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what is expansion and contraction noises?

Just had new install from snowman boiler to burnham indepence. Having knocking noises and banging/clanking near mains that branch off closest to boiler only.Rest of the house is quiet Been told it's contraction expansion Never had this with old system (over 50 years old).Can you stop these noises or are the noises a boiler issue? Would think if it was contraction expansion noise it would be throughtout house.Contractor and other plumber's answer ...DON'T know why only in one area

Comments

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,540
    Sounds like water hammer

    That sounds more like water hammer rather than expansion/contraction. Have you looked at your owner's manual to see if they piped the system as  recommended by the manufacturer? Are the mains sloped the right direction? Did they put the headed at least 24 inches above the water line? You might want to post some pictures so we can see what is there. Also some detaill about the system, single pipe or two pipe, what the Pressuretrol is set at, etc.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,540
    edited March 2014
    Previous Post

    I just saw your other post with the pictures. Per the other comments there, you likely do have some water hammer. Both mains should come off of the header independently and that bull-headed Tee should not be there. you also have plenty of head room to get that header up 24 to 28 inches. Not sure why the installer didn't get it up where it belongs to begin with. 
  • plumbergirl1
    plumbergirl1 Member Posts: 14
    some pictures

    Here are some pictures and info. It is a single pipe system.The boiler had been in 4 months snd there has been numerous problems.First it has made these noises since day one.When the boiler was in a few weeks the valve on the return blew off flooding the boiler and cellar, shorting out the LWC. The water gauge was surging, it was short cycling and my gas bill was very high. I had it inspected by the local city inspector and it failed inspection because it was piped wrong...no equalizer, cold water being fed directly into boiler and had never been skimmed(no skim port either). They came and repiped as shown.Moving vents over, insulating pipes, still no skim.I hired a different HVAC person to skim boiler. Noises continued, but h2o in sight glass is not surging.There has been problems too numerous to mention including automatic damper being set open for months....$$$$$$ wasted on gas. I have measured the distance from waterline(used top of gauge as suggested online) to the headerIt measures 19 in to bottom of horizontal pipe and 22-23 inches to top of that pipe. Been told "that 24 inch is just a suggestion. I sent you a photo of preesuretrol ..is it set right? This banging occurs after boiler stops running at 3 minute intervals.
  • plumbergirl1
    plumbergirl1 Member Posts: 14
    pictures for last post

    Here are the pictures sorry
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,053
    Oh no.

    This doesn't look like a good install. Can you send a pic of the boiler, front forward, including the piping directly on top?
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
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    Plumbing in NYC or in NJ.
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  • plumbergirl1
    plumbergirl1 Member Posts: 14
    front of boiler

    Here are 2 photos Hope you can see them
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,354
    24" just a suggestion

    Yes it is a suggestion, but only if you want your warranty to be valid.  Here is an excerpt from one boiler manufacturers warranty under the section that says "What is NOT covered: Products that were not installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions by a qualified heating or plumbing contractor whose principal occupation is the sale and installation of plumbing, heating, and/or air conditioning equipment or unsatisfactory performance caused by improper installation.   Personally my interpretation of this is if they didn't follow the directions in the manual and something goes wrong the warranty will not cover it.  If it was me I would get the original installer back in to fix the things they did wrong.  The bullhead Tee at the top of the riser has to go and that header should be minimum 24" from waterline to bottom of header.  Additionally I would suggest that all pipe slopes are checked to be correct since they touched so much piping the slopes could be wrong which could contribute to water hammer.  You should give the original installer a chance to fix their mistakes.  Like I said before just a homeowner, but if it was my house that is what I would want.  If it didn't make noise before and it does now It has to be from the what the installing contractor did (IMO).  I would be firm with him, but keep in mind it's also possible he doesn't know what he doesn't know.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,540
    Well ...

    It sounds like the installer had no clue about how to install a boiler and, even though you'd like to recover as much of the install as possible (or have him correct it), I'd be very reluctant to rely on him to come back and know how to fix the problems. Given he did not install an equalizer, and he did not even bother to look at the installation guide, is a good indicator that 1) he has no experience and 2) he has little regard for doing things right.

    The best advice I can give you is to get a good, qualified installer in there and get an assessment of what needs to be done to correct this install. From the pics,

    - clearly the mains need to each run down to the header

    - The bull-headed Tee needs to go away

    - The header needs to go up several inches

    - The slope of all pipes needs to be checked

    - I would think the equalizer pipe should be the same diameter all the way down (may or may not be a problem)

    - the Hartford loop looks too small to me (again may or may not be an issue

    - personally I would want all piping to be black steel but copper below the water line is suppose to be OK. A lot of that copper is not below the water line though.

    Those are things we can see from the pics. Who knows what we can't see.



     
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,053
    That's the side of the boiler.

    The front is the part with the manufacturer's name plate on it.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting
    Plumbing in NYC or in NJ.
    Take his class.
  • plumbergirl1
    plumbergirl1 Member Posts: 14
    repipe

    Thanks for help.I'm having original contractor come back and he is willing to take out bullhead tee. I am going to insist he make sure header is piped as manual.Should I insist that the copper piping on hartford loop and returns be changed to blackpipe. I asked them to make sure that the return pipes be 1 and a half inch pipe instead of 1 inch pipe but they said that it connects into a 1 inch pipe so they have to use 1 inch to connect.Is that correct? How can I tell if my returns are clogged and causing the condensate to have trouble returning to boiler and causing these noises? If they insist that its expansion contraction noise is there any way to cure it? Any suggestions for a great steam boiler contractor in the Rhode Island area.Someone who actually will pipe it right and follow Dan Holohan's expert advise?
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,540
    Repipe

    I don't think the noises you hear is expansion/contraction. It sounds like water hammer. If he re pipes it per the mfg's instructions, that should go away.It is recommended that wet returns be replaced when a new boiler is installed. That might cost a little extra but well worth it to avoid problems. If the returns are 1", that should be ok. I would want anything above the water line to be black pipe. When it's all done, the boiler will need to be skimmed in a week or two due to the oils in the new piping working back into the boiler, so anticipate having to do that. Study the installation manual and stay with this guy as much as you can to make sure he follows the instructions.