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Fixing a noisy steam pipe (expansion noises).

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ChrisJ
ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,767
I made up another plastic bushing to stop a pipe from making noise. Not sure why this pipe suddenly became noisy this year but it probably has to do with things shifting a little from me messing with them. The pipe was rubbing on the floor on one side and nothing I tried made it any better.

I make these out of 1 gallon plastic water jugs. I cut a few slits on one side to make it so I can screw it or staple it to the floor in the basement / crawlspace. If not anchored I've found they usually slowly walk back out of the hole. This one was in a pretty tight spot and the floor is pretty boogered up around the pipe for some reason so the job looks crummy but should work fine just the same.

The reason this works is the plastic allows the pipe to glide smoothly and quietly rather than stick and jump against the wood which results in loud popping as the pipe heats and cools.

This is in no way my idea but I wanted to pass the information on with pictures in hopes to help other members. I have not tested this specific one yet but others I have done have always worked.


As always all comments and questions are welcome.
Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

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  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
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    Thanks for the visual. I was just thinking I ought to try this out on one problem pipe.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
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    If you need something a bit more stout, you might try a short piece of PEX or HDPE pipe. We use them for concrete and steel penetrations -- just slit them for retrofit use.
    ChrisJ
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
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    Interesting, i would have thought it would melt. I could have used that on a number of occasions. I will try that next time. Thanks
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,767
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    Interesting, i would have thought it would melt. I could have used that on a number of occasions. I will try that next time. Thanks

    Which did you think would melt Gerry, the plastic bottle or the Pex / HDPE?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
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    Same stuff (basically) but the pipes are made from a higher grade of PE. The black irrigation pipe has a bunch of carbon UV inhibitors, thinner walls, and comes in pretty much any diameter you can imagine.
  • JohnW2
    JohnW2 Member Posts: 21
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    I would love to be able to do this. The two largest radiators in my house have pipes that are sitting against the edge of the hole and they both bang loudly once or twice when the steam first hits and then once again about a half an hour after it shuts off. I've tried cutting up a plastic folder and sliding the pieces in, but the radiators are so heavy and up against the wood so tightly that I can't get the plastic in. It just bends back every time I try to do it. Can I ask how you're able to force the plastic in there?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,419
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    JohnW2 -- you may have to resort to using a couple of levers or crowbars to lift the radiator enough to move it over just very slightly. You'll probably need some help, as both ends of the radiator have to be lifted and shifted just a little bit so there's room for the plastic. Unless your last name is Henry, of course!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England