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Expansion noise with copper piping

hvacjedi Member Posts: 3
I have a new customer that has noise issue from the expansion of copper piping on a hot water system. The backgroud is the original system is all cast iron radiators. They built an addition 6 years ago and added a hot water loop, 3/4 in copper with a series 100 circulator(wrong pump...I know) and a B&G flow control. The loop has its'own t-stat. The noise I believe is comming from the expansion of the loop against the structure. They also have the ticking in the copper fin tube.

I don't want to get involved with opening up walls and floors if it can be avoided. I'm the third contractor they've called.

Can I control the expansion with something as simple as an indoor/outdoor reset, there by reducing the expansion by lowering the system temperature? Or is something possible with mixing controls and a variable speed circulator?


  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    W-d 40

    siloo, sprayed in pass thrus and protrusions thru floors,and you could indeed take a look at least of tacosI-series R....zone valve.also make sure there combed out and that the plastic is riding on the supports,on large systems and long systems i also use swing joints under the floors and expansion joint coulpings above the floor where they can be seen by removing the covers...
  • Michal
    Michal Member Posts: 213

    The noise from the fins themselves expanding, you cannot change, thats just the fact that they expand when heated and homeowners have to understand that. As far as the noise of expanding up against the structure, well you might have to open up the wall, I cannot imagine the noises are that bad, but I understand it was done and should be done right. The only thing I can say is if you can get to some of the hangers and loosen them up. dropping temperature will cause less heat output and you do not want that. Thats my honest opinion, I have a basement loopp that does the same noise, so I know how loud it is, but its not unbearable, or worth spending hundreds to fix, try the changes I mentioned. Also you can make a expansion loop with 4 elbows like a u bend some place to accept the expansion but it would have to be a few inches in length each way to workand you would have to open up the wall, but most noises come from expanding up against a wall or a hanger. hope this helps
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,111
    things to chk

    Besides checking hangers you should chk the floor penetraction and see how tight the holes are i've done many many baseboard system complete and i always use plastics pipe insulators where my loops go thru any wood i've found you must drilla large enough hole to allow for expansion i always try to stay away from real tight fit and always opt when piping to leave room for expansion .I have also found that the system which make the most noise are ones that just loop from room to room in a straight line with out any offset and when they do go straight thru room to room see if as weezbo stated you can install a expansion coupling .If the rough in holes where not drilled large enough and the pipe is hammered into the holes even a reset may not do the trick tight pipes will usually allways make noise you must locate where there coming from and take what ever action to correct good luck and peace clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Todd_9
    Todd_9 Member Posts: 88
    noisey pipes

    A little trick I was taught that may help. Take a piece of milk carton(waxed cardboard) and slip pieces of it where the holes are tight. This isn't the best fix but it may be a whole lot easier than trying to cut out around a pipe. It's worth a try since it is pretty inexpensive.
  • J.C.A._3
    J.C.A._3 Member Posts: 2,981
    My Moms home,

    Has about 2 half gallon waxed milk cartons stuffed between the "tight to the wood" pipes coming through the floors. That seemed to cut down a pile of expansion noise, but the hangers expanding are still the biggest noisemakers.

    Replace or loosten the ones that you can, and insulate them from the wood, or start boring the hole that the pipes pass through to give some room.

    Glad to hear someone else has learned the wax milk carton trick! The wax melts onto the pipe AND to the wood surrounding it making things slide a bit easier. Chris
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