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Pipes Gurgling, Gushing, Dripping in Garden Apt Brooklyn Brownstone

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Connie_Q
Connie_Q Member Posts: 15
edited December 2020 in Plumbing
Hello,

I just moved into a garden apt (converted basement someone would say) in a Brooklyn Brownstone built in 1899. The house is heated with a hot water boiler and baseboard heaters. I am constantly hearing water gushing, gurgling, and dripping as it moves through the pipes behind the wall. It's a real disturbance especially at night. The sounds ebb and flow but are always constant. They are on the right side of the house which is adjacent to the next brownstone although I am told the sounds should have nothing to do with that building.

We had an HVAC come over and bleed the radiator but still the sounds persist. What would folks recommend doing? Do we have to go in the wall or put up insulation or can this be solved? Any help/insight would be most appreciated!

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,655
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    It may be that there is still air -- maybe quite a bit of air -- in the system. Bleeding just one radiator isn't going to do it. Someone needs to check the boiler and find out what the operating pressure is (cold and hot). If this is a three story building plus your apartment, it's going to need around 20 psi cold, and should rise to no more than 25 psi hot.

    Then all the radiators need to be bled -- not just yours -- while holding the pressure.

    That may help. May not, too, but it can't hurt.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ethicalpaul
  • Connie_Q
    Connie_Q Member Posts: 15
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    Thanks @Jamie Hall
    -The HVAC professional who came claimed he bled the radiators (all of them) and kind of looked dumbfounded saying he did everything he was supposed to do but it was beyond his expertise...A plumber is coming today
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,795
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    The hot water heating system was beyond the expertise of an HVAC professional? And the solution is to bring in a plumber?

    I mean, I know nothing about either person, but that sounds backwards to me

    NJ Steam Homeowner.
    Free NJ and remote steam advice: https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/new-jersey-steam-help/
    See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el

  • Connie_Q
    Connie_Q Member Posts: 15
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    What would you suggest @ethicalpaul ? I am new to this. Thanks for your insight!
  • Connie_Q
    Connie_Q Member Posts: 15
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    correction the new guy is plumbing and heating so maybe he will have a better bet @ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,795
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    I think you're doing fine! But that first HVAC person might not have been :sweat_smile:

    NJ Steam Homeowner.
    Free NJ and remote steam advice: https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/new-jersey-steam-help/
    See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el

    Connie_Q
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,840
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    @Connie_Q

    If they can't resolve this check "Find a Contractor" on this site
  • Connie_Q
    Connie_Q Member Posts: 15
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    @EBEBRATT-Ed @Jamie Hall @ethicalpaul heating guy came today and bled the radiators. he said the expansion tank for the boiler is too small for the size of the house and is suggesting a bigger one to filter the air. Does that make sense?
  • Connie_Q
    Connie_Q Member Posts: 15
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    @EBEBRATT-Ed @Jamie Hall @ethicalpaul and yes, sound is gushing, gurgling and dripping
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,655
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    "the expansion tank for the boiler is too small for the size of the house and is suggesting a bigger one to filter the air"

    I hope that's not an exact quote... although he might be right in saying the expansion tank is too small. The only really good way to tell, though, is to check the pressure on the system when it's cool and then again when it's running full out.

    Keeping in mind that if these are the typical old big cast iron radiators, then air trapped in them can act as an extra expansion tank...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 2,041
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    I would think that an undersized expansion tank would cause the system to over pressurize and reduce the air separation from the water. 
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,655
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    Got to admit that the only way I can see an undersize expansion tank causing this particular problem is allowing the pressure to drop too low, pulling in air. But I'm not there...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England