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SkunkedAgain

Loud Pipes Aren't Saving My Life

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Just bought a new 1950s home that was vacant for the past few years. Everything is great except that the pipes rattle and groan, mostly when using the basement slop sink or the outside spigots. Is this likely "water hammer?"

Is the solution to turn off my water at the main, then open up all of the faucets to drain, and then turn on the water at the main again? (there are two vertical "shock" pipes right next to the basement faucet)

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If they rattle when you turn the water off rapidly, that's water hammer, it they just rattle when ever, it could just be loose pipes. A 1950's house may have galvanized iron pipes, if so just secure them to the structure (joists, studs) and you should be fine, if it's in the wall or concealed area's, well, good luck.

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They rattle when we turn off the water only, and the pipes are a mixture of galvanized (at the water heater) and copper.

The pipes groan the entire time the outside water spigot is being used.

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The rattle when turned off or on is hammer. You need to get air back into the shock absorber pipes. The air gets absorbed into the water over time. Shut off the water and drain down the system as needed. If you're lucky there's a fitting someplace on those pipes that you can open and let air into them. If not then you may have to unscrew the cap on top to let the air in - if you need to do that put something into the system that lets you put air in like a spigot or something without having to take anything apart. The sell devices that stop the hammering at the big box stores and they're relatively cheap. If you get one spend enough to get one with an air bladder to avoid the above noted process.

As for the groaning pipes - someone else will have to come up with that answer.

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Don't even bother with air chambers made of copper/iron pipe/whatever, as Tom stated, they all become water logged again. If water hammer is the problem, get an actual hammer arrester. Google Mini-rester and your problem should be solved.

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The Mini Rester is made by Sioux Chief, I believe. In cities with high water pressure, I install them after the second valve in the house. One valve after the water meter. Sometimes we need to put in a pressure reducing valve. What's your water pressure like? Wisconsin requires all fixtures that are run on a solenoid to have a hammer arrester. That would be for things like washing machines and dishwashers. Pretty easy to install and they don't become water logged like the six foot tall two inch galvanized arresters do.

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