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New Baseboard & Boiler Installation Very Noisy

stevetars
stevetars Member Posts: 14
Hi,

I just replaced my forced hot air system with a four zone baseboard hot water/gas boiler. Our boiler temp is set around 160F. The system heats the house just fine, but we get a lot of very loud popcorn pops and clicks from both the copper piping in the basement by the boiler and the baseboard slant fin themselves. We had the company come back and they flushed the system and affixed the copper piping to the floor joists more securely in the basement, but now the clicks and pops are worse. Before we have them come back again and undo what they did to try and reduce the noise, I was hoping to get some insight here.

The baseboard is all new so it is not dust accumulation. Do the pipes in the basement need some room to expand and contract? They are secured very tightly now. And, do we need to replace the baseboards? Could bent fins be causing the pops and clicks when the copper pipe expands? Is this normal? In every other home I've been in with baseboard, I haven't heard anything as loud as this. Keeping us up at night.

Thank you
mattmia2

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,276
    What you are hearing is expansion noise -- both in the pipes and the baseboards. Strapping them down tighter will, as you have observed, make the problem worse. The pipes in the basement (and walls, if any) must be free to expand. They can be fixed at one point, or if there is a configuration where they can bend, such as a long straight pipe followed by an elbow followed by another long straight pipe -- fixed at points as distant as possible from the elbow,, but everywhere else the will slide -- you can't fix them tight enough not to -- and when they slide they will make a noise unless they can do so freely. Swing hangers are best, but if the pipes have to be attached closely to joists or something, make sure that the fasteners are loose -- you should be able to jiggle the pipe in the hanger and, if a noise persists, slip a plastic shim (pieces cut from plastic gallon jugs are good) between the pipe and the fastener and the joist.

    The baseboards should have plastic glides where the baseboard tubing is supported for the same purpose, and you need to make sure that the fins aren't able to rub on anything -- or if they have to rub, that they run on plastic glides, not metal to metal.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    SuperTechHVACNUTmattmia2
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,120
    If the piping from the fin tube goes down through a hole in the floor on both ends that hole needs to be large for the expansion of the copper fin tube as it warms.
    Usually a 1-3/8 or larger with an expansion grommet or piece of foam pipe insulation.

    Same with piping runs fastened to framing, it needs to be a plastic bracket to allow quiet tube movement . No metal clips!
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • stevetars
    stevetars Member Posts: 14
    Thanks Bob, I have to check the hole size, but I know that in the basement along the floor joists, the company added metal brackets and copper U shaped holders screwed in to the floor joists. Should these be replaced with plastic ones? There are many loud clicks and pops directly coming from the piping around the furnace.

    Thanks for the help-
  • stevetars
    stevetars Member Posts: 14
    The install manager chose to replace the plastic ones with metal ones once I told him it was noisy because when he flushed the system, turning on and off the zone valves caused a shockwave through the pipes making the shake. So, he secured them with metal clips very firmly to eliminate the shockwave. But to me, the shockwave never happened before- it was only when system was flushed, and I believe it was not cause of the ticking and popping. So, I think he needs to reverse the changes he made.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,120
    What type if zone valve do you have?
    what size circulator?

    Water hammer and expansion ticking are two different issues

    zone valves, of all types like to work along eith delta p type circs for several reasons

    You better match required flow rates of the zones as they go on and off, less pump head to shutoff against, and they save 50-80% electricity 

    Is the boiler on outdoor reset control? That can help expansion noise also
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Mustangman
    Mustangman Member Posts: 86
    I am older hot water heat guy. I have been called in for expansion noise more times than I can count. If the holes for your baseboard risers are too tight they will drive you nuts when the pipe expands against the holes. If you are really careful, you can slot the holes a little to give them pipes some room to expand.
    Pipes hanging off joist in the basement, I like clevis hangers. The pipe slides right through. Split rings are okay too as long as the pipe slides through it. I think pipe hooks look cheap so I don't use them.
    Piping through the joist need the same larger hole. I always drilled a 3/4 pipe at 1 3/4. 3/4" x1/2 Fiberglass pipe insulation was slid through the hole around the pipe. No noise. Not much of this helps you. Maybe these tips will.
    I got a call for noise just like the situation. The installer said, its part of HWH. Well we know thats not true.
    I looked the boiler over, it looked ok. Someone had the high limit at 160. One area in a crawl space, the piping was drilled into the joist. You had to see it. The joist were on really tight centers and the holes were tight. I walked away for a few minutes to think. In my van, I found some spray silicone lube. At this point its worth a shot. I sprayed every hole, both supply and return. It took 2x but the noise was gone.. for now and told here that. To change it all would be a nightmare. I was up front with them regarding what I did.
    Still had the ticking baseboard. Most of that was the cradles weren't installed properly. It still was ticking. I loosened the mounting screws to relieve some of the tightness. Everyone is using impact guns and they will over tighten before you know it. Those are a few things that may help you out.
    Steve
  • dko
    dko Member Posts: 587
    edited March 11


