The water hammer may cause burst pipes, cracks, and damaged supports. It also could result in leaks in joints. Hence, you should have a plumber near me in Houston, TX come over, determine what’s causing the hammering, and take measures to prevent it. Water hammer is a severe problem in high-rise buildings. Rapid changes in pressure might damage the structural integrity of your high-rise building if it happens repeatedly. Thus, preventing water hammers is critical, especially in high-rise buildings’ structural integrity and plumbing. Below are some of the ways a plumber might help protect your high-rise buildings from the effects of water hammers:
Installing Water Hammer Arrestors
Also called a shock absorber, a water hammer arrestor is a device specifically designed for absorbing the sudden pressure surges occasioned by the water hammer. To prevent the water hammer effects, a plumber near me will install the arrestors at the highest pressure point in the water supply mains of your high-rise building. When a person suddenly shuts off the valve, the arrestors will allow only a small volume of water to flow into the chamber. This will help reduce the surge in pressure, effectively preventing water hammer.
The water hammer arrestor usually comprises a chamber full of gas or air and a piston. The piston is connected to the high-pressure point of your main water supply line. As the pressure changes, this piston moves up and down. Whenever you suddenly close the valve, the pressure in the water line will increase, pushing the piston into the chamber. This also allows some water into the chamber, absorbing the pressure increase.
A water hammer arrestor’s design is critical to the overall performance. Besides being installed at the highest pressure point in your high-rise building, it should also be in the same direction as the water flow. Hence, you must have a plumber near me help you select the right unit for your multi-story building. They will consider the size and the water flow rate to determine the most appropriate installation point. Additionally, you must choose an arrestor made from corrosion-resistant materials.
Properly Sizing the Pipes
Water hammer prevention should not come as an afterthought. You should integrate it into your high-rise building’s design. Ensure that a plumber near me installs pipes that are appropriately sized. If the size of the pipe coincides with the water flow rate, it can go a long way in preventing water hammer. Too small water pipes result in restricted water pipes and pressure accumulation within. This could potentially result in a rapid change in pressure, impacting the structural integrity of your High-rise building. On the other hand, appropriately sized water pipes provide room for accommodating the pressure changes, averting the harmful impacts of water hammer.
Installing an Air Chamber
An air chamber is a short, vertical piping installed near the main shutoff valve, albeit slightly higher. Every time there is a water hammer, the piping will fill with air, serving as a cushion. However, t This isn’t a foolproof way to stop water hammers. Even with valves featuring installed air changers, water hammers can still happen. This usually arises because of the bubbling of water in the air chamber for an extensive period, nullifying the protective effect of the air chamber. This is a problem that a professional plumber near me in Houston, TX can help fix quickly. Although installing an air chamber will not automatically prevent the water hammers 100%, it helps immensely.
Properly Routing the Pipes
As mentioned above, water hammer protection for your high-rise building shouldn’t be an afterthought. It should be well thought out during the design and construction stage. The water pipes should be routed so that they don’t run parallel to each other. If the water pipes run parallel, the pressure waves created by the water hammer will be amplified, resulting in even more damage. If this happened on older floors of your high-rise building, the effects might be catastrophic depending on the pressure and the size of the pipes. By routing the plumbing pipes in differing directions, the plumber near me helps dissipate the pressure waves, reducing any likelihood of a water hammer.
Using Check Valves
Check valves have been used for ages to prevent backflow or the reversal of water flow in plumbing systems. When installed by a plumber near me in your high-rise building, they can help prevent water hammers from resulting from the backflow. When a person suddenly shuts the valves, the water rapidly changes direction and starts to flow back. This eventually causes a water hammer as the water hits the pipe walls or the valve. Installing check valves prevents backflows, ensuring the water is only flowing unidirectionally.
Installation of Pressure Reducing Valves
A rapid increase in pressure causes a water hammer. In high-rise buildings, this is bound to happen due to gravitational forces. Having a plumber near me in Houston, TX install pressure-reducing valves that could help deal with the issues like water hammer. The pressure-reducing valves in the main water supply line should be adjusted to maintain specific water pressure.
Regular Inspection and Maintenance
By regularly inspecting and maintaining your high-rise building’s plumbing system, the plumber near me may identify potential issues like high water pressure that could cause a water hammer. When the professional fixes such a problem, it will help avert the water hammer early before it happens. The technician will also regularly inspect and service check valves, pressure-reducing valves, water hammer arrestors, and air chambers to ensure they are correctly functioning.
Protect Your High-Rise Building from the Effects of Water Hammer
Have you heard the loud banging sound after turning off the tap in your high-rise apartment? That is a water hammer and should be a cause for concern. To protect your building from the adverse effects, contact us at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of West Houston to install various devices that prevent the water hammer. Don’t wait until the damage is done.