Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

Steam banging

LeSerLeSer Member Posts: 19
Inherited a house with steam pipes.. aka I bought the house, lol. Didn't realized it was so bad at night, so I do have some plans but not sure what they are. I was thinking of taking each one out to clean, its really dirty around the are, need some vacuuming and it was previously painted by old owner.

So does it make sense to take them out to clean ? Do I need to check for anything specific ? ie rust use some kinda of cleaning conditioner ? I never work with these before but willing to learn and figure out the pipe banging issue. Also does not look like there is any pitch.. so I think that might be one issue. Ill post some pics a bit later.

Comments

  • neilcneilc Member Posts: 589
    and pictures of the boiler, from the floor to the ceiling,
    what pressure are you running at?
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 371
    Welcome to the steam fun! You’re in good hands with the folks on this forum. I was in your shoes a few months ago, except for wanting to clean stuff!

    What is it that you want to take out to clean? What is “them”?
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ. If you see me say something dumb, just think of my poor wife--she has to hear it every day!
  • neilcneilc Member Posts: 589
    his radiators or convectors are caked
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 5,124
    Internally or just outside?
  • neilcneilc Member Posts: 589
    I wuz guessing
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 5,124
    Pictures of your radiators or convectors also will be helpful.
  • FredFred Member Posts: 7,327
    Cleaning radiator or convectors won't stop the banging. If we are talking about a steam system, something is holding water. Either the radiator/convector is pitched the wrong way or a pipe is incorrectly pitched or has a bow in it holding water. As the others have said, post some pictures,; the boiler, the piping above it, and a representative sample of the radiators/convectors. If you can isolate where the banging occurs, that will help a lot.
  • LeSerLeSer Member Posts: 19
    Sorry, I had flu and didn't get out of bed till today, nasty 5 days. I will try to take pics, it looks like non of them are pitched. Theres only 1 pipe in and the basement is sealed. Im hoping to crack some sheet rocks open to figure out whats going on.

    Outside is nasty, painted over, a few times, i m sure inside is nasty too.. lol.
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 4,885
    Don't trust your eye, use a level to confirm pitch or no pitch. Try stretching a string along long runs of pipe to check for dips in the piping.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • LeSerLeSer Member Posts: 19
    Sorry for the delays.. Ill get some better photos. So it looks like these are 1 pipe system ? it goes in and does not go out

    They were painted over and was falling off, I have 2 yr old but didn't want him to start eating paint chips.. My contracted had strip some off but was going to paint them in spring. I was wondering if I can just take the whole thing out and pressure wash them. I put new vents on them. The boiler people said they could have been pretty old.

    Banging


    More banging




    It might be hard to hear with the vent going off. Ill take pic of the pipes. Its just one pipe in and get a level to look at the pitch. I'm pretty sure its just flat on the floor

    The boiler is a Weils EG/PEG50

    let me know what other info I should get
  • LeSerLeSer Member Posts: 19
    Last but not least, all the pipe are in the floor which are all closed off and finished. So I am debating to open them and refinish them if it can be fixed. Else no use opening all the finish work and not do anything
  • gfrbrooklinegfrbrookline Member Posts: 277
    Unfortunately it sounds like you may have a sagging pipe but first make sure your radiators are pitched to drain towards the floor valve which is located behind the lower grate. It is not easy to do with built in Sunrads.

    Do you ever hear a boiling sound during your heating cycle?
  • FredFred Member Posts: 7,327
    Don't open the floors. First, make sure the hammer is actually at those radiators and not just radiating from the main up to those radiators. Are all of the banging radiators on the same main in the basement? If so, see if the hammering is louder along that mai and if there is a sag (bow) in that main that is holding water or if a hanger has come loose and allowed the main to drop a little and changed the pitch.
    If the noise is actually at the radiators, make sure the radiators are pitched back towards the supply valve.
    If you find the radiators are properly pitched and the noise seems to be coming from below the floor boards, try to raise the supply side about a half inch and the repitch the radiator. Raising the supply side of the radiator will also raise any horizontal pipe under the floor that may have lost its pitch.
  • Gary SmithGary Smith Member Posts: 231
    Also make sure the supply valves to the radiators are fully open. On one pipe systems you never partially close the supply valve, unless of course you are removing the radiator or convector.
  • gfrbrooklinegfrbrookline Member Posts: 277
    Also what are your Hoffman vents set at? I found that putting Gorton #4's on made a huge difference. These are small radiators and like to be vented very slowly.
  • neilcneilc Member Posts: 589
    neilc said:

    and pictures of the boiler, from the floor to the ceiling,
    what pressure are you running at?

