Water Hammer: What to Know & Do?

My house plumbing has a water hammer problem. We are on well water, and the water pressure is probably less than 60 psi max at present, but soon it will be tweeked up to 60psi.

Can I afford to live with water hammer, and if not how do I correct it? Do I need some kind of additional accumulator tank (besides having the air tank and water treatment system)…or can I go on living with water hammer?

Please share your thoughts as we’re going to replace the whole system shortly (air tank and water treatment system). Is there a quick and inexpensive fix? - Jinx

Added notes: The house was built in 1988 with copper piping. This might factor into how one answers this question. - Jinx

This site contains a primer on water hammer. I think would call a plumber unless the system overhaul is going to be pretty quick.

Bad water hammer, as the site says, and rupture soldered joints and cause leaks.

At a glance, the suggested website (link provided above) implies I would need a small accumulator at every valve. That means beneath every sink, toilet connection, etc. Isn’t it possible to have one accumulator sized for the whole house and placed in-line after my water softening system in the basement to protect the whole house at once? Wouldn’t this make more sense and be more cost effective? - Jinx

There are several things you can try--------

Raise your pressure range setting.

Completely drain your system and then re- charge.

Go to the highest point in your system and install an air chamber.

Make the drain/recharge cycle a quarterly operation.

High pressure hammer could eventually loosen up some soldered joints and really make a mess.

Beats me, Jinx. I don’t know a damned thing about water hammer. If any part of the old system is going to be used when your system is overhauled, tell whoever is doing the work about the water hammer.

no, you cannot correct for water hammer at the entrance because the water hammer is caused by the mass of the water moving through the pipes. You need to have a something to absorb the shock as near as possible to where the shock is cause: the valve you are suddenly closing. Generally a length of vertical pipe which will naturally fill with air is an adequate remedy but you can use the bladder type absorbers which are sold for this purpose. Normally theu would be installed inside the wall when the plubling is done but if you are retrofitting there is nothing wrong with installing them outside the wall, connected to the short pigtail which goes from the wall to the faucet.

Obviously, shutting valves and faucets off slowly alleviates the problem very considerably.

Reading the link cited by David Simmons I see they do not recommend risers as a means of reducing water hammer problems.

They mention the air can gradually dissolve in the water. I suppose this could be true but it has never happened to me. In general I have always had the opposite problem: the water came with pockets of air which spurted out of the faucets. I suppose if your water supply contained no air bubbles then the air in the risers could dissolve and leave no air in the riser. Absorbers with a bladder would be better.

As the problem is caused by shutting off valves suddenly, you need to provide shock absorbers very especially where solenoid valves shut of water flow suddenly like the washing machine etc. But, as I said, they can be retrofitted outside the wall quite easily.