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The Consequences of Using an Undersized Water Hammer Arrestor


Water hammer is a common problem in plumbing systems that can cause significant damage if not properly addressed. Water hammer arrestors are designed to absorb the sudden pressure surges and prevent the destructive effects of water hammer. However, using an undersized water hammer arrestor can lead to various issues and compromise its effectiveness. In this blog post, we will explore the consequences of using an undersized water hammer arrestor and highlight the importance of proper sizing for optimal performance.

  1. Insufficient Pressure Absorption: One of the main consequences of using an undersized water hammer arrestor is inadequate pressure absorption. An arrestor that is too small may not have the capacity to absorb and dissipate the energy generated by the sudden flow changes in the plumbing system. As a result, the pressure surges may not be adequately controlled, leading to ongoing water hammer issues.

  2. Increased Stress on Plumbing Components: An undersized water hammer arrestor places increased stress on the plumbing components, such as pipes, valves, and fittings. The uncontrolled pressure surges can subject these components to excessive forces, leading to premature wear, leaks, and potential failures. Over time, this can result in costly repairs and replacements.

  3. Limited Noise Reduction: Water hammer often produces loud banging or knocking noises, which can be disruptive and annoying. While a properly sized water hammer arrestor can significantly reduce these noises, an undersized one may have limited effectiveness in noise reduction. This can result in continued noise disturbances, affecting the comfort and tranquility of your home or building.

  4. Reduced Lifespan of the Arrestor: An undersized water hammer arrestor may experience increased wear and tear due to the higher frequency and intensity of pressure surges. The constant strain on the arrestor can lead to decreased reliability and a shorter lifespan. This means that you may need to replace the undersized arrestor more frequently, adding to your maintenance expenses.

  5. Potential Damage to Appliances: Water hammer can also impact appliances connected to the plumbing system, such as washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters. If the pressure surges are not adequately controlled by an undersized arrestor, these appliances may experience increased stress, leading to malfunctions or even damage. Protecting your appliances with properly sized water hammer arrestors is essential to prevent costly repairs or replacements.


Using an undersized water hammer arrestor can have significant consequences, including insufficient pressure absorption, increased stress on plumbing components, limited noise reduction, reduced arrestor lifespan, and potential damage to appliances. To avoid these issues, it is crucial to ensure that your water hammer arrestor is properly sized for your specific plumbing system. Consult a plumbing professional to assess your system's needs and recommend the appropriate size and type of water hammer arrestor for optimal performance and protection against water hammer. Investing in the right equipment will save you from the headaches and expenses associated with undersized arrestors in the long run.

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