes to hammer. First I would check to see if the house has a pressure reducing valve on the water main. It would be installed somewhere along the main line either outside or just inside where the pipe enters the house. A pressure reducing valve uses a rubber diaphragm to regulate the incoming water pressure. Sometimes this diaphragm can become loose or worn and when water runs along it, it will vibrate like a reed on a wind instrument. The easiest way to solve the problem is to replace the pressure regulator with a new one. If this doesn’t solve the problem or if you don’t have a regulator you’ll want to install what’s called a pneumatic hammer arrester into the plumbing system. A hammer arrestor is a little shock absorber for your plumbing. You’ll want to install it as close as possible to the fixture that’s causing the problem. If the fixture is on the second floor you may need to open the drywall to get access to the piping. You’ll also want to take a look at the piping in the area around the problem fixture. There may be some loose pipes that will need to be strapped down. Hopefully this will help; water hammer can be a difficult and frustrating problem to solve. A lot of times I will start with the easiest thing and work my way through to the more difficult and expensive things. Sometimes solving difficult plumbing problems is just a process of elimination.