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Noisy radiant heat...snap crackle pop, tick, tick tick..can't sleep..help!

Greetings all,

I live in Eastern Pa. Turned on my new radiant heat about a month ago. It makes one heck of a racket in the walls, floors, and ceilings on heat up and cool down on all 3 floors of our new home. Snap, crackle, pop, random ticking, pings and knocks, and all over the room. Most noticeable at night when trying to sleep!

It is a professionally installed staple up system with foil bubble insulation, up against the subflooring, in a new house (2009) , first heating season. All wood floors above.

Pex was used with new oil burner. The installer tried to fix by lowering water temp, but noise still was there, and not enough heat left to satisfy requirements. He says there is no air in the system and the noise will go away over time....it has been a month..how much time do we need?

Any suggestions in getting the system to quiet down? Any expert consultants in eastern PA? Help! (also posted on the main wall)



  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,086
    Can you give some more info

    Did the installer use Heat Transfer Plates? If so, what type and or brand? What is the design water temp? If no plates, is there a 2" air gap between the bottom of the tubing and the insulation? The gap is critical in a non plate application. If no plates and no air gap this may be why you can't get heat transfer to the floor. How was the tubing attached to the subfloor if no plates? Can you post pics of the boiler and piping? Are manifolds remoted? Can you also take pics and post them.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Merc
    Merc Member Posts: 4
    tubing problem?

    A certain brand of widely advertised radiant tube has a coating which resembles the material used in turkey calls when it comes to making noise.  Luckily I have never installed this brand myself but have cut lots of holes in walls, etc. to put in plastic insulators around this pipe on others work.  The poor heating probably results from turning the temp down to minimize expansion movement which causes the tube to move,...and creak.  This usually won't help so turn the temp back up.  It might be something you have to live with unless you can convince the contractor to correct it.

  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    constant circulation

     Would help a lot in this situation with outdoor reset.  That would slow the rate of expansion/ contraction of the pex. With High water temps the tubing is expanding at a high rate upon start up, and contracting on shut down. Constant circulation would smooth out those radical temp spikes. All though your electric bill will take a hit.

  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    edited December 2009
    Solutions for Snap Crackle Pop

    Install a 4 way motorized mixing valve with a tekmar control (363) to operate it. The  temps on an oil fired  boiler should not be 'turned down' to provide a mixed temp. The boiler could condense and cause premature failure of the appliance.  The mixing valve will allow moderate temps to flow through the radiant loops without slugging the plates with high initial temps.  The control will also prevent thermal shock to the boiler and make sure that the return temps are not too cool for the boiler.  The mixing device usually reduces 98% of the ticking, some residual noises may occur if the holes are too small for the bending radius of the Pex, or if the Pex is rubbing on the wood framing. 
  • joel_19
    joel_19 Member Posts: 931

    good plates,constant circ or close to it with outdoor reset should minimize noise. or better still Climate panel on top of floor= no noise. Where you given these choices by competing firms???  If so why didn't you choose them?
  • NRT_Rob
    NRT_Rob Member Posts: 1,013
    the first thing I would try

    without joist access, the mixing valve and reset/constant circ option is probably the best one. If you can get the indoor sensor into a definite "high intensity" zone area, you can slave the other zones off of that, so you can get true indoor feedback, constant circulation in the "lead" zone, and other zones just close off when they get hot enough. not perfect, but it's as good as you're going to get without a lot of sheetrock demolition.
    Rob Brown
    Designer for Rockport Mechanical
    in beautiful Rockport Maine.
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