Older homes often have pipe fittings known as air chambers, which are rarely visible and located on each hot and cold water line near each faucet or water inlet valve. These chambers act as a shock absorber for water flowing at high speed, helping to prevent water hammer, also known as hydraulic shock. This is a concussion sound that occurs when moving water hits the sides of a pipe or container. There are a few ways to solve this problem, which require simple parts and technical knowledge.
A water hammer suppressor is a device used to absorb pressure increase when the flow of water suddenly stops. Alternatively, an air chamber may be required. This is an extension of the water supply pipe near the pipe fitting that provides an air cushion to absorb hydraulic shock. If you look at the image below, the pink lines you see are the actual “air chambers”, while the other lines are the hot and cold water supply, and the drain and vent pipes.
A plumbing bladder is not a sophisticated device. The cushion is often a device manufactured by a plumber. It is made of a simple pipe attached to the water supply lines between the shut-off valve and a faucet, spigot, or any plumbing outlet.Ready-to-use plumbing air chambers are also available. It is nothing more than a piece of pipe plugged at one end, attached to a supply line at the other and containing air.
Most air chambers are installed vertically on horizontal supply lines. If the supply line is already in the vertical position, an additional length of short horizontal pipe can be added.Since this dead-end pipe is installed so that it partially intersects the water flow, it also contains an air pocket. To install it, apply flux to the opposite end of the pipe along with the upper leg of the tee. Insert the pipe into the upper leg of the tee and weld it to serve as an air chamber.When installing an air bladder in an accessory supply, it must be at least 12 inches in length and the same diameter as the accessory supply.