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Roberts Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

How Does Water Hammer Happen?

Tell us if the following scene sounds familiar to you:

You’re enjoying reading a book by your radiator as you can feel the warmth that’s produced by your boiler. Everything is quiet and serene until there’s a sudden lound and unpleasant noise that comes from your radiator and your boiler system.

If this sounds like a moment right out of your life then you’re dealing with an issue like water hammer. Water hammer, also known as hydraulic shock, can occur when you’re in need of Evanston boiler repairs. It’s definitely not a good thing, and we’d like to make the case today that you need to get your system fixed if it’s encountering this problem.

Let’s talk about what hydraulic shock—or water hammer—is, why it happens, and why you need the help of a professional to have it fixed!

What Is Water Hammer?

Water hammer is a phenomenon that occurs when water in a boiler or pipe system suddenly changes direction. Since our boilers are in charge of keeping water at a hot temperature in order to get heat into your home, there can be some funky occurrences that lead to sounds like water hammer.

Sometimes, water can quickly evaporate to the point of being superheated. Then, it will quickly start traveling through your pipes, expanding as it goes, while it rams into the walls of your pipes and causes a loud banging noise to occur. This is the unfortunate reality of water hammer, and it can be a big reason why homeowners call us for help.

Down below we’ll get into the science behind why water hammer happens, and how we can fix it.

How Does Water Hammer Happen?

There are several different ways water hammer can occur. Here are just a few of them.

  • Your boiler heats up too quickly. This can happen in a number of different ways. Either you’ve got a boiler heater that’s too large for your home, or you’ve got an overfired boiler, but either way, this can lead to water hammer. Causing the temperature of your boiler’s water to rise too quickly can cause it to start traveling quickly which leads to loud noises and eventual damage to the system.
  • Your pipes can’t handle the pressure. Are your boiler’s pipes loose? These loose pipes can make it hard for the system to handle the right amount of pressure. Loose pipes will cause loud noises as they bang against one another.
  • The pressure is wrong in your boiler system. One of the ways that water hammer is mitigated, is by having cushions of air in your boiler’s pipes. This stops the water from flowing against the metal, and instead, it hits a cushion of air as it travels throughout your house. If the pressure is wrong inside your boiler system, then you’ll need it to be corrected by a professional.

The Solution to the Problem

The truth is that different instances of water hammer can require different solutions. Luckily, you don’t have to know about the many different ways to solve a water hammer problem—all you need to do is call us! We have all the necessary equipment and training to get the job done.

Call Roberts Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. for help with your loud boiler.

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