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Sounds like pebbles in my pipe

Hi all,
My building has a single pipe steam system. In one bedroom there's constant rattling sound like there are pebbles stuck in the pipe. This room has a radiator and a steam pipe going up to the upstairs apartment. I'm pretty sure the sound is in the pipe going upstairs but it's hard to be sure since they are next to each other. The radiator is tilted back towards the pipe correctly. I did ask people who live in the builder to make sure their radiator valves were 100% open or closed and to control the heat via the air vent. Our boiler (it's a shared boiler for the whole building) is set for 2 psi which seems high but not crazy. Not sure what else to check.

Any thoughts on what might cause this?

Thanks everyone!

Comments

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    edited April 2016
    Could be a loose or broken disc inside one of the valves rattling around when the steam blows past it. You can either take the bonnet off of the valve and look at it or disconnect the radiator and look inside the valve(s). Make sure the boiler is powered down when you take things apart.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,507
    Even though the pressuretrol may be set for 2 psi, it may not be keeping the pressure that low, because of blockage of the port, or the pigtail underneath.
    This is why we like having a good low pressure 0-3 psi gauge installed on a separate pigtail.--NBC
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,429
    I am (as usual) with Fred. Very likely it's the valve that is rattling. Try closing it and see if the noise stops.

    Noise travels far in steam pipes and can be deceptive when trying to pinpoint the location.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
    GregWeiss
  • BostonPaul
    BostonPaul Member Posts: 9
    Thanks! By that you mean the valve on my radiator in the room? Or the one in the upstairs apartment connected to the pipe?
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,429
    Well, -try both!
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com