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Banging!!!!

T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
Hello. I have recently removed a radiator in my attic and removed and recessed the steam pipe on my first floor. Boiler is in the basement. Since this project the banging that we get when the steam comes on can wake the dead. My neighbor hears it in her house!
im not a professional. Just trying to help sleuth it out because no one has been able to help us so far.
Any ideas?
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Comments

  • YoungplumberYoungplumber Member Posts: 281
    What did you do with the piping from the radiator that you removed? 
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,562
    T1263 said:

    removed and recessed the steam pipe on my first floor.

    My first guess, something was done incorrectly with the routing of the new recessed pipe. Proper slope of steam piping is important. Do you have any pics of what was done?

    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 273
    Hello @T1263 there are lots of other steam specialists on this forum. I was just wondering below. It might help some of the pros help you out... they may have additional questions... I used to have a one steam radiator shut from the valve, it appear to be some steam, that accumulated to water and causing the bang..
    Would like some clarifications...

    Q1) is this a single pipe steam system?
    Q2) is the steam pipe going to the attic still in place, and shut from the valve after you removed it from the attic? what did you do with the pipe going to the attic?
    Q3) Is the banging nose com from the attic steam pipe (assuming that pipe is still there)? or is the banging come from the first floor? or the basement pipes?
    Q4) Did you install the attic radiator on the first floor?
    Q5) What was the reason you decided to remove the radiator from the attic?

    thanks and best!
    LS123
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,914
    Possibly the radiator you removed was holding up part of the basement main.
    Removal of the rad let some piping in the basement (or somewhere) dip producing the sag full of water that the steam hits creating hammer.
  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    Thank you for responding! So in the attic, that whole area became a walk in shower. The pipe remained in the floor and continues behind the shower into an area behind the wall of the shower that is accessible because it ended up in a closet up there that houses my central air unit. The contractor put a valve in there to see if it would help. Has not. The first floor one, the radiator is also gone but pipe that was vertical before remains vertical as before just recessed behind new wall about 3” back from where it was.
    I believe some angle may have changed somewhere but how can I possibly know where?
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,914
    Can you pull up on both pipes and somehow clamp them to stay up?
    Can you see your piping in the basement?
  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 273
    @T1263 as @KC_Jones @JUGHNE input.. there is somehow water accumulation caused by the modifications made. I do not think it would help to adding a valve helps. Based on my experience...

    1) Third floor pipe should be air tight that would prevent any steam going in to that pipe and water to build up some place. Once you make sure that pipe is sealed and air tight you know there is no steam going in to that pipe. Unless during the removal of the radiator on the third floor caused something cause air leak from first floor to second floor.

    Q) I am not sure if you have isolated where the bang coming from. A) attic B) First floor, C)Basement?

    once you make sure third floor pipe is fully sealed, no air leaks, that will most likely eliminate that pipe, assuming you do not hear the banging coming from the attic.

    2) Make sure that the steam pipe on the first floor radiator in a slope... assuming single pipe steam. Also make sure that first floor radiator valves are fully open, and all radiators have a slope toward the supply pipe (assuming again single pipe system)

    3) if you did make any changes to the pipe in the basement let us know what you did.

    you can also do a process of elimination by doing below...

    you can also do test by making sure that both third floor pipe completely air sealed tight and first floor radiator completely shut, and running the boiler for a while to see if you get banging noise (if it come from the basement)

    secondly you can completely shutting the first floor radiator to see if the noise come from some pipe in the attic.

    best.
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    Amazing input! Thank you all so much. I will relay to contractor. The banging is heard on every single floor and in the basement.
    I will try to go step by step.

  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    @LS123- just some specific responses:
    Q1- I don’t know
    Q2- all pipes still basically in place
    Q3-banging coming along whole lane attic to basement.
    Q4- no the attic radiator AND first floor radiators were eliminated
    Q5- removed radiator in attic to create space for a walk in shower. It’s sealed into the tiled floor of the shower.
    no changes in basement at all. And there is no more radiator on first floor either. Took it out and what was exposed vertical pipe got pushed back into the wall.
    Thanks
  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    I will try to find pics. I took pics during construction 
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,945
    Going to be a little hard to track down -- but somewhere in the process you changed the pitch of a pipe going to an active radiator or radiators. Quite possibly in the basement. Most likely when those pipes were disconnected they sagged, and pushed or allowed to drop something down below. I hope you can get at the basement pipes? If so, measure all of them with a level and make sure there are no sags or places where water can accumulate.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.
    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
    GrallertLS123
  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25

  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    In the first picture you see the attic. The radiator was under the window about where the crow bar is but against the wall. It was free standing. I think if you zoom in by the pink insulation you can see where it was attached to the wall.
  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    The second pic is the first floor bathroom and I believe on the right side you can see where the steam pipe goes up
  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    I’m sorry I mean left side
  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    The third pic is the vertical steam pipe in first floor bathroom now in wall
  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    Pic #2 is the ceiling view of pic #3. Hope may be a little helpful
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,914
    Did your contractor put a valve or an air vent on the abandoned riser?
    You could pull up those risers and clamp them with any form of wood or C clamp just to see if it changes anything.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,562
    I'll start with this question. If that pipe isn't feeding any radiation anymore, then why was it kept?

