Did you come across a situation when you turn on the faucet but there was no water coming out from it? Well, if you find that the water pressure is much lower than usual or there seem to be gurgling sounds coming from the pipes, it is already time to hire a plumber. These signs denote an airlock in the pipes, which may be frustrating and even cause major harm to the plumbing system.
Continue reading to find out what an airlock in pipes means, what may cause it, how to detect the symptoms and suitable solutions for fixing it.
What do you mean by airlock in pipes?
If there is an airlock in pipes, this is a situation where air gets trapped in a section of your plumbing system by preventing water from flowing through it. The trapped air can form a blockage which interrupts smooth water flow leading to different problems thereby, affecting overall performance of your plumbing system.
What can lead to an airlock in pipes?
You will find several reasons why there can be an airlock in pipes. Some common causes are the following:
- Improper installation of pipes – When you do not install the pipes correctly, air may get trapped inside them which causes an airlock.
- Change in water pressure – There can be sudden changes in water pressure which cause air to get trapped in pipes leading to an airlock.
- Leakage in the pipes – If there is some kind of leakage in the plumbing system, air may enter and get trapped inside the pipes.
- Empty pipes – When the pipes are empty after repair or maintenance work, the air may enter and get trapped inside.
What are symptoms of an airlock in pipes?
The following are common symptoms of an airlock in the pipes:
- No water comes out of your faucet
- Uneven flow of water
- Low water pressure
- Banging noises in the pipes
- Sputtering faucet
- Gurgling sounds coming from the pipes
When you detect any of these symptoms, it is necessary to address the concern promptly and avoid further damage to the plumbing system.
Solutions for an airlock in pipes:
Below are some effective solutions for fixing the issue.
- Turn off water supply – The first step in the fixture of an airlock in pipes is to turn off t water supply. This is essential to prevent the flow of water and cause further damage to your plumbing system.
- Identify your affected pipe – Then, you will have to identify the pipe where an airlock has happened. This is possible when you check the pipes for leakages or listen to gurgling sounds coming from them.
- Bleed the affected pipe – For removing an airlock, you need to bleed affected pipe. In order to do this, turn on your faucet which remain closest to the airlock and allow water to flow till it runs smoothly. The process forces trapped air out of the pipe and restores regular flow of water.
- Repeat the procedure – When the first attempt fails to work, it is necessary to repeat the process by turning off water supply. This can be done by locating your affected pipe so it will bleed again. It may require many attempts for removing airlock completely.
Can airlock in pipes lead to some kind of damage to the plumbing system?
Yes, an airlock in pipes may be the reason for some damage to the plumbing system when it remains unaddressed for a long time. The trapped air can lead to buildup pressure which causes bursts or leaks in the pipes.
How can you avoid an airlock in the pipes?
In order to avoid an airlock in pipes, you may do various things:
- Proper installation – It is important to check that the pipes have been installed correctly and all air is being removed before water flows through them.
- Regular maintenance – With routine maintenance checks, it is possible to detect and fix probable leaks or issues with the plumbing system.
- Prevent changes in water pressure – You should try to avoid sudden changes in the water pressure as this causes air to get trapped in pipes.
- Keep pipes full of water – You need to ensure that the pipes are full of water to prevent air from entering and getting trapped.
Is it possible to fix an airlock in the pipes on your own?
Yes, you can actually fix an airlock in the pipes by following the steps given in the solutions section. But if you feel uncomfortable to work with the plumbing system, it is certainly a good decision to call a professional plumber for emergency plumbing services.
An airlock in the pipes may actually be frustrating and cause some harm to your plumbing system. But with proper knowledge and effective solutions, you can address the concern and restore regular flow of water. Make sure you turn off water supply, locate affected pipe, and bleed it to remove trapped air. If you want to prevent airlock in pipes, see that the pipes have been installed correctly, and schedule for routine maintenance checks. This way, your plumbing system will run smoothly and you can avoid unwanted surprises in future.