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hot floors and LOUD pipes

sadie Member Posts: 2
I live in a 1930's garden style apartment with steam heat. I am in the building farthest away from the boiler (about 200 yards). First issue: the floors are very warm in the front part of the apartment. I am on the first floor. The floor is so warm that it keeps the room at 80 degrees with the radiator completely off. I have to run the AC even with the heat off. It doesn't seem right. Is this hot floor indicative of a larger problem? Could it be dangerous?

Also, the pipes bang like crazy in the middle of the night. I occasionally open the radiators to relieve the pressure and it seems to help. Not sure if we have a one or two pipe system. Any other suggestions?

Could these problems be related?


  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Heat Problem

    Hi- We really don't have enough information to be able to give you much help

    as to what might be the problem other than to say it isn't normal. If you haven't done so already I would report the problem to whom ever is in charge of building maintenance and have them investigate the situation.  Is there a basement below your apartment? 

        Whether the steam system is a one pipe or a two pipe system is determined by the number of pipes attached to each radiator. One pipe attached means it's a one pipe system. Two pipes means it's a two pipe system.  Residential steam systems run on very low pressure, usually less than 2 PSI.

    - Rod
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,573
    Noisy steam system

    This is certainly not normal, and I would say it is a system-wide problem, so as Rod suggests, report it to the managers. If they should reply with some sort of statement that steam is inherently noisy, or uneven, don't believe them, but seek to talk to someone higher up.

    When these systems were first installed, they were quiet, even, and economical. The job of the management is to return the system to its original star of maintenance .--NBC
  • Steve_175
    Steve_175 Member Posts: 238

    As others have said we need more info. Can you post pics of the boiler room and the pipes that distribute the steam? Also a drawing of the building and your unit layout would help.

    My guess at this point is there is no insulation on any of the pipes. This would partially explain the very hot floor (pipes underneath) and banging. When pipes are not insulated the sudden rise (and fall) in temp causes the pipes to expand and contract quickly which is where the noise is generated.
  • sadie
    sadie Member Posts: 2
    thank you

    Thank you all for your suggestions.  Please forgive my ignorance about the heating system.  I wanted to get as much insight as possible before approaching the building manager (who can be less than helpful in most cases). I will ask that insulation be installed around the pipes under my unit.  If there is already insulation (which I HIGHLY doubt), I'll post more pics of the boiler, etc.  Thank you again. You all have been very helpful.
  • Steve_175
    Steve_175 Member Posts: 238

    If the pipes under your floor can only be accessed by removing the floor they will be very hesitant to do it. Try to sweeten the job by telling them how much money they will save on the oil bill.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,573
    Approaching the management

    I would focus on the discomfort you suffer at the moment, and the obvious waste of fuel (perhaps 50%). See if they will get someone to look at the system (obviously not the person who has been caring for it).--NBC
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