    Is the copper pipe the steam pipe? (steam pipes should always be black)
    Copper will tend to condense a lot more steam than black pipe so that could add to a banging issue.
    Was it insulated prior to burying it in the wall?
    It appears all those pipes are level where they run under the floor, that should never be, can you confirm?

    If that pipe is the source of the banging, and you indeed aren't using it to feed any radiation, I would start by disconnecting it at the main and see what you get. If you still have banging at least you have eliminated one possibility.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    Amazing input! Thank you all so much. I will relay to contractor. The banging is heard on every single floor and in the basement.
    I will try to go step by step.

  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    Again, I’m not a professional so honestly I don’t even understand everything you’re saying but I can relay.
    Doesn’t the pipe that’s going upstairs also go to radiators on the second floor before it reaches the attic? So would I be able to close that off?
  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25

  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    That’s the wall now with the pipe in it. And we installed an electric wall heater in that bathroom.
    Right above this bathroom is second floor bathroom eith a radiator. Maybe if I close this pipe completely and add electric heater to second floor bathroom I can eliminate the whole line. Is that a possibility?
  • YoungplumberYoungplumber Member Posts: 281
    These guys have more experience than me, but I'll say I don't agree that leaving a pipe in a steam sytem is OK as long as it's "airtight". I agree with the previous post. If your not using the pipe eliminate it. 
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,562
    Ok, your original description led me to believe this pipe didn't have a radiator on it anymore. You can relay to the contractor, but what I was sort of eluding to, and will now say outright, I don't think the person working on this understands what they are doing.

    If you didn't have banging before, and now do, something they did is making it bang. I only suggest disconnecting, because what it looks like in the pictures is the only way to fix it is to get to the pipe under the floor and redo it. That doesn't seem feasible based on what you have shown in the pictures, but I could be wrong on that.

    To be clear all steam carrying pipes need to have slope, they need to slope so that the condensed steam (water) can easily and freely travel back to the boiler. It appears as thought the pipes that are now under your floor were put in level, this can cause banging, and would be my first guess as to the cause of yours. That and the copper isn't doing you any favors either. Copper will condense like crazy which can accentuate the problem. Again, if it wasn't insulated, which I'm guessing it wasn't, or you don't know.

    If you ever have work done on your steam system again I strongly suggest you find someone that knows what they are doing. Where are you located as we may know some good contractors in your area?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,945
    T1263 said:

    That’s the wall now with the pipe in it. And we installed an electric wall heater in that bathroom.
    Right above this bathroom is second floor bathroom eith a radiator. Maybe if I close this pipe completely and add electric heater to second floor bathroom I can eliminate the whole line. Is that a possibility?

    It would be much better to find out where the problem is... as I said earlier, somewhere your contractors managed to change the pitch of a pipe so it won't drain. Find it.

    A couple of other thoughts. A vertical pipe can't bang. However, a horizontal pipe below one can bang, particularly if there is a radiator somewhere up above.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.
    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    It is a good assumption that he messed up!
    the question is where to begin to rectify. I am in Brooklyn 11230

  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 273
    @T1263 . There is a find a contractor section on this site. I agree with @Jamie Hall @KC_Jones . All I learned about my steam system is from this site. As Jamie stated, putting electric heater second floor is not good long term solution.

    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 273
    @T1263 this is a good site to learn and be knowledgeable about steam heating. Once you find a contractor, let us know what he finds. it would be helpful.. especially people who are new to steam heat
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    @Jamie Hall
    how could I even begin to guess where it’s poorly sloped?
  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 273
    just playing devils advocate... say you put electric heater on the second floor bathroom... and banging ( hammering continues) ... so try to have a different contractor come over take a look and get an estimate, and also have change the copper pipe to something steam heat pipes should be... once its fix, you should be good for a good while ( I am saying this base on my experience, my house, steam pipes, boiler is 70 plus years old... only the oil biurner has been replaced to more efficient one.
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    Can’t thank you all enough. Contractor coming to check where else that pipe goes upstairs.

  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    To change the copper pipe though, I’d have to break my new tile I assume. Something I’d rather not do unless absolutely necessary 
  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 273
    it may or may not... it depends on the contractor and what he has to do to fix it... I totally understand how much you would hate to lose work you putting / or pay to put the tiles... just wait and see... no need to sweating yet... if you are not planing to stay too long at your house, and sell it no need to worry much... especially if the wall / pipe insulated... like @Jamie Hall pointed out... its a pipe slope issue most likely...
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 273
    @T1263, by the if the copper pipes have sweat connections, those point have a higher failure than steam heat pipes... that is what I was told once... I would check with the contractor... I do not think copper connections would fail over night but gradually it will...
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,945
    You don't have to get rid of the copper -- just be aware that it expands a lot more than iron when it heats, and it has to be able to move (just one -- and only one restraint point unless there is at least one elbow in between).
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.
    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 273
    thanks for clarifying that @Jamie Hall ... I was told that copper pipes with sweat connections tend to fail over time due to expanding and shrinking...
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25

    Thank you all. Contractor has to open ceiling in basement anyway to fix some Sheetrock. When it will be open I’ll be able to see connections from downstairs looking up.
    if I can see the line is just for the bathrooms I think I’ll opt to cap it.

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,945
    Measure all the levels while you're at it! And add or adjust hangers wherever you think they might be needed.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.
    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • T1263T1263 Member Posts: 25
    I wish I understood what you’re saying lol but I’ll relay! Thanks!!

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