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I have a relatively new oil fired boiler (~10 yrs old) in a 1939 two pipe steam system. It's been a quiet, reliable system...that is until this winter. I had some work done this past summer in an upstairs bath and guest room, that required unhooking two radiators to re-do the floors. The bath radiator was reinstalled, but the guest radiator was replaced with a slightly smaller width unit, that required the supply side to be re-piped.
Now the issue -- for the first time since I bought the place 6 years ago, I'm getting loud clanging/banging in the piping on occassion, when the boiler is firing. It doesn't happen every time -- it can be quiet for days.
Is it possible the plumber piped the guest room unit improperly, so that there is condensate pooling at a low point in the steam feed line? It's now buried in the ceiling, so there's no easy way to check. What to do?
Also, I checked the site glass on the boiler and the water level is pretty high up in the glass -- essentially at the top of the glass. It has an auto fill system. I thought that might be contributing to or causing the noise problem, so I thought I would drain a few gallons out of the condensate return, to drop the boiler water level to the middle of the site glass, but when I opened the drain valve at the condensate return, instead of water coming out, it was sucking air into the system. Is there a different valve I need to open to drain a bit of the water out? Any other ideas or solutions on the water level and the noise?