Home>Discussions>INSULATION & HVAC>banging, hammering noises from heating system room driving me insane!!
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banging, hammering noises from heating system room driving me insane!!

Okay, so here's the deal. The main heating system for every time the temperature is moved higher or lower it makes this weird gushing noise accompanied by what sounds like someone hitting the inside of the pipes with a hammer or something. Then there are times after this occurs a pipe or two will vibrate or shake from the impact. The noise nearly gets me a bloody heart attack every time I am in range of it. The heating system is in the basement and it's not heard very clearly from upstairs but i can still hear it from my room on the third floor. sometimes i wake to hear the noise. so irritating.

Now .. I'm only an eighteen year old living with my parents and brother but how can I convince them we need to get a professional involved to figure out how to lessen the noise? Like it only seems like me and my dad really care whether or not the heating system makes banging noises. i heard that banging noises may indicate malfunction or something inside the heating system needs to be changed?? I know for the fact the pipes have been making hammering noises for years now but I haven't said anything about my discomfort until last year to my father. He said he'd get someone to look into it but he never did. I just spoke to him about how blatantly loud the noise was when he turned it on for the first time after the weather got very cold today. It hammered for at least three times at a minute apart each and then it did it again and again at 8 minutes apart. i thought it was going to keep going on for the whole hour but after the last two it stopped and all i hear now are small little whoosh sounds. I don't really know what it is but i can see the reflection of fire on the tile floor from under the boiler when it does this.

Re: banging, hammering noises from heating system room driving me insane!!

Applegirl it has been a while since I have delt with a boilier but this may help. I am sure you will here from other's later. Go to the heating regerstir in the house it sould have a valve on one end open it up or unscrew it and you will let the air out of the system this is probley causing the noise it has an air block in it. or get a heating person to do this for you. good luck.

Re: banging, hammering noises from heating system room driving me insane!!


Impossible to troubleshoot the cause of the problem from here, but....if there's hammering noises, it needs attention.

I'm presuming this is a steam heat system.


Click on the "water hammer" link in the first section and there you will find explanations of all the various things that can cause water hammer in both one and two pipe systems.

In the following sections you will find explanations specific to water hammer problems in either a one or a two pipe system.

No, you or your father aren't apt to find and fix the problem yourself, but....you'll probably realize that you need someone knowledgable and experienced about steam heat systems to find and remedy the problem. IOW, not any HVAC tech will do. Find someone who knows and understands steam heat.........if indeed this is a steam heat system.

Re: banging, hammering noises from heating system room driving me insane!!

I once asked my stepfather about this -- he's a retired boilerman from a large school district -- and he explained that it's usually a symptom of sagging pipes.

The problem is that steam condenses to water, and it will collect in a low point. Then, when the steam builds up enough pressure, it will blow past the water trap and cause the bang.

The heating pipes should always maintain a proper slope. In a steam system, all pipes should slope downhill toward the boiler, whether they be supply or drain pipes. Chances are some of the pipes have a broken support so they are sagging, and that's where the water collects. It's an easy fix: just get some steel strapping ("plumber's tape") and replace the supports where the pipe sages. If there's only one pipe going to your radiator, make sure the opposite end is slightly higher. Shim it up with a board if necessary. You don't need a professional to fix this for you.

Or the building may have settled (are the floors flat and level?) so the pipes no longer slope -- that's a much more difficult fix as it requires carefully jacking up the building and leveling it out. In this case, there's probably not much a heating professional can do; the problem is structural.

Re: banging, hammering noises from heating system room driving me insane!!

Hi guys, thanks for replying with your info. Well, I still don't know what to do. I'm not really sure how to put this in words either since I don't know the right name for parts of the heating system. So I guess the banging noise is a water hammer ... I think? Once I talked to my dad about it he showed me where the noise was coming from. So, um, I'm not sure how to call it but I assume for most heating systems there is a main tank like object connecting to other pipes. I still have no clue what it does but the one at my house makes the banging noise to signal the system when it needs more water to heat. There's like a sort of button on the tank so it moves down by itself when it needs more water. I have to ask this also ... when it's colder outside does that mean the heating system will actually use more water to heat the entire house (b/c the temperature outside is lower?).
My dad is thinking about replacing the main tank thing but I'm not sure if that's going to help much. He is going to call on the assistance of a relative who is experienced in this field, too, but I'm not sure when that will happen (hopefully pretty soon .. the sooner the better this is fixed).

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