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Banging Radiator Pipes....

Well, it's that time of year for banging pipes...

I live in a 6-story building, in a top-floor apartment. The pipes leading up to the radiator bang like crazy when the boiler starts up. It's a two-pipe, steam system. The pipes come up through the far wall, then travel horizontally under the floor to the radiator (and under the wall to the neighbor's unit).

The banging is much louder than what I'd consider "standard" in New York City (I certainly expect some...). It happens regardless of whether the radiator valve is open or closed. However, I've noticed that if I open the valve as soon as the banging starts, the noise goes away much more quickly than if I left it alone... also, if the valve is open and the banging starts, closing it will help the problem as well.

I've been speaking with my landlord, but they are very slow to do anything about it. They came in once and replaced the steam trap, tilted the radiator, etc... but they've since told me "we're not going to fix it -- it'll be too expensive". But I can't give up on it, and I figured any direction I could provide them might help get the process moving...

My initial thought was that the pitch of the pipes under the floor was off -- maybe a sag somewhere that allowed the condensate to pool. But since I figured out that changing the state of the valve (open to closed or vice versa) seems to solve the problem, I've started to wonder if it's a pressure issue -- maybe a bad trap or valve somewhere else in the system?

Any help would be much appreciated!
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