What Is Water Hammer? Symptoms And How To Fix It Properly?

Many people have seen or heard it before, but they do not know what it is called. Water hammer can also cause multiples effects on the steam system that can be avoided if we know how it is produced.

The first thing indicates, its noise has produced water hammer. On the other hand, it can create several damages to your equipment’s.

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What is water hammer?

Water hammer has been defined as the noise water makes when it hits against the sides of a containing pot or commonly known as a pipe. It is a phenomenon which tends to take place during a fluid flux.

It has many definitions, another one can be that it’s a strength caused when a fluent solution – often a gas or liquid material – is enforced to change its direction.

Despite it is typically known, many people do not know the serious effect it can have such as damaging all the system steam, for instance, flow meters, which are installed on the network organization.

Basically, what occurs in all this process is that when the steam gets out the pipe, it starts to lose heat. After that, these steams begin to condensate inside the pipe. As a result of this condensation, it forms water drops.

These droplets get built up inside the tube composing solid slugs, so they become in obstacles and when water gets into these pipes hit these solid slugs producing the noise people hear.

After this process is done, water slug tends to move at the same velocity than condensates steams. As a result, we will have a pressure impact higher than before producing in a determinate time several damages destructing any steam network.


3 Symptoms of Water Hammer

  1. Pressure impact surge on a float measure.
  2. Expansions union on a steam line that has been destroyed by the steam hammer.
  3. Pressure wave produced by losing a valve in a pipe. 

How To Prevent Water Hammer?

The best and faster way to prevent it is to remove the water from the steam lines by using drain connections before passing the steam again through them.

All the water has to be removed so that the water hammer cannot be caused. Finally, the steam valve has to be opened to bring it to working temperature again. This process has to be slow and gradual.

Best Way To Avoid Water Hammer

There are many situations in which water cannot be removed totally. However, there are some options that we can try to avoid water hammer and to prevent any damage.

  • Steam lines always have to be installed in the direction of flux.
  • Try to reduce or obliterate the condensate steam when it is formed.
  • People who work with this kind of stuff has to be prepared to open the insolation valve gradually during the startup modes.
  • Drain pockets should be sized to assure that condensate steams do not jump over it.

How To Fix It?

fix water hammer
  1. The first thing to do is to shut off all the water supply to the house.
  2. Open all the water griffins beginning with the highest one.
  3. Rinse out all the toilets at home.
  4. Let the water drain about 20 or 30 minutes.
  5. Then, turn on the water provision to the house again.
  6. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes to let the griffins recover a strong water stream and let it flow.
  7. Close again all the griffins beginning this time with the lowest one.
  8. Toilets have to fill automatically.
  9. Finally, when all the griffins are closed and toilets filled, wash out toilets to check the water hammer.

Some Silly Questions answered

Q1. What about if I cannot resolve the problem?

Then try to reduce the flow from shutting the valves off. If you are not using a regulated fill valve, try to replace the toilet fill valve with another one.

Q2. Can any person do these steps?

Yes. But I would recommend you to read before doing any step or being watched by someone with experience.

Q3. What can the pressure wave causes?

It can begin with a noise and vibration to end with a tube collapse.

Q4. How can be the effects of the water hammer be reduced?

Using expansion tanks, surge tanks, collectors, blow off valves.

Q5. When is the water hammer explicitly produced?

When a valve closes suddenly at the end of a tube line system.

In conclusion

We can say that water hammer is commonly produced, and we have to be aware to avoid it in the right way.

You have to be sure that everything is working properly and as we mentioned, the first thing to indicate a water hammer is occurring is the noise it makes, after listening to it we have to be work to reduce it because it can cause damage in the steam system.

You can also read our guide on how does a marine toilet work.

Last Updated on September 8th, 2020

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