When you have air in your water pipes, you can easily find out through the noises your pipes start making. Air in water lines also causes interruptions in the steady flow of water from your faucets, presenting as sputtering or irregular outflow. Additionally, if there has been air in your water pipes for prolonged periods, then they may start to rust or corrode. While the air in the water pipes may not seem like a big issue and often is not until it is ignored for a long time, it is essential to understand how it gets there. So, how does air get into water pipes? What are the signs that there is air in the water pipes?
How Does Air Get into Water Pipes?
Air can enter your water pipes in several ways, but the most prevalent one is through plumbing system maintenance. Here are the common causes of air in water pipes:
- Plumbing Maintenance and Repair
When you are having repairs or maintenance work done, air can easily find its way into the system and remain there. Also, if you have recently made some improvements, changes, or had a professional install new pipes, air might collect in your plumbing system.
It is also possible to have air in your water pipes even if you have not done any plumbing work in your house. If your neighbor had some work done on their plumbing system, it could result in air seeping into your system. Moreover, if there was a city-wide water shut-off for some work, it could lead to air getting trapped when they turn the water back on.
- The Weather
When the weather becomes extremely cold, like in winter, it collects a lot of air, specifically oxygen. The cold water flows into your much warmer pipes and environment, and the oxygen escapes, forming air bubbles in your plumbing system.
If your plumbing system has a leak or is damaged, it can cause the system to suck in air through the faulty spots. Some common places that can develop leaks are check valves, fittings, and connections between pipes. The leaks are more likely to develop if the parts were initially defective.
- Gases in Water Supply and Wells
It is possible for gases to dissolve in the water, especially under high pressure, and may not cause any bubbles. When the water moves to places of lower pressure, the gases leave the water and form air bubbles and pockets in the pipes. Some gases that dissolve in the water may not cause any harm, but others, like methane, can be flammable.
- Overheating Water
Air could also collect in your water pipes when your thermostat malfunctions and the water heats up to very high temperatures. High water temperatures can lead to the formation of water pockets in the water pipes as the heat forces out air dissolved in the water.
Do you suspect that air has collected in your water pipes? Contact your plumber as soon as you can to trouble the issue.