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Radiator popping noise keeps on and off!

jekim427
jekim427 Member Posts: 5
Hello everyone,  :) 

I have a traditional one-pipe system radiator in my apartment. 
It’s connected to the main boiler which is for the whole building and the heat cycle is on for 4 hours during the evening and 4 hours during the early morning. 
I always leave my radiator’s valve open, so it gets hot when the central boiler starts. 

My problem is that the radiator is making tapping/popping noise while the central heating is on. 
The noise continues for about one minute and is gone for another one minute, and it repeats this until the central boiler is off. 
Also, even when my radiator valve is closed, I can hear the same noise! 
This is so irritating that I usually try not to stay in my room when the heating cycle is on...

Can anybody have any suggestions on this problem? I attached the video of the noise.

Thanks!

https://youtu.be/ch_BStLOAdE

Comments

  • jekim427
    jekim427 Member Posts: 5
    edited March 22
    + this is a 4-story apartment building and I live on the fourth floor. 
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    It sounds far away and I think that’s because it is. All the pipes are connected and the sound is traveling from somewhere to your radiator.

    ask your downstairs neighbor if they hear it.

    it is caused by water collecting where it shouldn’t be. It can be hard to get the landlord to hire a good technician to find and fix this
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    LS123
  • jekim427
    jekim427 Member Posts: 5
    Thank you for the response!
    I asked my downstairs neighbor and she says she hears the same noise and hers’ is louder than mine. 
    What should I do next? 
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,520
    It is most likely pipe expansion, of a vertical pipe in or near the wall and as the pipe expands, it rubs against a wall stud or more likely a floor board as it comes through the floor. Check where the pipe comes through the floor and the neighbor's floor, at the radiator and see if the pipe is against the wood flooring. If it is, cut a strip of plastic mike carton (which is rated at about 350 degrees) and wrap it around the pipe, between the pipe and the flooring. That allows the pipe to move without making the noise.
  • jekim427
    jekim427 Member Posts: 5
    Thank you for the suggestion, Fred!
    but how can I find and see the pipe under the wood floor? All I can see in my apartment is the radiator and the valve.. Sorry, I don’t know much about buildings’ structures...
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    edited March 22
    I must respectfully disagree with my friend @Fred. I think it's water hammer. But regardless of the cause, if your landlord is interested in solving it, if you tell us where you are located, we may be able to recommend some steam professionals who can fix it.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,520
    jekim427 said:

    Thank you for the suggestion, Fred!
    but how can I find and see the pipe under the wood floor? All I can see in my apartment is the radiator and the valve.. Sorry, I don’t know much about buildings’ structures...

    You don't need to look under the floor, you need to look at the area where the valve is. That valve is connected to the pipe and you need to see if that pipe is rubbing where it comes through the floor and connects to the valve. Can you record the noise and post it here? It is impossible for anyone of us to make a final conclusion about the cause without more info. Tapping and popping are not typically the way people describe water hammer.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    There is link to a youtube video of the noise in the first post @Fred :)
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • LS123
    LS123 Member Posts: 403
    @Fred could the OP use woodstove gasket ropes ti cover the steam pipe visible to OP? some of them have 1000F temp handling capability - I am not sure if that will solve the problem.

    I do have a really old, but stable, working steam heat. I only have two floors. I do occasionally hear pipe expanding as well as occasional distant water hammering. agreeing with @ethicalpaul

    There must be somewhere in the steam pipes, water, causing water hammering. As op mentioned. his neighbor down stairs hear the water hammering noise bit louder... lead me to agree with @ethicalpaul

    @jekim427 has this noise issue been an ongoing issue this winter? how about last winter?
    Most likely land load should have someone take a look at and fix it... I may be as simple as somebody that live below had taken a wood that keep the slope of the rad, or some pipe(s) in the basement has lost the slope etc.

    Please give us bit more info, Thank you!
    Best
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,520

    There is link to a youtube video of the noise in the first post @Fred :)

    I just saw that link and listened to it. Thanks @ethicalpaul . Strange. It doesn't sound like either expansion or hammer. To me it sounds like either a pipe hanging loose and vibrating or a bad bearing in a motor. Is there a condensate pump on that system? Those kinds of noises radiate throughout a system and it can come from anywhere. Very likely the basement. Have you checked with any other tenants to see if they hear the noise also? Is this the first year you have heard that noise?
  • LS123
    LS123 Member Posts: 403
    @Fred ... u probably on to something close to what may be the problem... I have a 70+ year steam boiler. when the boiler build up pressure, it tend to start shaking / vibrating... my boiler has not gone beyond 2 PSI. Majority of the time, PSI on low pressure gauge is at between 0.1 to 0.5 PSI. It a small home, unlike OP with supporting many floors... but @ethicalpaul 's water hammering is my guess... please note that I may be wrong... I am only stating such based on my little home being powers by old stem beast...

    Original poster... @jekim427 ... please let us know how long this been an problem...
    Thank u!
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    " Trust But Verify " Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
  • jekim427
    jekim427 Member Posts: 5
    @Fred, @LS123
    Thank you for all the responses!

    Actually I don’t know how it was in last winter bc I moved here a month ago. 
    My neighbor in the downstairs said she hears the same kind of noise but a bit louder, and the noise has been getting louder since she moved there. (It’s a few years ago)

    One more thing might help is that I used to live on the second floor of this same building(but different line, this is a 3-story-12-unit building and there are 4 units on each floor) I didn’t hear this kind of noise in that previous apartment. So maybe it is not from the central boiler but from somewhere around the pipe of my current apt’s line? 
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