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Ever hear a drum roll sound like this?

TXBDan
TXBDan Member Posts: 28
edited April 2020 in Strictly Steam
Hi all,

I had a new Burnham Independence boiler installed by a reputable installer almost two years ago. It worked very well through the first winter, no noises, heated well. No issues.

Before this winter we had it serviced and ever since it's been a little noisy. The sound of boiling/gurgling water in the radiators, more vent whistle noises, some hammers, and even this sound. It sounds like a drum roll going on inside the boiler, mostly heard at the exhaust vent piping, that lasts for one second. And it repeats about every 30seconds as it gets cranking.

I checked the pressuretrol and it was set to 2psi with a 1psi diff. Today i lowered the main to about 1.7, as low as the slider would go with the same 1psi diff. The boiler has kicked on since with only very minor clunks/hammers, but the drumroll noises aren't perfectly repeatable. So we'll see if that does anything. I suspect my system never gets to that pressure anyway, i've never seen the needle on the gauge budge, granted its a wide range gauge.

Here's a link to a video of it: https://www.dropbox.com/s/c8vqdna4wvgrdeh/BoilerNoise.m4v?dl=0
(its at 14s and 34s)

Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,689
    Why not post the video here? First upload to YouTube.
    steve
  • TXBDan
    TXBDan Member Posts: 28
    Can you see the link? You can view it directly.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,756
    Works for me. Sounds like a woodpecker. Very strange.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,757
    Normally one there are two outlets they both should be used.
  • jhrost
    jhrost Member Posts: 57
    The Wurlitzer Hershel carousel has a drum roll like that - all you need is some organ music and you'll have found a way to make water hammer entertaining.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,765
    Relay or gas valve chatter.....but too hollow sounding....IDK.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,756
    JUGHNE said:

    Relay or gas valve chatter.....but too hollow sounding....IDK.

    I was thinking something electrical too. Definitely not steam or water related.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    It sounds a bit hollow but is the flue damper jammed against the flue pipe?
  • TXBDan
    TXBDan Member Posts: 28
    ^interesting idea. I just went to investigate the damper. The shaft is horizontal so i assume its closed. The boiler was off. I tried to manually rotate the damper shaft by hand it was very stiff. I heard its scratch a little as if jammed and then it stuck and i can't move it, but also didn't try to break anything. I also noticed a switch on the side that says Auto or Hold Open. When i switched it to Hold Open nothing happened. Should the switch activate the damper?
  • TXBDan
    TXBDan Member Posts: 28
    I checked while it was running today and the damper did open properly. I guess there's a switch so the boiler shouldn't run unless it is open. No noises today so far.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,309
    The old mercury glass capsul switches were great because tyhey never failed to work and you had visual proof that a switch was open or closed.

    They will have to pry my mercury switch vaporstat from my cold dead hands.

    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
    mattmia2
  • Boon
    Boon Member Posts: 255
    Sounds like a metal fan being poked with a stick
    DIY'er ... ripped out a perfectly good forced-air furnace and replaced it with hot water & radiators.
  • TXBDan
    TXBDan Member Posts: 28
    Ok, i woke up this morning to the sound of the drum roll. From upstairs on the second floor, its faint, but still enough to wake me up and run down and catch another video. This time it was much more frequent. Also notice the sound that's sort of like a bird calling/chirping. The noise was present, just the same, a few weeks ago when this first started. It sounds like a bird or animal, but its too perfectly repetitive and plus anything up in the chimney weeks ago would be long dead by now.

    The sound is radiating from the vent ducting which goes up the chimney. I can't say for sure which direction its coming from (boiler or chimney) but i'd still guess the boiler. I held my hand on the damper shaft and the vibration doesn't seem to be coming from it.

    This sound was recorded right after the boiler ran and the steam pipes were cool to the touch.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/7j9dvzrfwau5fa3/BoilerNoise2.m4v?dl=0
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,765
    Woodpecker?
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    There are no moving parts in the boiler and the only moving part on the flue is the damper motor. It has to be the damper trying to open or close and getting hung up. It is not an animal, unless it's a dead one laying on the damper keeping it from fully opening.
    Try opening the damper, switching it to "open" and leave it that way for a couple days and see if the noise is gone.
  • TXBDan
    TXBDan Member Posts: 28
    JUGHNE said:

    Woodpecker?

    At first i thought you were being a [email protected], but it turns out, you are the winner.



    It now seems so obvious. Thank you!

