Water Hammer Problem????

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by rmpangan, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. rmpangan

    rmpangan New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Nevada
    Hi guys,

    I started having this problem about 8 months ago. The problem is intermittent so it is hard to replicate the issue. Anyway, before I describe my problem, let me just give some background info on my house plumbing updates. We did some renovation 5 years ago where all the 3 bathrooms where updated. The shower controls/valve and toilets were all replaced. About 2 years ago, I had a problem when a rodent was able to get inside my wall and chewed the water line that goes to the refrigerator. Did some damaged to my first floor ceiling but I got the SOB. Anyway, the water line was fixed and everything is back to normal.

    Here is my problem: sometime last year, I noticed that the water coming out of my faucet ( kitchen and bathroom upstairs/downstairs) is pulsating. I just thought it was unusual but maybe it was just water pressure in the neighborhood causing it. It lasted maybe a few hours and then it was gone. I guess a few months after that, I heard a banging sound ( like pipes hammering ) coming from inside the wall near the second floor guest bathroom. It sounded like it was getting louder and louder. I opened the faucet on the bathroom and noticed that the water again is pulsating. I cant remember if I flushed the toilet or what else I did but it did stop after a few minutes. Several more occurences happened since, where I can see the water pulsating first from the faucet or shower head and then the banging sound will start getting louder. I kind of figured out that when I flush the toilet on the second floor guest bathroom, it seems to fix the problem. BTW, i tried to flush the master bathroom toilet (when the hammering sound is happening) which is also on the second floor but this did not fix the problem.

    All i know at this time is the hammering sound is coming from the second floor guest bathroom. It seems that flushing the toilet fixes the problem. It doesnt happen all the time but maybe because nobody uses the guest bathroom often. I think the problem happens when I have a guest using this bathroom since the last 2 incidents happened when I had a visitor.

    Is this a water hammer problem? Anything I could do to prevent it from happening? Thanks.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,820
    Location:
    New England
    Do you have a PRV to reduce the water pressure in the house? It may be failing or failed. Do you have an expansion tank (needed if you have a PRV)? It could be waterlogged and needs to be replaced. Check the drain on the water heater and verify that the T&P valve is not weeping water. Best to check this after a big use of hot water while the tank is reheating the water and you are no longer using hot. The expansion of the water as it is heated can raise the pressure if it is a closed system if there's no provision to expand (that's what an expansion tank is for).

    Get a water pressure test gauge. They're cheap (around $10). Get one with a second tattle tale hand that will indicate peak pressure. Leave it attached for 24-hours. See what the peak pressure and static, average pressure is. It should not exceed 80psi. High water pressure can cause some weird noises in plumbing and stresses the supply hoses on faucets and washing machines. Toilet fill valves are often one of the weaker shutoffs in the house, and they can make some weird noises if the pressure gets high.
  3. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    Try turning the shut off to the toilet that fixes the problem off. I am guessing its the ballcock in that toilet. If not then check other things like the peressure in the house.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,285
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Your problem could be occurring in many places, so we cannot tell you exactly where without doing our own testing, but often the thing that "cures" the problem is also what is causing it. Check or replace the toilet valve and see if the problem disappears.
  5. rmpangan

    rmpangan New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Nevada
    I have looked for the PRV in my garage but I have not found any. I do know that I do not have an expansion tank. Is there any other location that I might look for a PRV? I have a water softener in the garage next to my water heater and I did not see any PRV close by. I will get a water pressure gauge to check my avg and peak pressure. will also try to check the suggestions on the toilet ballcock.

    Thanks for all the suggestions. Only problem I have is I do not know how to duplicate the issue so I cant tell if the problem will be fixed or not. I will get back to you guys when I get any result.
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