If you have a sprinkler system in your yard, you may have heard the term “water hammer” before. But what exactly is water hammer, and how do you prevent it? Below, Spartan Irrigation gives you a detailed explanation of water hammer, how it can affect your sprinkler system, and most importantly, what you can do to prevent damage. Understanding Water Hammer & How to Prevent It

Causes of Water Hammer

Water hammer occurs when water flow in a pipe is suddenly stopped or redirected. This sudden change in flow creates a shockwave that travels through the pipe, causing loud banging noises and potentially damaging the pipes and fittings. In a sprinkler system, water hammer can occur when a valve closes too quickly or when there are sharp changes in pressure within the system. If left unchecked, water hammer can lead to leaks, burst pipes, and costly repairs.

Ways to Prevent Water Hammer

Water Arrestor

One of the most effective ways to prevent water hammer in your sprinkler system is to install a device called a water hammer arrester. A water hammer arrester is a small air chamber that absorbs the shockwave created by sudden water flow and pressure changes. Installing one of these devices near your valves or other high-risk areas can significantly reduce the risk of water hammer in your sprinkler system. Water hammer arresters are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, making them an excellent investment for protecting your sprinkler system.

Valve Care

In addition to installing water hammer arresters, there are other steps to prevent water hammer in your sprinkler system. One important measure is ensuring all valves open and close slowly and smoothly. Avoid slamming valves shut or opening them too quickly, as this can create sudden changes in pressure that lead to water hammer. Regularly inspecting your pipes and fittings for signs of wear or damage can also help prevent water hammer from occurring.

Change Zone Order

Another effective method for preventing water hammer in your sprinkler system is to change the order in which your zones run. By staggering the operation of your sprinkler zones, you can distribute the pressure changes more evenly throughout the system. Instead of having several valves open or close at once, each zone will activate separately, allowing the pressure to adjust gradually. However, this technique takes some reprogramming, so you may need to call our team for help.

Water Your Lawn With Confidence

Water hammer may seem minor at first glance, but it can cause serious damage to your sprinkler system if left unchecked. If you think you’re dealing with this type of issue, then contact Spartan Irrigation in Lansing, MI, today. Our team will gladly take a look and give you a quote for repairs. You can even get $10 off with our efficiency check. So, don’t forget to ask your tech when you see them. Call us for more at (517) 882-1826.