Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Fin Tube "Symphony"

We have a "fashion victim" one-pipe steam system. The original radiators were selected and jammed into tight spaces so they won't spoil the look. Apparently, it was better to have a good looking room than a comfortable one.



We finally have properly sized and installed one-pipe radiators throughout the house, but the remaining 4-1/2 foot fin tube radiator in the kitchen bangs away like a blacksmith shop. It's wedged into the baseboard of an extensive built-in cabinet. The rest of the system is good old traditional one-pipe radiators, though. And except for this, the system works the way steam is supposed to.



I replaced the old Dolan 1A adjustable air vent and raised the outboard end of the radiator about a half inch. About a quarter of the bubble on the level is over the outer line.



The new valve is an adjustable hardware store special (Matco-Norca ADJ-180) that doesn't have a tongue like the old Dolan. I don't know how to adjust it (no instructions), so I just left it as it arrived from the store.



When I opened the valve again, I could hear the water gurgling out with relief. But, the radiator is still banging.



Is the solution as simple as raising the radiator until the bubble is all the way outside the center? (If so, do I need to disconnect the fitting first? It is extremely awkward to get to.) Would adjusting the vent be useful?



Thanks.



D

Comments

  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,572
    edited November 2012
    Loud fin tube

    If you have pitched a bubble towards the valve, then you have enough persuasion for the condensate to flow. Try a much slower vent, such as a Hoffman 40. A fast vent can let so much air out so quickly, that the arriving steam produces a lot of condensation all of a sudden, which has trouble getting out.

    Keeping the pressure down below 1psi, and increasing the main venting would help as well.--NBC
  • DHardy
    DHardy Member Posts: 5
    Fin Tube Symphony

    That makes sense. I'll hunt one up. Any tips on setting numbers?



    One point of clarification (to make sure I understand). The bubble is pitched toward the air vent. The radiator slants down toward the valve/main piping.



    Thanks.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,911
    fin tube and fin tube

    Copper on cooling tends to ping when it cools. Is it really a symphony or just some rapid ticking ? If you can somehow restrict convection the unit cools slower. Quieter but ticking will last loner. Ferrous pipe is quieter.
  • DHardy
    DHardy Member Posts: 5
    Fin Tube Symphony

    Pinging would be a significant improvement.



    This is KA-BANG!! KA-BANG!! KA-BANG!! without end.



    If it was a symphony it would be The Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore -- except not musical or enjoyable.
  • Radiator vent adjustment

    With the Hoffman 40, there is no adjustment-it's just slow, which you need.--NBC
  • DHardy
    DHardy Member Posts: 5
    Fin Tube Symphony

    It would seem that we live in a remote wilderness. The local supply houses don't carry the Hoffman 40.



    Will the Dole 1933 work? That seems readily available.



    Also, while I'm installing the new vent, if a little tilt (that is, some bubble off center) is good for drainage, would a lot of tilt (say, the bubble all the way off center) be better?



    Thanks.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,911
    another possibility

    fin tube convectors come with connections at both ends. If you have access without wrecking your house, you can run a second pipe from the far end. I think there's a diagram in LostArt. I've also seen convectors that run a bare pipe from the supply to the far end above the finned tube. Hopefully steam helps push condensate out of finned tube.
  • malex
    malex Member Posts: 106
    Consider your other angles

    It could also be the piping to the radiator that is not pitched correctly. With some built in radiators like sun rads and fin tube the valve coming out of the floor is on the inside of the rad as opposed to the outside which means that if you pitch the rad too much the connection may become pitched the wrong way.



    Thin of it as a U on its side. Unless the U is pretty much level the condensate will pool at the turn causing hammering.



    Also consider if the riser is rubbing against wood. The pipe expands as it gets hot but friction keeps it stationary to the wood until it releases with a bang. I just solved a mystery popping sound that was caused by the riser running right through an AC register, rubbing against the metal. THe installers had wrapped the pipe in duct tape to no avail...



    Good hunting!
  • DHardy
    DHardy Member Posts: 5
    Fine Tube Symphony

    Those are excellent suggestions.



    My options are limited, though. The riser and the valve coming out of the floor are buried behind the built-in cabinet. Only about 3/4 of the radiator is exposed. And the cabinet is laminated with a fancy (and delicate) Chinese-style lacquer.



    I'll check the radiator while it's hammering and keep an eye and ear out for rubbing wood.



    Thanks.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,787
    Götterdämmerung

    What size is the central tube of the convector, and what size is the supply pipe and valve?
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,787
    Another "angle"

    Increasing the pitch might also make the situation worse if the supply pipe is inadequate by making the water flow out too fast while steam is still trying to get in. In that case the fix would be to replace the supply pipe and valve with bigger ones if possible.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
This discussion has been closed.