Preventing Water Hammer Damage in Pipelines

Many pipeline systems are subjected to a frequent issue called water hammer, which can degrade piping systems, wear down equipment, and can even lead to dangerous breaks and leaks. Water hammer occurs most frequently when the flow of liquid in a pipeline is quickly stopped. Fast flowing liquids will create a hydraulic shockwave when suddenly stopped, as the elastic momentum of the water returns to normal. This shockwave can then ‘hammer’ the inside of piping systems. While this may seem like a minor problem, the force of this hydraulic shock wave can be extreme under the wrong conditions. This force can slowly damage pipelines over time or cause sudden ruptures. Water hammer can occur in many different piping systems, both in commercial industries and residential locations.

Check valves are often the cause of this water hammer effect in a pipeline or pump system, and also one of the most commonly damaged points. Outdated or improperly designed check valves can cause a sudden stop in the flow of a liquid, often when backflow causes the valve to shut abruptly. The water hammer shockwave will impact the valve area, causing damage to the valve itself or the surrounding pipeline. Thankfully, the cause of water hammer damage in a pipeline can also be the solution.

With the right check valves, the water hammer effect can be drastically reduced. CPV Manufacturing offers check valves specially designed to mitigate water hammer in a liquid pipeline. High-quality check valves are made to not close abruptly from the backflow of liquid in a pipe. These valves work automatically with a pipeline system’s pressure, allowing liquid to flow through while preventing backflow without sudden valve closures. Modern check valves can greatly increase the lifespan of a pipeline. The system will require less maintenance and have a much lower risk of breaks and damage. Choosing the right high-pressure check valves can prevent water hammer damage in a pipeline, keeping those around the system safe. For assistance selecting the correct valve for your application, contact our team at