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Thread: Water Hammer coming from toilet..Please Help

  1. #1

    Default Water Hammer coming from toilet..Please Help

    Over the past 6 months I have been experiencing severe water hammer coming from the upstairs toilet. It happens as soon as you push the lever and the valve opens. When your below it in the downstairs bathroom, the sound is like an explosion, and I feel like it is getting worse. It doesn't happen every time you flush. I've tried everything that I could think of to solve the problem. I installed a expansion tank at the water heater, tried two different brand ballcocks and I also installed a pressure reducer at the main and I've been keeping it at 45 psi. My house has very high water pressure, (80psi) and the hammer seems to be the same severity no matter if I have it at 45 psi or 80 psi. My sprinkler pipes also make some noise, it almost sounds like air is in the system.


    Can anyone think of anything else I can try to fix my problem? I am really at a loss and I am worried that my pipes are going to break behind the wall. Thanks in advance
    Last edited by dustpol; 10-19-2008 at 04:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Try opening the angle stop valve all the way...
    It may have to be replaced it has a loose washer.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you replace the shutoff valve, buy a 1/4-turn one, and make sure it is fully opened. Those have no washers to get old and vibrate.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the advice, I will try to replace the shut off valve and stop the hammer from the toilet. Why would the sprinkler line going to the backyard make noise? It seemed to just develop over the last few weeks. Thanks again!

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Replacing the shutoff may not solve the problem, but it can't hurt...they do wear out and you want it to work when you need it. The filler valve in the toilet, depending on the design, can shut off very quickly. Some brands do this more than others. Fluidmaster, seems to shut off fairly fast, and if the pipes aren't well anchored, can cause them to move. Water hammer is the result of the flow being stopped quickly. A typical sink faucet can't be shut off fast enough to normally cause this. Things likey your washing machine, ice-maker, (some) toilet valves, and possibly your sprinkler system can have a valve that closes quickly. Things in motion tend to stay in motion, so the energy from moving has to be absorbed somwhere - the pipe moves. When it hits something, you hear it. Hammer arrestors contain a piston and an air chamber. The moving water pushes the piston, compressing the air which absorbs the impact. WHen you open a valve, it returns back to 'normal' and is ready for the next shot. Where you have valves that can close quickly, it's a good idea to put an arrestor, or change the valve so it doesn't close as fast and need one.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustpol View Post
    It happens as soon as you push the lever and the valve opens. When your below it in the downstairs bathroom, the sound is like an explosion, and I feel like it is getting worse.
    Water hammer occurs when the flow of water in a pipe is suddenly stopped.
    Yours is occurring when it turns on.
    There are a couple of different things this could be...

    Is the noise constant while water is running sounding almost like a jackhammer?

    or,

    Is there a single bang when the water starts to flow usually accompanied by low pressure then the pressure coming back?

  7. #7

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    The noise, as Redwood mentioned, is happening when the water is turned on. On the upstairs toilet, as soon as the lever is pushed, it is one single tremendously loud bang. When I turned the psi down in the house the problem got even worse. I have tried two different types of fill valves and the noise seems to just keep getting louder. I had a plumber come, after I did all I could do. He installed an expansion tank at the hot water heater. Once he did that, I developed the jackhammer type sound coming from the sprinkler line, once they are energized. It happens on all 6 of the zones. Thanks again.

  8. #8
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Okay, The toilet problem is kind of what we would call a reverse water hammer... It is more of a supply problem as the water pressure drops low when the valve opens then returns as the flow accelerates...

    The sprinkler problem would be a loose washer in a valve probably the one the plumber used. It's no fault of his... Just an old unused valve that falls apart when touched... Whereever this valve is it would have flow through it to all the zones of the sprinkler system...

  9. #9
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Could be air in the line.

  10. #10
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Could be the pipe is loose now in its anchoring in the wall.

    Lots of fun locating it and stopping it.


    I have stopped hammering by yanking and bracing the kitchen sink supply line an inch farther over. The pipe got tighter in its anchors in the walls. Lasts about a year. Then I reposition it again. It makes a little bigger hole in the sheetrock behind the kitchen sink garbage, but nobody is complaining.

    David

  11. #11
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    It sounds like a a worn ballcock to me.Sometimes they ware out and start to vibrate the same as valves

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