Do Air Chambers Really Make a Difference in Plumbing?

Are you wondering if air chambers are necessary for your plumbing system? Air chambers are vertical pipes that regulate pressure and prevent water from forming waves in the supply pipes. Installing them at key points in your system can help eliminate the waves that cause water hammers. Air chambers are small lengths of pipe that are mounted in water pipes, close to a fitting. They are designed to stop hydraulic shock, also known as water hammer.

The air in the chamber compresses and absorbs the impact of water that moves sharply in the pipes. This happens when a device shuts off the water quickly. In the past, water hammer suppressors consisted of air chambers that were a vertically installed, air-filled piece of plugged pipe. The air provides a cushion to absorb the water hammer.

Unfortunately, over time these air chambers would eventually flood, since all the air would be absorbed by water. Once flooded, the bladder is no longer an air chamber, but a water chamber and will no longer absorb the pressure of the water hammer. A modern water hammer suppressor works much like an old-style bladder, but includes a chamber filled with air or gas that is sealed by a diaphragm or piston. This helps to ensure that the air chamber remains effective for longer periods of time.

If you don't have air chambers in your plumbing system, it's important to consult with a professional to determine if they are necessary. Installing them can help reduce the risk of water hammer and ensure your plumbing system is functioning properly.

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