Home>Discussions>INSULATION & HVAC>Radiator Noise - Sleepless in Boston
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robax99
Radiator Noise - Sleepless in Boston

Hi,

The radiator in the bedroom makes a terrible screeching/rattling noise. I made a video so you can hear it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-02gYmT1HWc). We live in an old building in Boston with a 2 pipe steam heating system. The problem started a couple of years ago when the boiler was changed. The noise has gotten worse over the years and wakes us up at night in the winter. Our building management company appears to be stumped as they have not been able to fix it.

We made sure the radiator is tilted towards the return pipe, but the noise persists. One idea we had is the noise is the "ball" in the trap rattling around. See, the return pipe gets very hot (too hot to touch) before the steam intake pipe even gets warm. Perhaps this is preventing the trap from opening and pressure builds up causing unnatural things to occur inside the trap.

Any help or guidance is greatly appreciated.

Rob

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Radiator Noise - Sleepless in Boston
robax99 wrote:

Hi,

The radiator in the bedroom makes a terrible screeching/rattling noise. I made a video so you can hear it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-02gYmT1HWc). We live in an old building in Boston with a 2 pipe steam heating system. The problem started a couple of years ago when the boiler was changed. The noise has gotten worse over the years and wakes us up at night in the winter. Our building management company appears to be stumped as they have not been able to fix it.

We made sure the radiator is tilted towards the return pipe, but the noise persists. One idea we had is the noise is the "ball" in the trap rattling around. See, the return pipe gets very hot (too hot to touch) before the steam intake pipe even gets warm. Perhaps this is preventing the trap from opening and pressure builds up causing unnatural things to occur inside the trap.

Any help or guidance is greatly appreciated.

Rob

Despite your fears about something "unnatural" it could be a number of things.

Have a web visit over to this site and page and read about problems that plague all steam systems (particularly sediment/rust in a radiator and vacuum problems) as well as problems that plague two pipe systems including rackets at various stages of the heating cycle.

Be especially aware when you come across "steam traps have failed in the open position" and see if that fits your circumstances.

I do not view web videos so I'm basing it upon what you've written on your post here. I think you're close regarding suspicion of the stream trap but opposite as to the cause/effect of failed open, or failed closed steam trap. Pipe temperature descriptions point me to steam trap failed open. Problems starting with boiler swap work might explain junk in the rad, sediment scale breaking up, timing of work and development of problem or could be coincidence.

http://www.heatinghelp.com/steam_problems.cfm

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