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Noise potential in a steam system

Even if the near boiler piping is perfect as described in books or the manual, isn't true the radiators, such as old cast iron ones, will have water in them?  So isn't likely the radiator will make minor noises when the steam enters the radiator or piping?  Also, won't tee fittings catch condensate? 


  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 6,653
    Depends on what you mean

    by "minor noise".  Yes, there will be a small amount of water in the bottom of a radiator -- better thought of as dampness -- assuming that the radiator is pitched properly.  And I suppose that a T fitting might have a little water in it.  Therefore you might hear a small amount of hiss or even a slight gurgle when the steam is coming in, particularly at first.  You might also hear condensate running in the pipe(s) -- if your hearing is good.

    What you will hear very often is noise caused by the pipes and the radiators expanding.  If it's loud one can sometimes reduce that or get rid of it by making sure that the pipes don't touch the framing of the building anywhere except on proper hangars.  These expansion noises, though, can be very hard to get rid of completely.

    If you hear louder clangs -- water hammer -- condensate is accumulating somewhere in moderate quantity.  Usually a pitch problem, sometimes as size problem.

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • Boiler TalkBoiler Talk Member Posts: 124
    edited December 2012

    Ever since I got the new boiler I've noticed everything wrong after reading after the fact.   It is almost obsessive.  PIA. Anyway...

    I have two identical single pipe American Radiators on a 1" riser.  One on the first floor and the second on the second floor.  They are about 30" high, 3 sections with 2 columns.  I didn't hear much but it sounded like a slight hammer and my hand felt it as the heat was rising.  The riser below the first floor has a run that's covered with asbestos insulation.  That stuff is lumpy and be hard to determine is pitched correctly.  I'll have to see if the radiators are pitched.  They are so short. 

    Then I I hear a different riser pipe running to the second story rubbing against the floor.  Not much I can do there.  Too tight.. 

    I know  the installer left part of the old header on the piping that might not be pitched back.   The old piping did lead to where the connection was made.   I know the new header, which is lower than the old existing header, doesn't conform to the preferred 24" measure over the top of the boiler, but is 24" over the sight glass level.  Now I rarely hear a louder hammer, but something is happening.  Hard to tell if that's it. 

     Here's an old photo I previously posted.  The old header has two risers.  Given the location of the boiler how would the header be re-piped if that was the problem?  The boiler is small PB WBV -03.  
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