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Help with steam radiator

I live in a co-op building in Queens and the steam radiator in my bedroom makes loud banging noises every night. I keep the radiator off completely as the building is very hot but the noise is always there. I have a feeling it is the intake pipe as it is long and the floor of my bedroom is not level, perhaps water is getting trapped in the pipe and being driven around when hot steam comes in? My super has basically told me to live with the sound, that it is an old building etc. Is there anything I can do on my own to try and remedy this noise? It is really loud and happens 5-10 times a night.


  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,466Member
    Three things to try... first, open the valve to the radiator. They rarely close completely, and they allow steam by and condensate to build up -- which may bang. Second, if the room is too hot, try turning the vent on the opposite end upside down. Rotate half a turn. That may shut the vent off and reduce the amount of heat from the radiator. Third, there may be a horizontal pipe under the floor. Try lifting the radiator to see if there is any give -- if there is, try raising it at the valve end about half an inch and at the vent end about 3/4 inch and see if that helps.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 1,110Member
    > My super has basically told me to live with the sound, that it is an old building etc.

    Is there some super school where they teach this hogwash, or are they born saying it?
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • BenM21BenM21 Posts: 4Member
    I should have clarified in my first comment but the banging is definitely not coming from the radiator but from the pipe. I've opened the valve and raised the radiator as there is a lot of give. Hopefully this helps
  • BobCBobC Posts: 5,018Member
    There may be water in a hoeizontal pipe under the floor. Try lifting both ends of the radiatot up to see if you can get better performance. As I've said before be careful to lift slowly so yopu don't over stress the old plping.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • BenM21BenM21 Posts: 4Member
    I've tried lifting it and it hasn't made any difference. I'm assuming the only other option is going into the floor and fixing the pitched pipe?
  • FredFred Posts: 8,105Member
    Before you tear up floors, talk to the neighbor under your apartment and ask them if they hear the banging. It is very possible it is not your radiator or piping that is causing the problem but one under you that is fed off of that same riser. We've seen that happen several times before. Noise will radiate through pipes.
  • BenM21BenM21 Posts: 4Member
    I will definitely do that, thanks so much for the suggestion!
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,373Member
    Look closely at that valve. It might be a "globe" or "stop" valve instead of a "gate" valve. If so, it's holding water up in the radiator and that's what's causing the banging. We've actually run into cases where the Dead Men made this mistake!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
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