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So Easy To Blame The Boiler

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HeatingHelp
HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 651
edited February 2022 in THE MAIN WALL
imageSo Easy To Blame The Boiler

A homeowner posted a question on The Wall at HeatingHelp.com about a drumroll sound that was coming from his brand-new steam boiler. What could it be? The answer will surprise you.

Read the full story here

Comments

  • bobbob
    bobbob Member Posts: 70
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    All I can think of now that I read this is "CREAM" playing White Room. There is nothing like Ginger Baker's drumming. Love it!
    jimna01
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 887
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    Hear is one that occurred to me.

    I was living in Staten Island at the time. Had scorched air heat in the house. My wife complained about banging coming from the heating unit every day between the hours of 10 am to 2 pm.

    We all know the only moving par in a scorch air heating system is the the fan.
    My fan was not belt driven the fan (impeller) was mounted on the motor shaft.

    I took out the fan unit several times to check if the bearing was going bad. That would be the only way that the noise my wife heard would originate from.

    One day in March I did not feel well stayed home from work and I found the origination of the banging. New York City was putting sewers in y neighborhood, we were finally getting rid of our septic systems.

    A half a block away a trench was dug and it was covered over with several steel plates.
    What was happening was a contractors trailer with a large back hoe on it periodically rode over the plates and the noise originated from a loose plate. The loose plate was not a safety
    problem as the plates were pinned to the ground.

    Jake
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,850
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    *googles Ginger Baker*
    tonym1226
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,767
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    Many years ago when I had just gotten my electricians license we put an air conditioner in a house in West Hartford, CT (high mucky muck territory)

    The owner was a friend of my boss. Part of the job was to upgrade the electric service from 100A to 200A which I did.

    Now the guy is calling about lights blinking from time to time and I am getting evil looks from my boss

    The owner always knew when the lights blinked because he was in a wheelchair and when they blinked he would have to reset his cable box on the TV. Everything else would come back on.

    I tore half my stuff apart looking for problems and found nothing. We then walked around the neighborhood and checked with some neighbors about lights blinking.

    yes, the nice neighbor lady said they had been having that problem

    Sure enough it was a POCO issue. Tree branches rubbing the wires causing a reclosure sw to open and close
  • realliveplumber
    realliveplumber Member Posts: 354
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    The woodpecker strikes again.

    The exact same thing happened to at a company I used to work for. The owner chased it for weeks. The time was consistent but not exact. After quite a few trips to the house, he finally witnessed the noise and ultimately figured it out. He was a pretty smart guy.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,553
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    Great stories, guys. I can't stop smiling!
    Retired and loving it.
  • pell
    pell Member Posts: 23
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    This is one of the great things about being a contractor in this industry. It is always the heat/ac making noises and smells. About twice a year I get called out for a gas smell. I say "You have oil heat did you change over to gas heat?" "No" she replies, "could you please come over?" So I get there and it's like, "Can you smell that?" Working with oil heat for so many years I can not smell oil, but gasoline- yes. Then I ask " Is there a generator stored here in the Basement?" "Yes there is but, we have not used it for years." Sure enough, carb is leaking gas. Now I know when oil heat creates a gas smell, I tell them to check for any gasoline powered equipment that might be leaking, and please store it outside of the house.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,553
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    Thanks for saving lives, @pell
    Retired and loving it.
  • tonym1226
    tonym1226 Member Posts: 1
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    I can dig it. A frequent customer told me the story of a leaking Dust Buster service call. Kindly elderly woman was complaining of water coming out of her cordless vacuum. Her son had installed it on the wall in the hallway directly below the upstairs bathroom. In his infinite wisdom, he used 3" drywall screws to secure it to the wall years earlier. One of the screws pierced the ABS drain pipe, eventually rusted and rotted so when the upstairs bathroom was used, water ran down the screw and out the Dust Buster.
    CLamb
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,553
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    :D
    Retired and loving it.
  • RobertAdams
    RobertAdams Member Posts: 1
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    Quick story.
    Years ago I had a no heat call. I went out and everything was working fine.
    Next night they called, no heat again. I went out, everything was fine.
    Third night, same thing.
    While standing there scratching my head, I heard one of the kids run down the steps on the floor above me and the heat suddenly went off.
    Turns out the thermostat wire was getting pinched in the stair landing above.
    Problem solved!
  • fixitguy
    fixitguy Member Posts: 92
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    Some years ago I had a customer with a hot water heater t&p valve that leaked selectively. After scratching my head for quite a while I put a pressure gauge on it had the customer check it every time he got up in the middle of the night to relieve himself. Turned out that after 2:00 a.m. the pressure went way up to 160. Haha a leak. Turns out it made a lot of sense everyone in the neighborhood went to sleep at 1:00 and stopped taking showers flushing toilets and doing laundry. I replaced the house pressure regulator and the problem never returned.
  • ArthurPeabody
    ArthurPeabody Member Posts: 32
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    tonym1226 said:

    he used 3" drywall screws to secure it to the wall years earlier. One of the screws pierced the ABS drain pipe, eventually rusted and rotted so when the upstairs bathroom was used, water ran down the screw and out the Dust Buster.

    I recently renovated my bathroom, which included moving the drain and vent pipes. I discovered that nail plates, at least 18 gauge, are required to protect any plumbing.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,850
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    tonym1226 said:

    he used 3" drywall screws to secure it to the wall years earlier. One of the screws pierced the ABS drain pipe, eventually rusted and rotted so when the upstairs bathroom was used, water ran down the screw and out the Dust Buster.

    I recently renovated my bathroom, which included moving the drain and vent pipes. I discovered that nail plates, at least 18 gauge, are required to protect any plumbing.
    If it is a certain distance from the edge of a stud. And that requirement is only around 20-30 years old.
  • mattman
    mattman Member Posts: 18
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    I had noise coming from somewhere in the house. I would wake up in the middle of the night and hear Ginger Baker going to town. I would run downstairs, look around, check the doors and windows, look in the yard - nothing. Well over the course of the summer it kept happening until one night when I heard it, I went into the basement and the sound kept getting louder as I approached the furnace. Back then, we had a regular atmospheric gas furnace with a flue that ran up the chimney next to the fireplace flue. You could definitely hear Ginger doing his best Buddy Rich impersonation that night. I did not know what was happening, just heard the noise from that direction. So I closed the door to the furnace room and went back to bed. The next day when I opened the door, I found a dead bird on the floor of the furnace room. Some kind of swallow family had decided to nest in the flue, and with wings flapping in the metal portion of the flue, it was Keith Moon,Ginger Baker and Buddy Rich. The bird somehow got thru the flue and furnace and escaped in to the furnace room. He probably died of CO poisoning because the gas water heater vented into the same flue. Once we issued an eviction notice to the remaining birds, we put a weather cap on the top and that ended our drum solos.
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 666
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    In 2001 we moved into our newly built dream home. Whenever the furnace AC fan shut off we would hear a loud metallic clunk.

    Called the builder's technician to see if he could find out why. He put a brick on top of the sheet metal bottom of the fan chamber and problem was solved.

    Turned out atmospheric pressure was lifting the bottom plate due to low pressure on the suction side of the fan. When the fan shut off the pressure equalized and the bottom plate dropped with a clunk. The brick made the pan bottom heavier so no more clunks.
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
    CLamb
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 863
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    @mattman it's amazing how many sites that darn Ginger Baker has visited. Equally amazing is that some of the best drummers of our time have visited your house. Maybe for a change I'm glad none of them came to my house.