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Hammer – the words immediately bring a picture into our mind. That off a heavy instrument usually used to flatten things or to drive a screw into the wall.

The term hammer has also been used as a pun to signify someone repeatedly saying the stuff over and over again, causing irritation and headache.

However, today there is a term that needs explanation. That is an air hammer in water pipes. At first instance, it may sound strange. What is this all about?

Usually, the sound of water running through the pipes makes an even and steady sound.

Because it flows smoothly inside the tube. Sometimes, however, there is a big thumping or banging in the pipes. This might even shake the house, or there might be a loud bang.

This is the air hammer in the water pipes. What causes the air to hammer in the water pipes?

When a valve is opened or closed suddenly, it causes pressure inside the pipelines. 

Air gets in between, thereby causing air hammer. Usually, this occurs when valves are large around 3” in size.

The many air hammer in the pipes may cause a lot of discomfort and irritation to those in the house. So how to stop the air hammer in the water pipes?

First of all, a look at the length of the pipe is necessary. A small tube that is of a short length does not create problems.

However, if the water source is far off, then the pipe needs to be longer and bigger.

Also, size matters. In some instances, a high rate of water can flow through a small pipe without any problems, but only if the distance is shorter. Otherwise, this might create air hammer problems.

Another reason could be the time taken to stop the water flow. Usually, the valves close in just a matter of seconds.

But today there are valves that close instantaneously. Then there is no chance for air pressure to come in between, thereby preventing the air hammering from occurring.

One more reason could be the appliances in the house, such as Washing machines or dishwashers are taking in more water than the water pipes can handle.

If this is the case, then a great and simple solution would be to close the shut-off valve of the appliance partially.

This will reduce the flow of water to the device, thereby reducing the pressure and the velocity on the water pipe.

There are other methods to reduce air hammer in the water pipes, such as installing a water hammer arrested on the pipe near the shut-off valve.

These are mostly available at all plumbing stores or local hardware stores. If still, the air hammer is not reducing, then it is best to install a larger pipe than the existing one.

Experienced plumbers or technicians might first test out if this works out by using a heavy-duty garden hose etc. temporarily.

So overall, there are some quick-fix remedies to fix the water hammering in the water pipes. These need to be fixed before a great deal of damage is done.

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