‘Water hammer’ beats a system badly

‘Water hammer’ beats a system badly

Don’t ignore unusually noisy clanging and banging in your steam pipes.

The boiler is telling you there’s something wrong with the water flow, and procrastination on your part can lead to expensive damage -- loss of heat, leaks, ruptured pipes and worse.

Simply put, “water hammer” refers to a situation where water is sloshing around and bashing into the system, causing hydraulic shocks and making a racket. (Here’s a detailed explanation of Water hammer from DFT®, a leading manufacturer of valves.)

Bad valve?

The problem may lie in the valves, insulation or another cause.

An experienced HVAC technician will examine the system, find the cause and explain your options.

One step may be to install a more advanced valve that can reduce pressure waves in the pipes.

Another possible solution: Air chambers that function as shock absorbers.


There are several ways to prevent a recurrence. Flushing an old system can work wonders, much like rebooting a computer. Upgraded pipes and other equipment also can make water hammer just a memory.

The technicians at Lighthouse HVAC are experts at installing and repairing boilers and solving such problems as water hammer.