Quiet Pipes® water hammer arrestors reduce pipe banging noise and protect plumbing
If you’re a residential plumber, you’ve doubtlessly heard from customers who are going crazy from the bang bang bang! that happens when they turn off a faucet, or when their dishwasher, toilet or washing machine shuts off.
Of course, what they’re talking about is water hammer, the short-term pressure buildup resulting from the abrupt closure of solenoid valves. Though water hammer alone shouldn’t damage plumbing, the sound may be amplified by improper pipe joints or inadequate supports. Over time, that could cause joints to break.
In any case, the sound is an annoyance. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: Oatey Quiet Pipes ® water hammer arrestors . Quiet Pipes contain a piston inside a cylinder. A pressure surge makes the piston move, compressing air in the cylinder. That dissipates the kinetic energy of the surge, keeping the pipes from rattling and maintaining an even 60 psi.
Quiet Pipes come in six sizes and there is a Quiet Pipes product for every residential application.
Installation and maintenance
Installing Quiet Pipes is simple. For washing machines, screw it onto the male fitting — right side up, upside down or sideways. For dishwashers and other appliances, use compression fittings. Arrestors should always be installed as close as possible to the noise-making fixture.
Once installed, the arrestor needs no maintenance. But if you still hear a banging noise, the customer’s pipes may need attention. Check to see if there are enough straps holding them in place. If not, add more. Using clips and plumber’s tape will further restrict pipe movement. Be careful not to use galvanized or steel straps on copper pipes — reaction to the material could corrode them.
If the pipes go through walls, make sure the holes around them have been filled with foam to keep them from rattling.
Banging pipes may also be caused by high water pressure. Too much pressure is dangerous and can damage appliances. If it exceeds 100 psi, it could void the customer’s warranty. Above 150 psi, valves will start leaking water.
You can adjust water pressure with a water-pressure regulator or a pressure-reducing valve (PRV), which can be set anywhere between 40 and 75 psi, ensuring that pressure throughout the house will never exceed the maximum amount.
Water hammer is a nuisance that many residential customers put up with for years. They’ll be grateful to have you solve the problem with a simple solution.