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Question about eliminating intense Steam/Water Hammer. Kind of Worried. Please help?

JasonW Member Posts: 4
edited February 2016 in THE MAIN WALL
Hi! My name is Jason and my landlord finally opened the boiler in my apartment after decades of inactivity.

As a result, my radiator (picture attached) has become extremely, extremely noisey. I am from NY originally so I am used to Steam Radiators clanging, but not like this. It's very loud sharp sudden sounds that occur only in periodic 10 or so minute intervals.

Please look at my picture for an idea of what I am dealing with. I have the radiator's shut off valve completely 100% closed yet there is still 1)dripping from the valve 2)clanging sounds against metal in the radiator?

For issue number 2 specifically, how is it possible that I am still getting the clanking sound in the radiator pipes (during the periodic intervals of the steam coming up) when the shut off valve is completely off? I figured that if the shut off valve was 100 percent closed, I wouldn't have to worry about hearing clanking on the radiator coils. Any ideas? The coils themselves really don't feel warm at all.

My landlord says the shut off valve might need to be replaced and is replacing it in a few days. Do you think that putting a new shut off valve on will remedy the issue of the water.steam clanging off the radiator coils?

What other things can i possibly do to remedy this situation? I'm extremely worried and feel like I might need to leave my apt because of this, and I thought i'd live here forever.... :\

If you'd like me to take any better pictures for you, please let me know.
I am going to be constantly checking this thread for responses, as this is the only thing currently on my mind and I've heard that this board is comprised of heating gurus.


  • JasonW
    JasonW Member Posts: 4
    It should be noted that when the "heating interval" starts - while my coils aren't actually getting hot, I can still definitely hear and feel .....something...swirling through my coils. Even with the shut off valve 100 % off.

    Might this be a defective shut off valve or is this normal to occur with a good-working shut off valve completely turned off?
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,021
    The valves usually never shut off 100%. So steam can still slip by and condense to water in the radiator. The water cannot drain out thru the same valve, (think of it being thicker than steam).
    More steam comes in and produces water hammer in that radiator.
    However, water hammer can happen a 100' away and you may hear it.

    What do you mean that the Landlord "opened" the boiler?
    Any pictures of the boiler available? Piping and especially controls and gauges.
  • JasonW
    JasonW Member Posts: 4
    The boiler room is actually open most of the time. i'll see if i can gtake a picture now. But if not, then tomorrow .
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    You might try turning the silver "bullet" vent upside-down. that will often turn the rad "off".
    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
  • Leave the shutoff valve open, and the air vent upside down as it is now.
    When you look at the boiler, pay attention to the pressure gauge, and tell us what it says.
    Can any of your neighbors hear this noise?--NBC
  • JasonW
    JasonW Member Posts: 4
    everyone hears the noise and is complaining about it but mine appears to be more intense and sharper than the rest by a considerable margin.

    It's starting to leak (drip faster) more now from the valve since last night too. This is with the shut off closed. Additionally it's starting to get....hot now at the very bottom of the radiator itself.....with the shut off valve off? Zero clue.

    I will go down to the boiler room and snap some pics of stuff like the pressure valve. Won't be till tonight though. i appreciate everyones help...seriously you have no idea
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,021
    Your radiator is probably flooded with water that is being pushed out of the air vent, even with it upside down, by the steam still pushing in thru the closed valve.

    That steam is trying to compress the water in the radiator which has to leak out somewhere an you cannot compress water.

    The steam can compress air however. If you opened the valve and got the water to drain back down the pipe. Then with the rad full of air and the air vent upside down the steam would heat the radiator. Usually only a portion of the rad would heat with the vent inverted, but one being that small will probably heat almost fully.

    But keep the valve fully open and the little air vent inverted.

    The pictures should be of a pressure control box about 4" square, might be gray or have a clear front, also the pressure gauge with the needle showing the pressure. Both of these will be up on small piping near the top of the boiler. And also some shots of the whole thing from a ways back so we can see from floor to ceiling piping.
  • I suspect the boiler needs some maintenance, in particular, cleaning the pressure control, and it's piping. The good news is that it will burn much less fuel than it is now.--NBC