Noisy Steam Radiators in Rental Apartment


Old 01-03-05, 03:46 AM
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Cool Noisy Steam Radiators in Rental Apartment

I've read through the forum posts on noisy steam radiators, but they all seem to refer to homeowners who have access to their boilers and piping. I rent an apartment, and have no such access. I also have a landlord who doesn't seem particularly willing to assist. So I'm looking for advice on quieting noisy radiators from my end.

I am on the third (top) floor of a Chicago apt building. My apt is probably furthest from the building's boiler. I have single-pipe steam radiators, standard issue, rotary open/close valves and regular steam valves opposite.

Problem is that my bedroom radiator starts its noises at 5:00am, a full hour before I want to wake up. When the boiler first comes on, the radiator/pipes make small sounds exactly like somebody tapping it/them with drumsticks. These last for about three minutes. Then there's a moment or two of quiet. When the steam reaches the radiators, the real fun begins: sounds exactly like the WHAM! of a sledgehammer against steel. These come every fifteen -- twenty seconds or so for about five minutes.

These noises are at their worst first thing in the morning, when the heating cycle starts, and lessen noticeably as the day goes on, with each cycle a bit quieter than the previous. They never absolutely stop.

I've been in a neighbor's apartment, same floor, layout and radiators but about 40 feet closer to the boiler, and while his make noises too they are nowhere near as loud.

So: with no access to boiler or pipes, but a Home Depot down the road and no fear of getting dirty, is there anything I can do at this end to clean/drain/whatever the air/water/whatever or in any way quiet these radiators down?

Any advice appreciated, thanks!
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Old 01-03-05, 06:39 AM
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There is only one or two things you can do. One is to make sure the radiator pitches toward the valve. Meaning that the end with the valve is slightly lower than the other end. You may need to shim the legs a little to get that to happen. Also make sure the valve on the radiator is all the way open. That is about it from your apartment but it may help.

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