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Re: Banging, Hissing and Water in Radiators

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Posted by Vampire on May 09, 2013 at 01:40:03:

In Reply to: Re: Banging, Hissing and Water in Radiators posted by heatpro.us on April 12, 2013 at 17:44:16:

There are a few things that need to be checked. First, the near boiler piping is extremely important. The length of the outlet pipe is important. If not piped correctly, the system could carry water up to the radiators, which would cause water hammer. Such an install would need to be re-piped the proper way. I always install drop headers on any steam boiler installs. It may be extra, but it is worth it as there is an increase in efficiency, and also results in dryer steam.

Next, was the boiler sized correctly? Did the installer do a heat load calculation, and account for the installed radiation, losses, etc.?

The steam pressure setting on the pressure control as mentioned by heat pro is the next thing to check. Steam systems operate fine on ounces up to 2 PSI maximum. Some systems are vapor and vacuum also. Make sure the setting on the pressure trol is at the lowest setting as I doubt they installed a vapor stat. Read the instructions printed about the cut out and cut in settings.

Was there an automatic water feeder installed? This could be a problem, as the water feeder could be feeding too much water into the system, thereby carrying the water level too high, causing carryover....which means that the water is travelling with the steam and making it to the radiators. Excessive makeup water is a problem. This could be due to leaks, or an undersized boiler that is overfired as it has insufficient capacity to fill the system with steam.

Also note, there could be oils contaminating the boiler water which could cause surging, which would then make your auto feeder turn on needlessly also.

Note the boiler water level. Check to see that it is no more than 3/4 in the gauge glass. Let the boiler go through it's cycle. Note the boiler water level when coming up to steam. If the water is moving rapidly up and down, the boiler would need to be "surface blowed". See below. Note if the Auto feeder is feeding the boiler unnecisarily. If the water level rises out of the glass, (and you hear water being pushed out of the boiler and up the pipes) that is another problem probably associated with the boiler piping.

There should be a tapping off of the boiler to accomplish this. If not, let the boiler cool, and take one of the upper fittings off (on side of boiler), install a pipe and raise the water level until the water starts draining into a bucket. Flush a substantial amount. You might need to do this a few times.

Please update us on the issues. After you work these issues out, look into installing TCV valves to make your steam system even more efficient. This can be up to 30% in some cases. There is a setting on the TCV (temperature control valve) where you set the desired room temperature. Once the room temperature is reached, the TCV operates and thereby cuts off steam to the radiator, which then causes the boiler to build up pressure faster and shut off sooner. This solves the problem of overheating rooms, and will save you money on your heating bills. DO NOT install these until all problems are addressed on your system. They are around $120 complete (macon sells complete units) Posting pictures of the install will help tremendously.

: Not all plumbers are aware that low pressure residential boilers are supposed to run @ 1 psig; so they run the pressure up too high. To solve that they would need to lower the pressure control.
: .
: If the pressure gets up over 4 psig, the vents are ruined an need replacement.
: .

: : We had a new Boiler installed in a 2 family house with steam heat. Worked fine for first 3 weeks, then loud banging or what some say are water hammering noises started and last for about 15 min everytime heat is coming on. Called plumber and he installed all new vents on all radiators in entire house. No help at all. Came back, drained the main loudest radiator and lots of water came out. Told us this would stop the noise. It did not and we still have all the same banging going on. It wakes us up and keeps the others in the household up also. What can be done? Thank you.

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