When people hear thumps or bangs in the middle of the night, the first thing that comes to their minds is â€œghostâ€; when they should be thinking about water hammer. Water hammer occurs when water traveling through the pipe stops suddenly by a shut off valve. The water slams into the shut off valve with forces of 250/400 PSI, reverberating backwards from the valve throughout the entire pipe, causing a loud thumping or banging sound. If you flush your toilet, run your sprinkler system, use the dishwasher, turn on the shower or washing machine and you hear a thump or loud vibration, you probably have a water hammer problem.
Water hammer is like small explosions within a pipe, which can cause extensive & expensive damages. If water hammer is not fixed they can damage the water heaters, valves, washing hoses, fittings, fixtures, toilets, backflow, ect. Water hammer is not prejudiced; they can occur in cold and hot water supply lines. Water hammer can also cause burst pipes & water leaks without any warning.
Next time you hear a thumping sound or loud vibrations in the middle of the night, please contact your local plumber.