    Basically, the idea is the not let the pipe rub or even touch the surface it's mounted against. And they each provide plenty of room for the minor expansion that takes place when the pipe heats and cools. Don't overtighten/fasten anything.
  • stevetars
    stevetars Member Posts: 14
    Thank you everyone- it's four zones- zone valves are Honeywell Home V8043E1012 motorized valves and the circulator is a Taco 007e ecm high-efficiency circulator. The pipes are tightly attached with copper brackets and are definitely touching the floor joists; in other places the pipes are clamped in a metal bracket which is screwed into the floor joists above.

    We hear loud pops from the living room which is directly above the boiler and floor joists to which the pipes are secured. At the baseboard, we hear pops and ticking, loudest when heat comes on. The ticking continues lightly but indefinitely at some spots in the baseboard. The pops subside after the thermostat kicks off. I have to check the hole sizes.

    Mustangman- does that mean they should go to the baseboards themselves and remove or loosen to eliminate ticking at baseboard?

  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,945
    Hmmmm!?
    @stevetars All the advice above you are getting is spot on. So be sure to look further into the support issue.
    However. Im not convinced that your system is entirely purged of air. From what you have described, you might still have air in your hot water system.
    Can you post a picture of the pressure gauge ? Maybe take a picture of it as well as a few pictures of your system and post them?
    It certainly sounds like you have some pipes close to and touching the building. This can resonate through out the house loudly at times.
    So. Fully purged and properly supported piping so far is what Im thinking.
  • stevetars
    stevetars Member Posts: 14
    Sounds good- I will take a few pictures when I get home from work and see if they help provide some clarity. Thanks for the help,

    Steve
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,631
    Copper pipe will expand about 1" per 100 ft of pipe per 100 f degrees. At the end of the runs it needs someplace for that movement (and at the end of the baseboard sections). If it isn't arranges so the ends can move in addition to being in hangers that let it slide it will make ticking and popping noises as it pushes whatever is in its way out of the way or it bows to take up the expansion.
    Intplm.
  • stevetars
    stevetars Member Posts: 14










  • stevetars
    stevetars Member Posts: 14
    Here are some pictures of the heating system setup in the basement- I think you are all correct that the hangers are too tight to the joists and the long run is making the pipes bow and pop/click. I have a plumber I trust coming to diagnose and audit the work of the company- we will check hole sizes and room for copper pipe expansion
  • yellowdog
    yellowdog Member Posts: 157
    The copper strap hangers will make noise every time. You can loosen them to get the pipe away from the joist and it may quiet them down. The strut hangers should just be able to be loosened and they will quiet down.
  • Mustangman
    Mustangman Member Posts: 86
    Spot on. Loosen up those strut hangers a little. I was recommending backing off the baseboard mounting screws a little so the baseboard stops with the expansion noise during start up and shut down. Finding the noises a bit like chasing Elvis. Trust me, the silicone spray lube works well and lasts a long time.
  • stevetars
    stevetars Member Posts: 14
    Sounds good- that is what I will try first- I am also thinking of replacing the copper strap hangers with plastic ones as some of you mentioned previously. So the plan is:
    1. Loosen the metal strut hangers
    2. Replace all copper strap hangers with plastic ones that do not touch the floor joist
    3. Find anywhere that the pipe is touching floor joists and add a plastic hanger
    4. Check hole size for noisy baseboards and possibly add silicone or foam cushion
    PeteA
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,945
    stevetars said:

    Sounds good- that is what I will try first- I am also thinking of replacing the copper strap hangers with plastic ones as some of you mentioned previously. So the plan is:
    1. Loosen the metal strut hangers
    2. Replace all copper strap hangers with plastic ones that do not touch the floor joist
    3. Find anywhere that the pipe is touching floor joists and add a plastic hanger
    4. Check hole size for noisy baseboards and possibly add silicone or foam cushion

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^YES^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    You should find that this does help. It will be a process of elimination.