  • FredFred Member Posts: 7,327

    Also what are your Hoffman vents set at? I found that putting Gorton #4's on made a huge difference. These are small radiators and like to be vented very slowly.

    He's got Hoffman 1A's on there. They can be adjusted to a setting of "2" and be equal to the Gorton #4. At "1" they are even slower.
  • gfrbrooklinegfrbrookline Member Posts: 277
    That is why I was asking, if they are set to anything above 2 they are venting too fast and condensing faster than they can drain on initial heat up so that is likely the clanging he hears.
  • FredFred Member Posts: 7,327

    That is why I was asking, if they are set to anything above 2 they are venting too fast and condensing faster than they can drain on initial heat up so that is likely the clanging he hears.

    I don't know what size supply pipes he has (pictures would be good) but if they are 1.25" or better and his system pressure is where it belongs, he is not likely to get banging from venting too fast. Spitting, maybe, heating across the top or bottom half only, possibly but not likely banging. Something is most likely out of pitch.
  • LeSerLeSer Member Posts: 19
    Ill have to provide some info in the next few days. But the hoffman are set between 2-5, farthest one is at 5, ill try to make a drawing, its hard to tell where its banging, sounds like the pipes, not the actual radiators, sounds like right below the radiator..
  • LeSerLeSer Member Posts: 19
    edited January 3
    Ok heres some banging sound.. Originally I thought it was mostly pipes but looks like something is wrong with the boiler.. it sounds like its coming from the damper or that white box by damper.



    Damper is GVD-7

    So originally the furthest 2 radiator was set to 4-5, lol. I drop all of them to 1, should it be 1 ? Its a small house, 40x100 lot, so house is like 20x50 or something.. not huge. Can you set them to lower than 1 or 1 minimum. They moved as I tighten the top so may have gone toward less than 1

  • LeSerLeSer Member Posts: 19
    edited January 3
    This pic of pipe is in garage. It’s the furthest point in front of house. The boiler is at opposite end of house. So that little round thing in too blows out steam or something. And water leaks out sometimes. Not sure what it’s call

    BTW is the damper suppose to open and close or only at certain times.. thanks.
  • Danny ScullyDanny Scully Member Posts: 1,038
    Where are you located @LeSer?
  • Dave0176Dave0176 Member Posts: 986
    edited January 3
    Unfortunately the boiler needs to be repiped, it appears to be an EG50 which according to the Weil-McLain manual should be a minimum of one 2-1/2 riser and header, what you have appears to be 2”, and it isn’t configured properly. Also an EDR needs to be done on the radiators to see if the boiler is sized correctly.

    What your hearing is what Dan Holohan refers to as the anvil chorus aka water hammer usually created by wet steam over sizing or improper piping.
    DL Mechanical LLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing 732-266-5386
    Specializing in Steam Heating, Serving the residents of New Jersey
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/dl-mechanical-llc

    https://m.facebook.com/DL-Mechanical-LLC-315309995326627/?ref=content_filter

    I cannot force people to spend money, I can only suggest how to spend it wisely.......
  • LeSerLeSer Member Posts: 19
    I am in nyc

    Where are you located @LeSer?

  • LeSerLeSer Member Posts: 19
    edited January 3
    Dave0176 said:

    Unfortunately the boiler needs to be repiped, it appears to be an EG50 which according to the Weil-McLain manual should be a minimum of one 2-1/2 riser and header, what you have appears to be 2”, and it isn’t configured properly. Also an EDR needs to be done on the radiators to see if the boiler is sized correctly.

    What your hearing is what Dan Holohan refers to as the anvil chorus aka water hammer usually created by wet steam over sizing or improper piping.

