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I have a water faucet in my utility room that is about 10 feet from the water heater. It is the only faucet in my house that makes any noise, but when I turn the hot water on even a little bit it will start to pound / bang / hammer loudly and also vibrate considerably. You can find a short video of the event on YouTube here. The laundry washer is right next to the faucet and utilizes the same copper pipe for hot water, and I have never seen it exhibit the same behavior.

What causes this and how can I fix it?

I did find this similar question on this site already, but I'm so green that I couldn't tell you if my situation is the same or different; so I'm assuming you all will tell me if it is a duplicate and I'll follow that advice: Why do my pipes bang when running hot water in my kitchen?

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  • Does it make noise at all times it is on? Maybe it is quiet for a few seconds until the water comes out hot? – wallyk Feb 20 '15 at 0:22
  • Wallyk- I just tested it and after having the hot water on medium for 1:40 the banging finally stopped completely and I could adjust the flow around with no banging. So it is loud for 1:40 then goes quiet. – dpollitt Feb 20 '15 at 0:27
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Although the faucet looks to be an older style faucet it looks to me more like a model that is currently still in production and still available. Based not only on the photo but also on the video.

That faucet has a cartridge instead of a stem valve like older faucets might have. Could be as simple as something stuck in the cartridge or the cartridge has worn out.

The first thing I would do is try and swap the hot and cold water cartridges to see if the noise follows the cartridge. If it does, replace the cartridge.

If that's not the problem make sure everything is tightened down properly where the spout meets the faucet body and check that all the fasteners for the piping are secure.

There are a couple of manufacturers that make that style of faucet which you'll need to contact for a replacement cartridge. Home Depot currently has one from Glacier Bay which would be my first guess since they've been around a while. Here's a link to the faucet on HomeDepot.com for reference.

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Generally banging in the pipes occurs due to water hammer. This is a huge problem in large piping systems that engineers go through great lengths to avoid. The water hammer many times is experienced as you change the rate of flow (opening or closing the valve). As mentioned in the comments there are add-ons available for purchase that will stop this. For more background on the physics behind water hammer take a look here.

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I had jumped to the conclusion that it was a water hammer effect, until I watched the video. It shows us the valve acting like a reed. I had a tub spout do this until it warmed up, also. It's possible there is air in your lines causing this, but a poorly seating valve will vibrate with either water or air.

The faucet looks rather old and seams to have been repaired in the past, judging by the nice shiny knobs. You could repair the innards of the valve again, or replace the whole thing.

Furd's answer at doityourself.com helped me shed some light on this:

Problems such as you are describing are often caused by a loose disc (or more rarely a loose seat) in the valve. What kind of valve do you have on the washing machine supply? If it is a globe valve you can sometimes tighten the screw holding the disc (washer) but if it is a gate valve you are probably going to need to replace the valve.

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  • I'm curious as to why this was voted down. It would be very helpful to me to understand why if someone has knowledge to the contrary. – dpollitt Feb 20 '15 at 3:39

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