What Does Water Hammer Mean?
A water hammer is a surge in pressure that occurs in a pipeline or drainage system when the valve controlling it is shut off. A water hammer is not limited to water, and can be used to describe the surge in pressure of any liquid contained in a pipeline.
The surge in pressure caused by water hammer can have several negative effects. If the pressure caused by the water hammer is greater than the yield limit of the pipeline material then a blow out or pipeline rupture can occur. Another consequence of water hammer is the sound of the pressure increase, which can be particularly annoying in a home or office environment.