    JUGHNESuperTechkcopp
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,765
    Thanks for posting that last video. I often hear the woodpeckers from a distance, but seldom their call. We don't have many of them around here.
    The call I have heard rarely. Sounds very much from the jungle, IMO.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,765
    My son stopped over today and listened to the last video.
    His neighbor has a woodpecker hammer like that on her metal fireplace vent pipe cap.
    That has to be noticeable in the house.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,739
    A woodpecker tries going after my aluminum siding occasionally and it sounds exactly like this. I almost suggested it. I could have been the hero
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,756
    TXBDan said:

    At first i thought you were being a [email protected], but it turns out, you are the winner.

    Wait just a doggone minute there. Take a look at my first post.

    Works for me. Sounds like a woodpecker. Very strange.

    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    SuperTech
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,765
    I'll share the prize money with you!! :|
  • TXBDan
    TXBDan Member Posts: 28
    Ha, two winners. My bad, Hap_Hazzard. Interestingly, i sent my Dad the video and he knew exactly what it was.

    The bugger is still going at it every morning.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,756
    TXBDan said:

    The bugger is still going at it every morning.

    It's springtime, so he's not hunting for grubs up there. :)
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,309
    When I first bought this house i noticed birds setting up nests where the dormers meet the main roof. With shingle siding that is sure way to start rot. One day I was in the upstairs back room and the cat was sitting on the windowsill looking at the back yard.

    I opened the screen and she immediately went up and inspected the nests, 5 minites later the nests were gone and the birds were going crazy. later I saw here on a neighbors roof doing the same thing, she could get onto their garage and then make the leap to their roof.

    After two years the birds didn't even attempt nesting on my roof.

    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
  • TXBDan
    TXBDan Member Posts: 28

    TXBDan said:

    The bugger is still going at it every morning.

    It's springtime, so he's not hunting for grubs up there. :)
    Nope, he's showing off for all the lady woodpeckers by pecking on the loudest damn thing in the neighborhood!
    GrallertHap_HazzardkcoppSuperTech
  • weedhopper
    weedhopper Member Posts: 59
    That’s a double stroke roll exercise...
    LRLLRLRRLRLLRLRRLRLLRLRRLL
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 570
    I think it might also be called "territorial drumming", largely for the 'benefit' of his male competitors.
  • Stet
    Stet Member Posts: 23
    This is funny and amazing. Four or five years ago, my wife and I would wake up to this noise in the morning. Almost always the same time, about 6:30, which is about the same time the heat would come on in the morning. It was early spring.

    The metalbestos vent ran from the boiler room through our bedroom closet, and into the attic area, before going through the roof.

    Same Noise!

    An hour later, no noise! So we'd forget about it till we were awakened the next morning.

    Yes, it was coming from the vent piping. A Peerless gas hot water boiler. So one evening, I shut the boiler off. The next morning, theres the noise again. So the boiler was out.

    So the next morning, I got up early. Walked around the house, and there he was. Red Headed woodpecker! Jackhammering on my metalbestos. Must have seemed hollow to him.

    Find a tree you idiot!
    ethicalpaul
  • RotoRanger
    RotoRanger Member Posts: 1
    How to stop a woodpeckers racket........view video through this link.........https://tinyurl.com/ycvqcean
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,376
    I used a plastic owl to get rid of the wood peckers pecking on my house. It worked !
  • mvickers
    mvickers Member Posts: 10
    Simply bec we have SO many around here, WV panhandle, Pileated would've been my 1st guess. They can be very destructive to wooden houses as they look for carpenter bee larvae
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 570
    Wood peckers are far down on the list of troublemakers. First is bad construction--done by "peckerwoods". Second is water incursion. Third is rotting wood and insects.
    Metal objects are another category.
  • MarkMurf
    MarkMurf Member Posts: 25
    Had a gal call with the exact issue a few years back . Only hers was at the exact same time every morning . She had a warm air job , so it was even louder and more pronounced . Dan woodpeckers ! !
  • Jackmartin
    Jackmartin Member Posts: 181
    edited May 2020
    Your vent damper has a small electronic board controlling your vent damper motor. You can hear the vent damper opening and then the sound The vent damper flapper arm is connected to the motor output shaft. What you are hearing is the shaft letting go of the vent damper flapper it is loose, the vent damper is still making the end switch but it will continue to turn until the end of the stroke. The electronic board has a strain gauge, once there is enough torsion pressure against the vent damper rod the damper motor stops, but it is energized when it stops it returns by a spring. Check to make sure the set screw is not loose or better yet get your installer to check ,these things are warranted. The comment about your boiler piping is correct, both outlets should have been used and a drop header installed to ensure dry steam. Be Well and Be Blessed Jack
  • roncook
    roncook Member Posts: 8
    Definitely sounds like a woodpecker on the chimney metal cap. Seen it happen live twice in my 35 years of service. Would have never believed it if I didn't see it with my own eyes.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,594
    The woodpeckers by me love to peck chimney caps.
    Beak sharpener?
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 570
    No, a beak "duller."