Does it sound like someone is standing behind your living room and bedroom walls knocking on them whenever a toilet flushes? If so, it’s likely coming from your pipes.

Also known as ‘water hammer,’ this knocking noise in your home’s plumbing can become as annoying as a clogged toilet. Luckily for most homeowners in Sarasota, Florida, it’s an easy fix.

What Causes Water Hammer?

When you flush a toilet in your home, water runs through the pipes at a high flow rate. As the toilet fills, it closes a valve and causes the water to crash against it. The resulting vibration can sometimes cause the pipe to knock against the wall. How you proceed with resolving this issue depends on when your home was built.

How to Eliminate the Knocking in Your Pipes

If your home was built:

Before 1960s

Many homes built before the 1960s had air chambers that prevented water hammer by absorbing the shock of the water’s crash and minimizing vibration. Unfortunately, these air chambers were known to deteriorate quickly and weren’t used in newer homes.

If your home was built before the 1960s, try:

  • Turning off your home’s water supply
  • Draining your home’s piping by opening all the faucets, flushing all the toilets and running all water-consuming appliances
  • Turning on your home’s water supply

Between 1970s and 1990s

If your home was built between these decades, you likely don’t have any protection against water hammer. A can install water hammer arrestors to fix this problem.

After 1990s

Just about every modern home is built with water hammer arrestors, which are small devices that connect to the piping and contain spring-loaded shock absorbers that divert the water’s force when you flush a toilet or turn a faucet off. Unlike the air chambers of the 1960s, water hammer arrestors almost never become water logged.

If your home was built after the 1990s and you’re still hearing noises, it’s possible it doesn’t have water hammer arrestors or there’s a different problem.

  • Straps that connect the plumbing to the wall studs are loose
  • Water pressure is high and you need a reducer valve installed

If you’re dealing with more than just a few annoying knocks, like a busted pipe and a major leak, read to learn about or contact us at (941) 444-5387.