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Hi all. First post.
I just bought a three-story 30s colonial in central NJ. It has a gas-fired 1-pipe steam system.
The radiator in the bedroom on the 2nd floor and the radiator in the office on the third floor are fed via a single riser. There is a wicked water hammer in the riser and in the 3rd floor radiator, and the 3rd floor radiator makes gurgling and wooshing sounds. The hammering and gurgling occur at the beginning of the cycle, and pretty much go away once the radiator heats up.
The riser is 1 1/4" when it begins at the 2" main in the basement. At the 2nd floor radiator, there is a tee to the radiator valve for the bedroom radiator. From the tee, a 1" riser (the tee is 1 1/4"-1 1/4"-1") continues to the 3rd floor.
At the third floor, the riser ends at a 90* elbow and a horizontal run of about 18" (behind the wall), then another elbow and a 8" horizontal where the 1" pipe comes out the wall to the valve for the office radiator.
Here is some history:
When we moved into the house, the water hammer was present in the 1" riser to the third floor and in the third floor radiator. I also noticed gurgling and wooshing sounds coming from the 3rd floor radiator.
I replaced several of the radiator valves in the house and lowered the cut-in pressure from 1.5 psi to .5 psi and the hammer quieted. I lowered the water level in the boiler a hair (from 2/3 to just above 1/2 when cold) and the hammer stopped.
Last weekend I insulated the main (it was uninsulated when we moved in) and replaced the small main vent ( I suspect it was stuck open) with a Hoff#75. These repairs did a great job balancing the temperature in the house and getting the radiators throughout the house to heat at the same time. However, the hammer returned, and the 3rd floor radiator is back to wooshing and gurgling with a fury.
This weekend I checked pitch on the 3rd floor radiator and horizontals. It was okay, but I was able to add another 1-2* to the horizontals by cutting a notch in the drywall where the pipe exits the wall and putting the radiator up on a piece of 3/4 plywood.
I also disconnected the radiator and checked it (and the valve) for debris or corrosion and found none. I did drain a cup or so of water from the bottom of the radiator. (!!)
These efforts had no effect on the noises. The next cycle was somewhat subdued, but still noisy. The second cycle after the repairs was just as noisy as before.
Here are a few other possibly relevant facts:
- The 3rd floor office radiator is different (and larger) than most of the others in the house. It is much taller (maybe 36") than all of the other radiators above the first floor.
-The riser is not insulated.
-There is another riser that feeds radiators on both the 2nd and 3rd floors (pretty much the same setup as described above) and that branch operates quietly. The radiator on the third floor on that branch is the same smaller radiator that is found in all of the other bedrooms of the house (not like the large one in the office on the noisy branch).
-My wife and I sleep in 2nd floor bedroom with the noisy riser; I haven't slept for days, and she is about to kill me if I don't figure this out!!
Any ideas? ... other than moving to the other bedroom.
Thanks in advance.
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