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How to Install a Water Hammer Arrestor (7 Easy Steps)


Hey folks! Fed up with the racket your pipes make every time you turn off the water? I’ve got the perfect fix. We’re diving into a project to silence those clanging pipes by installing a water hammer arrestor.

We will dial down the noise and bring back the calm. Let’s get your home sounding serene with just a few steps.

  • Step 1: Find the noise source by quickly turning the faucets on and off.
  • Step 2: Turn off the main water supply and drain the system.
  • Step 3: Clean the installation area and make two cuts on the pipe for the T-fitting.
  • Step 4: Apply flux and solder the T-fitting securely in place.
  • Step 5: Wrap Teflon tape around the arrestor threads and screw it into the T-fitting.
  • Step 6: Use clips to secure any loose pipes to prevent movement.
  • Step 7: Turn the water back on and test for noise by operating the faucets.

Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or new to home improvement, I promise, with a few simple tools and a bit of elbow grease, we’ll get your pipes running smoothly and quietly in no time.

How a Water Hammer Arrestor Works

Let’s dive into how a water hammer arrestor works, ensuring your plumbing stays quiet and efficient. We’re installing a device directly into your copper pipes, and here’s the straightforward scoop on how it tackles those loud, banging noises.

Inside every water hammer arrestor, there’s a rubber diaphragm perfectly placed in the center. This piece is crucial because it acts as a buffer. We have air on one side and water on the other to enter.

This rubber diaphragm absorbs the energy as water flows through your pipes. It moves slightly with the force of the water but prevents that energy from causing your pipes to rattle and make noise. Essentially, it’s quietly dissipating the energy that would otherwise lead to loud banging sounds.

By fitting this device into your system, we’re ensuring that the forceful movement of water doesn’t disturb your peace. It’s a simple yet effective way to keep your plumbing running smoothly without any unnecessary noise.


Tools and Materials Needed for Installing Water Hammer Arrestors

Here’s the lineup of tools and materials we’ll need to get our plumbing pipes singing in tune.

  • Teflon Tape
    • Creates a watertight seal on the threads of the water hammer arrestors to prevent leaks.
  • Two Water Hammer Arrestors
    • The main components absorb the shock, causing water hammer noises.
  • Clip for Securing Arrestor
    • Ensures the arrestor stays firmly in place, reducing the risk of vibration or movement.
  • Soldering Iron and Source of Heat
    • It is used for soldering the fittings into place to ensure a solid, leak-free connection.
  • Pipe Cutter or Hacksaw
    • To make clean cuts in the pipe where the arrestor will be installed.
  • Steel Wool
    • Cleans the pipe before soldering, ensuring a clean surface for the solder to adhere properly.
  • Flux
    • Applied to the pipe and fitting before soldering, it helps the solder flow and bond properly.
  • Eye Protection Goggles
    • Protects your eyes from sparks or debris during cutting or soldering.

Safety is paramount, so make sure to gear up with those goggles and familiarize yourself with the safe handling of each tool, especially when working with heat. Let’s get to work!


How to Install a Water Hammer Arrestor

I will walk you through fixing that concert of banging pipes in your house with a water hammer arrestor. Trust me, in just seven steps, we’ll bring the peace back into your home. Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Identify the Source

First, locate where the banging noise is loudest by turning on and then quickly turning off water faucets.

Check behind access panels near where you hear the noise.

Step 2: Shut Off Water

Turn off the main water supply to your house to stop water flow, and drain the pipes by opening a faucet at the lowest point in your home.

A close up of a pipe with water arrestor

Step 3: Prepare for Installation

Clean the pipe where the arrestor will be installed.

Use a pipe cutter to make two cuts on the pipe, creating space to install a T-fitting.

Step 4: Install T-Fitting

Apply flux to both ends of the T-fitting and the pipe.

Heat the area with a torch and solder the T-fitting in place, ensuring a secure connection.

