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One pipe steam radiator,.. loud pop after shutdown

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After the radiator has been cooling off for a while, it can be pretty loud,..it can also happen when heating back up,.not the noise of water trapped,.. and the radiator is slightly tipped back toward the pipe. It sounds like a joint noise,..Can anything be done to quiet this noise, it can be quite starteling.

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,442
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    You might try putting a little pad of slippery plastic -- like a square cut from a milk bottle -- under each of the feet of the radiator. The description sounds like an expansion and contraction noise.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,708
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    is your noise inside the room with you, or in the wall or floor?
    try slipping a little piece of milk jug plastic under the 4 feet of the radiator,
    try this same plastic trick where the supply pipe comes thru the floor or wall,
    known to beat dead horses
  • Rick_41
    Rick_41 Member Posts: 67
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    Thank you!,..I'll try that.
    I was wondering if it might be one of the upper or lower joints, Thought of putting a drop teflon based oil on them thinking that since someone painted the radiator many years ago, that it somehow caused it,..and when the oil evaporated off, there would still be a bit of teflon left to slightly lube the area. (?)
    but I will try the plastic first,..
  • Rick_41
    Rick_41 Member Posts: 67
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    I have a 2 pipe steam system that seems to me to short cycle. That is, it does keep up the heat of the house but it runs for a while and the water from the sight glass shortly goes down to where the auto shut off goes off and then the water returns also in a few munutes,(seems some comes from top down of the glass when its running )..is that normal?
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,708
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    1 pipe, 2 pipe, 3 pipe, 4.
    so the radiators have 1 pipe to them ?
    and you're seeing 2 pipes at the boiler ?
    can you post pictures of the boiler, floor to ceiling to show connected piping?
    and then a closer shot of the controls, and that sightglass,
    No, not normal or correct operation,
    that's priming or surge, or unskimmed boiler water coming over the top of your sightglass, and it's geting splashed out into the system as WET steam,
    water should not be leaving the sightglass, tripping your LWCO, low water cut out,
    post pictures,
    what pressure are you set to and whatpressure do you see on your gage when the water leaves the boiler,
    Pictures
    known to beat dead horses
  • Rick_41
    Rick_41 Member Posts: 67
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    so the radiators have 1 pipe to them ?
    and you're seeing 2 pipes at the boiler


    Thank you,... but,
    No,no,...they are two different boilers,..I'm a landlord,...I'll try to do pictures but I have never done that,..might have to get help from a younger guy,..
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,442
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    Rick_41 said:

    I have a 2 pipe steam system that seems to me to short cycle. That is, it does keep up the heat of the house but it runs for a while and the water from the sight glass shortly goes down to where the auto shut off goes off and then the water returns also in a few munutes,(seems some comes from top down of the glass when its running )..is that normal?

    No, thi is not normal. Most likely slow wet returns which need to be flushed out.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Rick_41
    Rick_41 Member Posts: 67
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    I wonder if I caused this? Its an old house with old radiators but a new heating system with new near piping,..so I fell for the ads about stopping corrosion and all the other things that an additive might prevent. So I added 8 way boiler water conditioner...it says its for steam and hot water systems,Builds alkalinity, controls PH, inhibits corrosion, and "sure cure" color indicator.

    I followed the directions and left a quart in the system. I think it was not over done, ( water was a bit undercolored.)

    Anyway I basicall understand the need for skimmining, and I have heard from some steam guys (although we don't seem to have many very knowlegable of those around here) Who say don't add anything,

    Do you think I should I take the time to skim this boiler?
  • Rick_41
    Rick_41 Member Posts: 67
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    I'll also try to flush the wet returns (but the water is very clear when I open the valves for a moment,..(except for a bit of color of the additive) I'll try more aggressive flushing if you think it would be wise,..
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,708
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    some of the guys here that use 8way, or other additives, use at a reduced rate, not at manufacturers' recommended rate,
    and when used full strength, seem to find too much violence in their boil,
    many here advise running straight water, unless deficiencies are identified to require additives,
    using minimal additive amounts, to adjust water pH, is common,
    It can't hurt to skim, and would be a good step when you seeing the carryover in the sightglass,
    you'll be diluting the 8way, = good,
    and or after skimming, empty the boiler and refill with fresh water only,
    known to beat dead horses
  • Rick_41
    Rick_41 Member Posts: 67
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    Thank you, I really appreciate you guys, sorry I'm such a babe in the woods,..but I;m learnin,...
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,888
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    Rick_41 said:
    Thank you, I really appreciate you guys, sorry I'm such a babe in the woods,..but I;m learnin,...
    We never stop learning!
  • Rick_41
    Rick_41 Member Posts: 67
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    One more consideration,..would this have an effect on the 2 pipe system with a cause? Its a big house with 17 radiators, but since we don't use much of the area and to save fuel, have closed off some rooms,..4 rooms and 6 radiators by closing off the floor valves,..Would this cause this problem?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,442
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    Rick_41 said:

    One more consideration,..would this have an effect on the 2 pipe system with a cause? Its a big house with 17 radiators, but since we don't use much of the area and to save fuel, have closed off some rooms,..4 rooms and 6 radiators by closing off the floor valves,..Would this cause this problem?

    Probably not. What shutting off the radiators will do or has done is cause the boiler to cycle on pressure more often. This does hurt efficiency, but not much.

    A word of caution, however. Do be sure that the rooms which are closed off are staying warm enough so you are not getting condensation in them, particularly on the windows or outside walls or the ceilings, but also on furniture and books. That could easily cost you more in the long run than any fuel might save.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Rick_41
    Rick_41 Member Posts: 67
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    Thank you again!..yes,.. I check them often enough as I have things in them that I need to access...
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
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    but it runs for a while and the water from the sight glass shortly goes down to where the auto shut off goes off


    How long is "a while"?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Rick_41
    Rick_41 Member Posts: 67
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    I would say about 2 minutes,..
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
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    That's not a clogged return, that's surging as mentioned by some earlier in the thread.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Rick_41
    Rick_41 Member Posts: 67
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    So,..the best try for correction would be skimming?
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
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    Maybe, or the near-boiler piping might be incorrect which can cause it. Send some pics of the boiler from different directions showing floor to ceiling
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el