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Radiator Rattling Sound... Help

Hi all,

I live in an apartment building in NYC (I'd have to guess it's from roughly 1910-20) with steam radiator heating throughout. One of my radiators has developed a strange noise, though, and my landlords don't seem to understand the issue. It's not your typical clanging, but is more of a metallic rattling. I can't tell if it's originating from the radiator, the pipe, or the connection between the two. To provide as much info as possible, I should add that I keep this radiator FULLY closed and have not opened it at all this heating season. And yes, it's pitched properly. I'd appreciate any help or insight into what might be causing this, because the maintenance guys just bleed the radiators and replace the air valves if they get called in and I'm not sure that's the issue here.

I've included a link short audio recording below. Thank you!



  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,831
    The noise can originate from any part of the system and telegraph to your apartment .Just like the two paper cups and string telephone we used before cell phones :)

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,215
    Does it make noise if the valve's open?
  • exqheat
    exqheat Member Posts: 188
    Is it one pipe or two pipe steam. Does the radiator have an air vent on the opposite side of the radiator valve? This would be one pipe steam. For these systems the valve must remain open. The steam comes up, and the water drains back the same pipe. It you close the valve, some steam can come up, but the water cannot drain back. When the new steam comes up, it will condense and bang when it hits the water remaining in the radiator.
    Open the radiator valve all the way. Wait a day for the water to drain out. The radiator should heat and the noises stop.
    John Cockerill Exquisite Heat www.exqheat.com Precisions boiler control from indoor reset.