Is There an Air Lock in Your Plumbing?

A1-Sewer-&-Septic-ServiceWhen you turn on one or more of the faucets in your home, do you hear a strange tapping sound that comes from the pipes? If so, you may be worried that you have a large, expensive plumbing problem on your hands, but the good news is that it’s probably not a serious issue.

Often, tapping sounds coming from the pipes when you turn on a faucet means that there is what is called an “air lock” in the plumbing. Fortunately, airlocks are not serious, and they don’t lead to leaks or costly water damage, however, you will have trouble getting the affected faucets to work properly until the airlock is effectively removed.

When Air Gets Into the Pipes

Most of the time, air does not get into the pipes, but on occasion, this does happen. When air does get into the water pipes, it has a tendency to form bubbles. Usually, these small air bubbles will travel just fine with the water until they exit the pipes through the faucet.

But, not all bubbles exit faucets with the water. Occasionally, such bubbles accumulate within a bend in the pipe until they form a large bubble that’s too large to travel through the pipe and out of the faucet.

Like a stubborn clog, a large, stationary air bubble will restrict the flow of water. Once a bubble grows large enough, it can literally block the flow of water altogether. Generally, we run into airlocks more frequently with hot water lines, namely because they deal with less pressure than cold water lines.

How Do You Remove an Airlock?

Usually, the most effective way to remove an airlock is to increase the water pressure inside the pipe – this way the air bubble can be physically pushed out by the rush of water. If you suspect that you have an airlock, we recommend turning on all the faucets in your home at once. The increase in pressure should do the job.

If this trick doesn’t work, and the lock is affecting your hot water supply, we recommend contacting us to schedule a service call with one of our Kansas City plumbers. Call today for the help you need!

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