    Yes its a EG/PEG-50. The boiler was replace by previous owner before we move in. Not sure if he got the cheapest quote or something. It was part of an oil to gas conversion.

    Ill give it a measure, 2.5 is diameter ?
  • Dave0176Dave0176 Member Posts: 986
    @LeSer yes MINIMUM size is supposed to be 2.5” we as usual always go bigger as it works much better. Here is a chart of the outside pipe diameters which will give you the nonminal inside diameter.


    DL Mechanical LLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing 732-266-5386
    Specializing in Steam Heating, Serving the residents of New Jersey
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/dl-mechanical-llc

    https://m.facebook.com/DL-Mechanical-LLC-315309995326627/?ref=content_filter

    I cannot force people to spend money, I can only suggest how to spend it wisely.......
  • LeSerLeSer Member Posts: 19
    What do you think repiping will cost, is it just the area mention in the manual ? you're in neighbor state, so price should be almost similar.. or what would you charge, so I can find out from previous owner if he can get these yahoos to fix it
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 7,625
    We don’t talk cost, and money here, so you will just have to tell them that the installer they chose did not follow the instructions, which came with the boiler and that it is now not properly functional.
    It would not have cost that much more to do it right from the beginning. I think you have a good case against them if it comes to a lawsuit.—NBC
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 5,124
    What we can see of your steam main pipe is running up hill away from the boiler. That is a counterflow pipe in that steam is try to flow against returning water. If not handled correctly this will product water hammer.
    If much of your horizontal steam main piping is sloped as such then that calls for different piping at the boiler.

    That piece of sheetrock that is only screwed on the wall could be removed to show more of the piping.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 9,323
    All of those strict codes in NYC and still steamers get piped completely wrong.


    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
  • JohnNYJohnNY Member Posts: 2,128
    @LeSer you said you’re in NYC but that looks like a Brooklyn/Queens basement to me. Dave0176 is top notch and you should follow his lead if he’s offering, but if he’s too busy, I’m able to guide this to resolution.
    Best to all,
    JC
    For installations, troubleshooting, and private consulting services, find John "JohnNY" Cataneo here at :
    "72°F, LLC"
    Or email John at [email protected]
    John is a professional Master Plumber, licensed by The Department of Buildings of The City of New York, and works extensively in NYC while consulting for clients in and out of state.
  • Dave0176Dave0176 Member Posts: 986
    JUGHNE said:

    What we can see of your steam main pipe is running up hill away from the boiler. That is a counterflow pipe in that steam is try to flow against returning water. If not handled correctly this will product water hammer.
    If much of your horizontal steam main piping is sloped as such then that calls for different piping at the boiler.

    That piece of sheetrock that is only screwed on the wall could be removed to show more of the piping.

    I noticed that too @JUGHNE that main is pitched pretty good towards the boiler. If it is indeed a counterflow, that could explain the major water hammer in the header area.
    DL Mechanical LLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing 732-266-5386
    Specializing in Steam Heating, Serving the residents of New Jersey
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/dl-mechanical-llc

    https://m.facebook.com/DL-Mechanical-LLC-315309995326627/?ref=content_filter

    I cannot force people to spend money, I can only suggest how to spend it wisely.......
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 5,124
    There look to be wet/dry returns also.
    Maybe it is a hybrid.
    Counter flow to get height in maybe the crawl space or avoid a beam we don't see and then switches to parallel flow
  • LeSerLeSer Member Posts: 19
    Hi, What is hybrid. Is it steam and radiant ? basement appears to be radiant, water pipes.. hybrid ?
  • FredFred Member Posts: 7,327
    LeSer said:

    Hi, What is hybrid. Is it steam and radiant ? basement appears to be radiant, water pipes.. hybrid ?

    His reference suggests the possibility that the steam main may start out pitched towards the boiler with a drip, near the boiler and then at some point that same main starts to pitch the other direction, with a drop into a wet return at the end of the main. This is sometimes done to get the main past a spot where headroom is restricted but the main still needs to move condensate back to the boiler without it pooling somewhere along the way.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!