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Loud Banging

tumbz
tumbz Member Posts: 94
guys, this is kinda confusing, ill try my best to explain.

I have a 1 pipe steam system with a FINISHED BASEMENT so i cant see the pipes behinds the walls.

I tuned up the boiler, drained everything and made sure everything is working correctly. all the pigtails cleaned, pressuretrol settings correct, new pressure gauge 1-5, etc...

i have 2 problems.

1) when i first moved into this home, i turned off the radiator valves upstairs since we only used the first floor. they also were not heating up when the thermostat turned off. i fixed that problem by using vent rites and adjusting the first floor vents lower so the upstairs could heat up first before the thermostat was satisfied on the first floor.

now that we are using the upstairs, the original radiators were smaller, so i bought bigger ones. the bigger radiators were thicker so i had to use a 2 x 45 degree angled connections to make them connect to the valve. i made sure to pitch the radiators towards the valve. its a obviously good slope towards the valve.

but now, when the heat reaches the upstairs, they bang uncontrollably. im thinking its the 2 x 45 angled connections that i added in order to attach the radiator to the valve. If i dont use these connectors, the radiator is too thick to connect to the valve. i even tried cutting the floor in order to move the pipes just a little to connect to the radiator, but the pipes are already pulled to the max.

im not sure what else i can do...

2) this been an issue ever since i moved in to this home. when the boiler first starts, theres super loud bangs near the radiator closest to the boiler. its the radiator on my first floor bathroom. as i mentioned, my basement is finished so i cant really check the slope of the piping in my basement.

the pipe in this bathroom actually has a lot of slack, so i tried moving it and raising it up or down. still has banging. im not sure what else i can do.

i made sure and isolated the problems to my upstairs radiator and my first floor bathroom radiator, closest to the boiler. the others dont bang. just these 2. i also made sure my boiler is not the issue.

if i cant reach my pipes since my home has a finished basement with a renovated rest of the house, how else can i try to fix the slope of my pipes?

please help. i know this is kinda confusing and all over the place...

Comments

  • acwagner
    acwagner Member Posts: 505
    Can you post a photo of the upstairs radiator connection modification you did?
    Burnham IN5PVNI Boiler, Single Pipe with 290 EDR
    18 Ounce per Square Inch Gauge
    Time Delay Relay in Series with Thermostat
    Operating Pressure 0.3-0.5 Ounce per Square Inch

    ethicalpaul
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,699
    Banging, unless it's right at the boiler, is a slope issue. You can post pics of the boiler piping and we can let you know if that is contributing to the problem.

    As far as the rest of the banging, from my perspective you have 2 choices:
    1. accept the banging and move on
    2. start opening up the walls.

    Here's the thing, if this home was renovated extensively, you don't even know if the work they did was correct. If you are 100% certain the piping and the bones of the house are original then you might be able to do it blindly. Since you say extensive renovations, for me, all bets are off. The banging could be due to incorrect piping changes and without getting eyes on the pipes you can't determine that. Also, as you have realized, you can't even check the slope, which is the problem.

    IMHO when a basement is finished with a steam system, honestly any system, access needs to be allowed for. Things will go wrong and you will need access at some point.

    I'm curious about your radiator change. What was the problem that you thought the original radiators weren't big enough? Do you still have the originals? The size of the radiator typically only matters on the coldest day. So if you have the coldest day, and the radiator is completely full all day long and still not keeping temperature, then you have too small of a radiator.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ethicalpaul
  • tumbz
    tumbz Member Posts: 94
    acwagner said:

    Can you post a photo of the upstairs radiator connection modification you did?

    yes here it is. i used 2 x 45 degree copper connectors.
  • tumbz
    tumbz Member Posts: 94
    KC_Jones said:

    Banging, unless it's right at the boiler, is a slope issue. You can post pics of the boiler piping and we can let you know if that is contributing to the problem.

    As far as the rest of the banging, from my perspective you have 2 choices:
    1. accept the banging and move on
    2. start opening up the walls.

    Here's the thing, if this home was renovated extensively, you don't even know if the work they did was correct. If you are 100% certain the piping and the bones of the house are original then you might be able to do it blindly. Since you say extensive renovations, for me, all bets are off. The banging could be due to incorrect piping changes and without getting eyes on the pipes you can't determine that. Also, as you have realized, you can't even check the slope, which is the problem.

