Are your plumbing pipes making noise? Water hammer perhaps? - September 14th 2007


Are your plumbing pipes making noise?  Water hammer perhaps?


Q. I have a problem with plumbing pipes that "hammer" or rattle. Is it a problem that I can fix myself?



A. Try the following steps to get rid of the airlocks within your plumbing that can cause water hammer (banging pipes or pipes that rattle):

1. Shut off the main water supply (there is usually a shut-off valve right at the location where your water service enters your home).

2. Go throughout the house and turn on all your water faucets including any outside faucets.

3. Flush all your toilets.

4. Turn your dishwasher to the fill cycle.

5. Turn your clothes washer to the fill cycle.

6. Shut off the water supply to your hot water tank.

7. Leave the system for about 2 to 3 hours to allow the water to completely drain (to the lowest point).

8. Turn the water back on at the main water supply valve.

9. Wait until all the taps have water running at full force.

10. Turn your dishwasher off.

11. Turn your clothes washer off.

12. Turn on the water supply to your hot water tank.

13. Start shutting off the water faucets beginning with the faucets that are the highest (within the home) and the furthest away from the main water shut-off and work your ways to the faucets that are the lowest and closest to the main water shut off valve.

Note: The toilets tanks will fill up and shut off on their own.

Another tip: Never tighten water pipe clamps on floor joists. They should be loose to allow the pipes to expand and contract as they get hot and cold.

Your water hammer should now be gone!