Step 5: Attach Water Hammer Arrestor

Wrap Teflon tape around the threads of the water hammer arrestor for a watertight seal. Screw the arrestor into the T-fitting and tighten it securely.

Step 6: Secure Pipes

If pipes are loose, use clips to secure them to the surrounding structure to prevent movement.


Step 7: Test the System

Turn the water supply back on and test the faucets by turning them on and off. Listen to ensure there is no longer a banging noise, indicating the arrestor is working correctly.


Water Hammer Arrestor Cost Analysis

Let’s break down the costs of getting this little project done compared to the potential costs of letting those noisy pipes go unchecked. Trust me, a little upfront cost can save you from a world of hurt (and expense) down the line.

ItemCost EstimateComments
Water Hammer Arrestor$20 – $50 eachPrice varies by brand and size. You might need two: one for hot and one for cold water lines.
Pipe Cutter$15 – $30It is essential for making clean cuts in your pipes.
Soldering Iron and Solder$20 – $100A good soldering iron lasts a lifetime. Cost depends on quality and features.
Teflon Tape$1 – $3Used to seal the threads on the arrestor, preventing leaks.
Pipe Cleaning Brush or Steel Wool$5 – $10For cleaning the pipes before soldering.
Flux$5 – $15Helps the solder flow and bond to the copper pipes.
Adjustable Wrench$10 – $30To tighten the arrestor into place.
Total Cost for DIY Project$76 – $238This range covers basic to high-end tools and materials for a one-time project.

Potential Costs of Not Addressing Water Hammer:

  • Pipe Damage or Burst Pipes: Ignoring water hammer can lead to damaged pipes, which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars in repairs, depending on the extent and location of the damage.
  • Leaks: Over time, the constant banging can cause fittings to loosen and leaks to form, leading to water damage and potentially costly repairs.
  • Increased Wear on Appliances: A water hammer can also shorten the lifespan of appliances like washing machines and dishwashers, leading to premature replacement costs.

The bottom line is that spending a bit now on a DIY fix can prevent many expenses. Plus, you get the satisfaction of a quiet, smoothly-running plumbing system. And who doesn’t love a peaceful home and the bragging rights of fixing it yourself?


Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Long Will My Water Hammer Arrestor Last?
    • Expect a good 5 to 10 years of peace and quiet. High-quality models might last longer, so consider it a long-term investment in your home’s harmony.
  • Can I Fit an Arrestor in Any Plumbing System?
    • Absolutely! Whether your home sings with the pipes of yesteryear or performs with the latest plumbing technology, there’s an arrestor that’ll fit right in. Just ensure you match the arrestor to your system’s specifications.
  • Choosing the Perfect Water Hammer Arrestor: Size Matters?
    • Indeed, it does. The right size arrestor tunes into your plumbing system’s needs—too small and it won’t quell the noise; too big and it’s just showing off. Balance is key, like in a finely tuned orchestra.
  • DIY Installation: Should I Go Solo?
    • Suppose you’ve got the tools and a bit of DIY spirit. It’s a manageable project for the hands-on homeowner. But if the task seems daunting, calling in a pro is music to their ears.
  • Do Both Hot and Cold Water Lines Need an Arrestor?
    • It equips your hot and cold lines with an arrestor for a perfectly balanced performance. It’s all about creating a harmonious duet.
  • What If My Pipes Are Still Noisy?
    • If the concert continues post-installation, check for loose pipes or consider a different arrestor size. Sometimes, the solution needs a tweak, like fine-tuning an instrument.
  • Are Arrestors Required for All Homes?
    • Not all, but if you’re hearing the bangs of a water hammer, it’s your plumbing system crying out for one. Like an encore chant, it’s a sign that shouldn’t be ignored.
  • Will I Notice an Impact on Water Pressure After Installing an Arrestor?
    • The right arrestor doesn’t dampen your water pressure—it only silences the noise. If you notice a drop, it’s time for a system check, not unlike troubleshooting a tricky solo.


References

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This Old House

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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