air lock in pipes

How to Fix an Air Lock in Pipes and Have Free Flowing Water Again

April 26 2017

Air Lock In Pipes

Have you noticed your water running slower than usual? There can be a few reasons for low water pressure, and one that is commonly overlooked is an air lock in pipes.

But this annoyance can become a real problem if it isn’t taken care of right away. Having an air lock in pipes is a situation that’ll eventually leave you without water unless it’s fixed.

So, how to fix an air lock in the pipeline? Well, you might be able to fix the air lock in pipes problem with just a hose and some ingenuity; however, the issue may require the expertise and training of a plumber.

But first of all, how do you really know if you have an air lock in pipes?

There are a few common signs:

Signs of an Air Lock in Pipes

  • The water sputters out even when you’ve opened it all the way.
  • The air lock in pipes problem mainly occurs in hot water bath tabs. You’ll notice the cold water is running smoothly but the hot water is flowing sporadically.

How Did This Happen?

The main cause of an air lock in pipes is when pockets of air are trapped by the flowing water, preventing the free flow of water.

Also, cold water pipes have less pressure compared to the hot water pipes; as a result, it’s mainly hot water pipes that are affected by air locks. The pressure in the hot water pipes doesn’t force the blockage out.

DIY Air Lock in Pipes Fix

An expert can fix an air lock in pipes, or you can save yourself time and money and do it yourself.

  1. You need a small hose. Connect it to the problematic hot water tap, and then join the hot and cold water tap together.
  2. Tie a knot on both ends of the hot and cold water tap with a clip to ensure it doesn’t get loose.
  3. Turn on the hot water, then cold water, for about a minute.
  4. Turn off the cold water then hot water tap. If the air lock in pipes is still on, repeat the process about two to three times. It should become better eventually.

To correct an air lock for a mixed system, where both hot and cold water are moving at the same time, you’ll need a longer hose. Then you’ll just do the above process repeatedly and the air lock in pipes problem will be over.

If after a few days the air lock in pipeline issue is still going on, you’ll need to drain the whole system, in which case you should consider calling in a plumber.

Air Lock Prevention

There are measures that can be taken to avoid an air lock in a pipeline, including:

  • Stopping leaks
  • Having enough seals in place for the best operation

When draining and refilling a system, extra care should be taken to avoid these problems. An air lock in pipes can easily be fixed once you spot these problems and warning signs.

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