    IMHO when a basement is finished with a steam system, honestly any system, access needs to be allowed for. Things will go wrong and you will need access at some point.

    I'm curious about your radiator change. What was the problem that you thought the original radiators weren't big enough? Do you still have the originals? The size of the radiator typically only matters on the coldest day. So if you have the coldest day, and the radiator is completely full all day long and still not keeping temperature, then you have too small of a radiator.

    Damn, i was afraid you would say that.

    They renovated the house, but did not touch the heating system or piping. So the piping are all original.

    My question is lets say 1 particular radiator is banging in the pipes. Since i cant see under the hardwood floor, can i try to pull the pipe upwards or push it downwards to create more of a slope. i have no idea what it looks like under the floor, but usually, is pulling up or pushing down on the piping better? The piping with the valve on the radiator making the most banging has actually A LOT of slack. I can pull it up, down, and around by quite a few inches in any direction.

    The radiator change that i did upstairs was that i changed the original slimmer one to a bigger, thicker one. Since i did this and theres no slack at the piping valve, the thicker radiator would not connect to the valve without me addin2 x 45 degrees connectors.

    I do have the original. Im thinking that if i somehow can move the pipe just 1/2 inch, i can attach the new thicker radiator without using the connectors.

    Here are the pictures of the connectors that i added upstairs. And pictures of my boiler.




  • tumbz
    tumbz Member Posts: 94



  • tumbz
    tumbz Member Posts: 94
    KC_Jones said:

    Banging, unless it's right at the boiler, is a slope issue. You can post pics of the boiler piping and we can let you know if that is contributing to the problem.

    As far as the rest of the banging, from my perspective you have 2 choices:
    1. accept the banging and move on
    2. start opening up the walls.

    Here's the thing, if this home was renovated extensively, you don't even know if the work they did was correct. If you are 100% certain the piping and the bones of the house are original then you might be able to do it blindly. Since you say extensive renovations, for me, all bets are off. The banging could be due to incorrect piping changes and without getting eyes on the pipes you can't determine that. Also, as you have realized, you can't even check the slope, which is the problem.

    IMHO when a basement is finished with a steam system, honestly any system, access needs to be allowed for. Things will go wrong and you will need access at some point.

    I'm curious about your radiator change. What was the problem that you thought the original radiators weren't big enough? Do you still have the originals? The size of the radiator typically only matters on the coldest day. So if you have the coldest day, and the radiator is completely full all day long and still not keeping temperature, then you have too small of a radiator.


    Damn, i was afraid you would say that. When they renovated the house, they did NOT touch the heating system or the piping.

    The banging downstairs in the bathroom, the piping actually has a lot of slack. i can move it in any direction by a few inches. since i cant see below the flooring, do you think its a good idea to move the pipe HIGHER or LOWER? Obviously, if i move it higher, i would need to raise the radiator also, then create a slope towards the valve.

    the other radiator upstairs, i still have the original. i changed them because i bought larger thicker ones that i thought would give me better heat. since i exchanged the thicker ones, it wont connect to the valve by about 1/2 inch. the valve is too close to the walls and i cant move it anymore. so hence i used 2 x 45 degree connectors to make it work. I guess the connectors is whats causing the banging by leaving a little bit oof water when the steam condensates.

    here are pics of my connectors i used and of my boiler.

    Since i cant see the pipes, is it better to pull the pipes higher or lower to give me the best chance to create a slope that i cant even see?
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,699
    It’s a bit of a crap shoot, but higher is a good start, but that assumes it will fix a sag.

    Basically it’s a guess, try going higher and higher and if it doesn’t work then there isn’t anything that can be done.  Do it in steps, analyze the results for a day, make another change, another day, etc.

    I suspect your poor heat upstairs is due to improper venting.  Can you even see your main vents?  If not that’s something you do need to find and should have never been covered up.

    Whoever finished the basement and covered everything did you a huge disservice.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    tumbz
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,323
    Hope they allowed for combustion air when they finished the basement. The two street 45s on the upstairs rad should work ok.

    It is possible the larger radiator is now too large for the riser/run out and you sending more condensate and steam through that pipe.

