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Radiator sounds: Column vs Tube Type.

JohnNY
JohnNY Member Posts: 3,229
I spend a lot of time telling people there's no reason their steam heating system has to make any noise. But then once in a while there's a system that just proves more challenging than others to quiet down. Those systems all have one thing in common: column radiators.

Is it also your experience that column-type radiators just inherently make more expansion sounds than tube type? Or is it just me?
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Comments

  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,580
    When I was growing up in an apartment building, our column radiators were mostly quiet until other tenants wanted to signal the super to send up some heat :)
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 722
    @JohnNY Is it possible the smaller tubes are acting like an undersized riser would on a single pipe system if you tried to cram too much condensate in it? What else do the rads have in common? Large vent for its size? Is it only on start up, while cold or through subsequent cycles too? I'm curious
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
    PC7060
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,229
    Canucker said:

    @JohnNY Is it possible the smaller tubes are acting like an undersized riser would on a single pipe system if you tried to cram too much condensate in it? What else do the rads have in common? Large vent for its size? Is it only on start up, while cold or through subsequent cycles too? I'm curious

    Well, you're describing the opposite condition. It's the column type radiators I'm noticing seem to have a bit more expansion noise.

    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
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  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 722
    Too early in the morning when I wrote that @JohnNY , definitely misread it. That is curious. Do you think the sections might heat a little faster because they're more open? Are they the ones that can be used for steam/water or are they the steam only ones that you're noticing?
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • jhrost
    jhrost Member Posts: 57
    Yes I think the tube type are steam or hot water and the column type are just for steam so they don't have the horizontal passage on the top. For the ones I have anyway, the tube ones tend to be wider and the column ones narrower. Would a wider radiator tend to be more stable?
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,229
    @Canucker right now I'm dealing with a couple of steam-only, column rads on two different, unrelated jobs where the radiators themselves are pitched to death, vented properly, valves open....but noisy as all heck. I'm sure it's expansion but it's also a new problem on both jobs.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
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  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    The only thing that comes to mind is that column radiators usually have threaded nipples and tube radiators have either threaded or push nipples, But I would think the push nipples would be more prone to expansion noise. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,513
    LOL Weird. Must be bad steam :)
    JohnNYluketheplumber
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,623
    Are they floor standing or hanging off wall brackets? how big are the feet if floor standing? maybe you need to put some hard and slippery plastic under the feet.
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,229
    edited March 2021
    mattmia2 said:

    Are they floor standing or hanging off wall brackets? how big are the feet if floor standing? maybe you need to put some hard and slippery plastic under the feet.

    All typical floor-standing American Radiator Co. units. I had a similar feeling though and slipped fender washers under the feet to give them something to slide on a bit but that had no appreciable effect. I guess I'll figure it out.

    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
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  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 722
    @JohnNY is it possible that venting is failing somewhere else in the system and forcing more steam than normal through these rads? I'm thinking it might sound similar to the expansion noise hot water rads get right after the DHW priority call finishes and the space heating restarts.
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two