I have recently started experiencing water hammer in my house. I have lived in the house for 30 years and it is about 80+ years old.

Never had a problem with this before. The only thing that has changed is my neighbor recently had his water line replaced. He was getting $700 bills when they should have been $140.

His line connects to the county at the same point as my water line. I am thinking without the leak on his line, that the pressure is now up and causing the hammer on my house, though he says he doesn't have this problem. Though I am not sure if he has a regulator or arrestor. We do not.

The current cutoff being so old, leaks a lot when fully closed. I have been thinking of replacing the last big run of galvanized as pictured with a new cutoff and regulator. Is that the right thing to do?

I am weary of trying to get such old pipe apart, how long do I have to heat the joint to get it apart?

  • 1
    Thoughts is not really what we do here, Ere a i mean, We need a specific question. Such as How to address water hammering in my plumbing ? OR How do i replace galvanized water piping ? Once a question has been established then the thought machine can be activated to formulate an answer.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Jul 4, 2020 at 17:22
  • @AlaskaMan is right: we function best as a true Question => Answer site. You should probably take our tour so you'll know you'll know the details of contributing here. Commented Jul 4, 2020 at 17:27
  • "how long do I have to heat the joint to get it apart?" There is no way to know that, it depends on age and corrosion, your tools and strength. It may not need to be heated or It may not even be possible to break the connection. You may just have to cut out all old galvanized pipe. Replacing the galvanized pipe may not cure your water hammer problem.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Jul 4, 2020 at 17:54
  • Does it bother anyone else that there is a copper MA going into a galv/steel Tee? Shouldn't that be a dielectric fitting? Commented Jul 4, 2020 at 20:45
  • George Anderson - the copper MA going into galv you mentioned was done by a "professional" when I moved in, the galv was leaking. That was about 30 years ago. Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 20:04

2 Answers 2


The first thing to try with an old system that suddenly starts hammering is to drain the pipes (turn off water, open all faucets so that water drains from the lowest as air is admitted at higher ones) and then turn the water back on. In many cases there are already passive surge buffers in place (pipe stubs) which may have become waterlogged (lost their trapped air) and just need to be refilled with air to work again. Quick, cheap/free, easy.

Depending what you mean by "The current cutoff being so old, leaks a lot when fully closed." that might be as simple as tightening the packing nut or repacking it. Quick, cheap/free, easy. Replacing it need not be coupled with replacing the pipe, if replacement is needed.

Likewise, without having a pressure reading there's no way to know if a pressure regulator is needed or would in any way be helpful. If you don't have a pressure gauge on the system, adding one would be wise.

Your pipe looks to be in fine shape. Replacing it is not the first thing that jumps to mind by a long shot, though you might choose to do that. I would not install new galvanized threaded pipe these days, but if it's not leaking or internally clogged, I see no point in ripping it out without a cause.

  • I have drained the system and refilled, sorry, thought I had mentioned that, no change in hammer. I will get a pressure reading, and try re-draining. I found out my neighbor did have a regulator put in when his work was done. Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 20:02

You can't go wrong replacing 80 year old pipe and valves especially since your neighbor has had a serious leaking problem.

You shouldn't really need to heat the joints to take the pipes apart, just two 12 or 18" pipe wrenches. If your referring to the copper to galvanized fitting in the picture, just cut the copper pipe above the copper fitting and continue on.

  • Ok, thanks, just a little trepidation on my part on a critical area with something I haven't done before. Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 20:03

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