    Try slowing down the venting to the second floor rad and see if the banging changes.

    tumbz
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,415
    What’s the EDR of the rads you added?
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,021
    The valve with the two 45's looks to be lower than usual.
    Did you push the valve riser down to get things to line up?
    And is the valve designed for steam and not just hot water?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,429
    If i'm not mistaken that header is probably too small and carrying water out of the boiler. Look in the manual for the boiler, but it doesn't look like it would do a good job of slowing the steam down an letting the water settle out and keeping it from being pulled in to the piping.
  • tumbz
    tumbz Member Posts: 94

    Hope they allowed for combustion air when they finished the basement. The two street 45s on the upstairs rad should work ok.

    It is possible the larger radiator is now too large for the riser/run out and you sending more condensate and steam through that pipe.

    Try slowing down the venting to the second floor rad and see if the banging changes.

    i slowed the radiators and the banging stopped on BOTH the 2nd floor. LOL. NICE ADVISE. THANKS. So the 2nd floor was banging because they were venting too fast. I guess slowing the steam going in stopped it.

    Now it only leaves the first floor bathroom banging which was always banging ever since i bought the house. the pipes under this bathroom is the pipes closest to my boiler and it bangs first every time my heat turns on.

    this pipe also has alot of slack and im able to move it UP or DOWN by like 2 inches!

    i tried pulling it all the way up and holding it in place with wood pieces and also pressing it all the way down. I also tried closing the whole valve.... still bangs... so i isolated the banging to the pipes under the radiator and near the boiler....

    im not sure what else to to with this one.... I actuallt dont even need this radiator in my first floor bathroom. I might try capping this pipe.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,699
    tumbz said:

    I might try capping this pipe.

    That might not fix it, the banging could be something in the mains and it just manifests in the area of the radiator. I'd be looking harder before I removed a radiator.

    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    tumbz
  • tumbz
    tumbz Member Posts: 94
    KC_Jones said:

    tumbz said:

    I might try capping this pipe.

    That might not fix it, the banging could be something in the mains and it just manifests in the area of the radiator. I'd be looking harder before I removed a radiator.

    theres not much i can do if its in the mains... i guess your original reply was my only answer... :( live with it or start ripping walls and apart.

    i tried turning my pressuretrol to its lowest setting that will still turn on and slowing the venting on my radiators... still bangs! :(
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,021
    Could the water hammer be at the boiler piping and just sounding out at that rad?
    Your boiler piping looks like it could be short of some points.
    Should it use 2 risers? And a larger header?
    You have a bit of counterflow main on the left side.
    Is the horizontal section of the equalizer sloped to drain down into the boiler return?
    mattmia2tumbz
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,918
    JUGHNE said:

    The valve with the two 45's looks to be lower than usual.
    Did you push the valve riser down to get things to line up?
    And is the valve designed for steam and not just hot water?

    I'm going to bet you can pull that valve up -- a lot -- and that may make all the difference. Worth a try, anyway.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    tumbz
  • tumbz
    tumbz Member Posts: 94
    edited January 2021

    JUGHNE said:

    The valve with the two 45's looks to be lower than usual.
    Did you push the valve riser down to get things to line up?
    And is the valve designed for steam and not just hot water?

    I'm going to bet you can pull that valve up -- a lot -- and that may make all the difference. Worth a try, anyway.
    im asking this because i cant see the pipes behind my finished walls. but... typically, if pipes are banging and the radiators are sloped the right away, its because the old pipes are sagging?

    your most likely right that the pipes can be lifted, but the new hardwood floors they installed is preventing it from being lifted up any further.... its hitting the floors when i pull the pipes up.//////... I can try though....
  • tumbz
    tumbz Member Posts: 94
    JUGHNE said:

    The valve with the two 45's looks to be lower than usual.
    Did you push the valve riser down to get things to line up?
    And is the valve designed for steam and not just hot water?

    is it better if i just try to pull all the risers by the banging pipes as HIGH as i can? They renovated and installed new hardwood floors and the pipes are being blocked by the floors from being moved too much..... maybe i can try to pull it as high as i can and hold it in place with blocks of wood or something.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,608
    Yes. Raise the banging radiator a bit every day or two to see if your changes affect it. I was able to silence my sagging radiator this way, but in the end, I repiped it because it still wouldn’t heat properly 
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    tumbz