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Not quite water hammer?

Aislinn Member Posts: 10
When I turn the heat up or it's real cold out this radiator makes this noise. We have one pipe steam. Is this mild water hammer? Does this mean the radiator isn't fully draining?


  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    How many degrees are you turning up the heat?
    These systems work best, and most economically, when there is a constant temperature setting.--NBC
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,579
    That isn't water hammer. Water hammer sounds like someone whacking a steam pipe with a wrench. This sound like gurgling and the only thing I can think of is the opposite end from the valve needs to be raised a bit. Or, maybe the valve isn't fully opened?
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    edited January 2021
    I would check the pitch of the radiator for sure. I would also make sure the valve is fully open. Then I would undo the union and ensure the valve seal wasn't lying at the bottom of the valve. I would also see what the venting is like on the radiator and slow it down if it's fast. Then I would look to the supply line to see if water is pooling in there.

    I do think it could be water hammer, but it's hard to tell. I think water hammer, like real hammers, comes in different sizes. It depends how much steam is collapsing, and how much water is available to use as a hammer.

    There is a gurgling sound, so water is definitely involved. But would we really hear simple water gurgling through the walls of a cast iron radiator that loudly? But it doesn't really matter what we call it in the end.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Aislinn
    Aislinn Member Posts: 10
    Thanks everyone. We usually have the heat at 64 most of the time, but if our third floor gets too cold to work up there (that’s where my office is) I turn it up to 67 to get the radiator hot. The valve is adjustable and looks to be on 2, but I can’t turn it. I think it’s painted shut...I really should replace a few of my air vents and I just need to do it! Any recommendations on what to our in? The ones I have are dole no. 1.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,510
    Gurgling and water hammer have the same cause.