Pipes bang with water filter turned on (not run-of-the-mill)

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by callmebill, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. callmebill

    callmebill New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I think I have a not-run-of-the-mill pipe-banging question.

    My home has a 1" whole-house water filter installed (I have a 3/4" supply). When the filter element gets to be a couple weeks old, my pipes start banging when I shut off faucets, flush toilets, run clothes/dishwasher, etc. The sound doesn't come from the device that was turned off; it comes from someplace in the cellar (I believe it's in a run across the ceiling, downstream of the filter).

    If I leave the filter in bypass mode, then pipes make no noise. Also, when I install a brand-new filter element, the noise goes away for a couple weeks.

    I thought of getting a water-hammer arrestor, but I don't know where I would put it, since the noise occurs regardless of which water outlet is being closed.

    Hope someone can help! Thanks in advance.

    [​IMG]
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The choices are; either replace the cartridge more frequently or use a higher micron rated cartridge, or remove the whole filter because you don't need it to filter invisible 'dirt' anyway, or put it in bypass and leave it there, or add a water hammer arrestor, or live with the hammer and the damage it causes your plumbing and fixtures.
  3. callmebill

    callmebill New Member

    Messages:
    5
    The dirt is extremely visible... A pleated filter gets brown awfully fast, and the sediment starts to settle down to the bottom of the filter housing. I prefer to stop it there.

    I'm more than happy to put in a hammer arrestor. But this seems to be more of a systemic problem, rather than "Oh, it's the washer; oh, it's the toilet". So I figured someone who has seen this would say, "Put an arrestor at point-x to catch this shock-wave".
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
  4. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,348
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    Did have your water pressure checked?80 PSI is max,get pressure gauge
    hook it up to your hose faucet,they are not that costly.If it is over 80PSI
    You may need a pressure reducing valve.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

  6. callmebill

    callmebill New Member

    Messages:
    5
    As for the dirt, call me paranoid :) As for that other thread, it's very helpful, thanks. This is the 2nd suggestion that I check the pressure coming into the house, so I'll do that.
  7. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Your banging is coming from the sudden loss of pressure when you open a faucet. It is a reverse water hammer. Arrestors will do nothing for you!

    As stated by others above change your filter more often, get one with larger capacity, switch to a coarser micron rating, or, eliminate the filter.
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    And remember that the stuff you see is not going to hurt you, and that it is very rare that there is anything in your water that will. And you can't remove those things with your present filter.
  9. RaisingSkell

    RaisingSkell New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Mansfield MA
    I know this thread is old, 2 years, so I apologize in advance. I have the same filter, main size and problem as the OP, except, the cleaner the filter, the worse the banging. When the filter gets so dirty that it won't filter any longer, the banging is reduced dramatically. But, so much so that my water pressure drops to near nothing.

    The options suggested aren't very reassuring considering my town's water is so bad and they are talking 3 years to fix it. I think they said it was manganese and wouldn't hurt anyone. Maybe what you see won't hurt you but when all of your clothes, faucets and sinks/toilets are brown, its disgusting. Any white clothes have to be thrown out after 3 washes. We've adopted a Gothic look at our house - all black clothes. The manufacturer of the filter recomends changing it every 3 months +/-. Here is a photo of a new filter next to a 3 WEEK old filter. Only 3 weeks, not months!

    So did the original poster find a solution to his problem? Please say yes. This repeated banging is terrible.

    Thanks in advance,
    Rick

    Attached Files:

  10. wolfpacknc

    wolfpacknc New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    north carolina
    I am having the same problem with a Reverse Osmosis filter I have. The filter is needed to clean the water for a reef aquarium. I am interested in what the solutions are to this problem. Whenever I shut off water faucet near the filter I get this repeated banging that damps out over time.
  11. Cindy Caragine

    Cindy Caragine New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    Your Answer:

    I just purchased this filter (GE????40?) a few days ago and decided to call GE to see if it would provide more water pressure than my existing filter housing. They informed me that they are getting a lot of complaints about reduced pressure and water hammer in WELL SYSTEMS. They strongly recommended I return it and they only recommend the 35f and 20s filter housings on a well system. They said something about a 2 way valve causing the problems on well systems. I called back a second time to confirm with another GE customer service agent. They also said they were working on changing the packaging and instructions to indicate this.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,267
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    When you open a faucet, something is reducing the system's pressure so drastically, that when you close the faucet, the resultant recovery of pressure occurs so quickly that it causes the hammer. When the filter is dirty, the water flow is retarded so the recovery take longer, thus reducing, or eliminating, the hammer. It is similar to what happens when you have a very long water service line and open a faucet quickly. The water's inertia causes the pressure to drop to zero momentarily, and the water flow "stops", then the water overcomes its inertia and starts to flow. It impacts the stationary water in the system causing "reverse water hammer".
  13. RaisingSkell

    RaisingSkell New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Mansfield MA
    Cindy, my apologies for not posting this earlier. I had also called GE and they said the filter I owned had a check valve which was causing the problem and suggested the same replacement. Nowhere on the box or in the packaging was any mention of the check valve. They would not swap out my unit with the non-check valve unit and told me to go back to where I purchased it - Home Depot.

    Since I had the unit over a year I figured HD would do nothing but they happily swapped out the unit and refunded me the difference. They too were unaware of the check valve issue. I never had the loss of pressure issue, only the hammering, but I'm on town water.

    Rick
  14. callmebill

    callmebill New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Hey, RaisingSkell. We're neighbors! I live in Sharon.

    Anyway, OP speaking a couple years later. I've just been living with the miserable banging noise. After re-googling it I stumbled upon this thread again. It looks like the GE w40-something filters may be partly to blame. I'm going to replace it with the 35 over the weekend.
  15. RaisingSkell

    RaisingSkell New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Mansfield MA
    Hey Bill,

    Small world! I switched to the GXWX35F and no more banging - its a beautiful thing. Two less attractive features about the GXWH35F are no shut-off/by-pass option and the casing is not clear. Since your system, like mine, has a shut-off its not a problem. I had an old clear casing from a previously screwed up install so I swapped it and it fits perfectly. If you return the original filter maybe they'll let you swap the canister so you could keep the clear one. My water is so bad I could never rely on the recommended schedule so seeing it really helps.

    Good luck,
    Rick
  16. mliu

    mliu Member

    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    California
    A couple of Tee's, a valve, and a little pipe work and you have a bypass.
  17. callmebill

    callmebill New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Well, internet, it took 3 years but my pipes have finally stopped banging. On the advice of this thread, I put in the GXWH35F (which as far as I can tell is identical to the old xx40, except without the built-in valvery), and the noise has gone away.

    I see a little black rubber thing that may be a check-valve in head of the xx40. I was tempted to just pull that out and see if that was the culprit... but I didn't.

    So anyway, everything is good. And now I have a spare xx40 filter housing (which I may use for target practice due to the grief it's given me). And all those damn sioux chief water hammer arrestors...

    Oh, and no need to remark on the scorch marks on my insulation... I'm well aware :)

    [​IMG]
  18. RaisingSkell

    RaisingSkell New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Mansfield MA
  19. mliu

    mliu Member

    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    California
    You could have eliminated one of those ball valves. Two ball valves (one on the supply line running to the filter, and one bypass) would have been sufficient.
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