What Are the Most Common Causes Water Hammer?

Do you ever hear a loud banging noise when you turn off the tap? This phenomenon is known as a water hammer, and it can be a serious issue in certain plumbing systems. It’s important to understand the causes of water hammer so that you can take steps to prevent it from occurring. Keep reading to explore what causes water hammer and what you can do about it.

Valve Closure

Water hammer is a common phenomenon that occurs in any plumbing system. Put simply, it’s a loud, sudden banging noise that is caused by a sudden pressure wave in the system. These pressure waves can be caused by a variety of things, but one of the most common causes of water hammer is the closure of a valve. When a valve is closed abruptly, the sudden stop of the flow of water causes a pressure wave to travel back through the system. This pressure wave is what causes the loud banging noise and can be extremely disruptive and potentially damaging to your plumbing system if not properly dealt with. The most common type of valve closure that causes water hammer is the sudden closure of a shut-off valve. This is often done when a plumber is trying to isolate a part of the system or when a homeowner is trying to shut off the water supply to a particular fixture. When this occurs, the water has nowhere to go and a pressure wave is created. This pressure wave can be very powerful and can travel throughout the system, causing damage to pipes, fittings, and fixtures. A professional plumber is best equipped to address this issue.

Faulty Pressure Regulator

One of the most common causes of water hammer is a faulty pressure regulator. This regulator is a device installed in the water supply line to regulate the water pressure. It is designed to reduce water pressure to a safe and consistent level. When a pressure regulator fails, the water pressure can become too high, causing the water to move too quickly through the pipes. This increased flow of water can cause the pipes to vibrate and create the loud banging sounds associated with the water hammers. If you suspect a faulty regulator may be the cause of your water hammer, there are a few steps you can take to investigate and possibly repair the issue. First, you should check the regulator itself. Look for any signs of corrosion or damage that may be causing it to malfunction. If the regulator looks to be in good condition, you should check the water pressure in the line. If the pressure is higher than normal, then the regulator is likely malfunctioning and needs to be replaced.

Damaged Pipes


When a pipe is damaged, it can cause the water to flow through the pipes at an even greater rate, leading to an even more dramatic pressure change. This increased pressure can cause the pipes to vibrate, which can lead to banging pipes, gurgling sounds, and even pipes bursting. Damaged pipes can also cause water hammer by creating an obstruction in the pipe that can prevent water from flowing properly. This can cause an increase in pressure, which can lead to banging pipes, gurgling sounds, and even pipes bursting. In some cases, damaged pipes can also cause water hammer by restricting the flow of water, leading to a sudden change in pressure. This can cause the pipes to vibrate, leading to banging pipes, gurgling sounds, and even pipes bursting.

Overall, water hammer is an important phenomenon to understand, as it can cause significant damage to plumbing systems, including ruptured pipes and failed valves. It is essential to take the necessary steps to identify and address the causes of water hammers in order to protect the integrity of the plumbing system and avoid costly repairs. This article has broken down the most common causes of a water hammer to help you out.