Installing an air chamber in plumbing is a simple process that can help protect your home from hydraulic shock, also known as water hammer. An air chamber is a small length of pipe that is mounted in water pipes close to a fitting. It contains an air pocket that compresses and absorbs the impact of water that moves sharply in the pipes. Ready-to-use plumbing air chambers are available, but you can also make your own.
A typical home bladder is 12 inches long and is made of a half-inch pipe plugged at the top and installed vertically in the supply line just before it reaches the shutoff valves. To install an air chamber, start by turning off the main water shutoff valve in the house. This is usually located outside the house. Then open the tallest faucets (the ones that are farthest from the meter) and then go down to the basement or utility room.
When you turn on the laundry faucet, usually the lowest in the house, the whole house drains into the tub. Don't forget to open the keys to the outer sill and pull the toilet chain on your way.Once all of the water has been drained from your plumbing system, locate the supply line just before it reaches the shutoff valves. Install your air chamber vertically on this horizontal supply line. If the supply line is already in a vertical position, you can add an additional length of short horizontal pipe.Once your air chamber is installed, turn on your main water shutoff valve and check for any leaks.
If everything looks good, you have successfully installed an air chamber in your plumbing system.