Still getting some heat in June? Help!

Old 06-05-10, 04:21 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: New York
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Still getting some heat in June? Help!

Hi, folks. I live in an apartment in Brooklyn in a pre-war, four-story, eight-dwelling rowhouse. Old-school cast-iron radiators, single pipe (steam, i guess, though I don't know much about these things), which bang a lot during the winter.

Thing is, the one in my bedroom is banging right now. And while it isn't giving off any heat because I have the valve shut, the exposed bit of the pipe below the level of the valve, just where it comes out of the floor, is giving off a low but noticeable amount of heat. So is the long pipe (sorry, I'm clueless about the terminology) next to it that comes up from the basement and goes all the way up through the other floors above me.

I noticed this a couple times before in the past few weeks of warm weather and thought I might be mistaken, but this is more obvious than it's ever been.

I just went next door to talk to the landlord's father-in-law, who functions as a sort of low-level, unofficial super around here, and is frankly not good for much in that regard. He was even less useful than I expected, insisting that he felt no heat, and pretty much telling me I'm making things up or hallucinating before walking out shaking his head. Of course, the radiator conveniently didn't make any noise during the minute or so he was in here.

I also just spoke very briefly with my roommate, who ran in and out on her way somewhere, and she agreed that her radiator was banging yesterday.

Any ideas on what might be going on here? I'd like to gather as much info as possible before taking it up with the landlord himself - if I can go to him with suggestions for remedies, I think that might help get some action, which is tough to get otherwise on most issues. Thanks, everyone.
Old 06-15-10, 06:04 AM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA
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First off, the banging is caused by water hammer. When water condenses in the radiator when it cools down after a call for heat, it cannot flow back to the boiler usually because the radiator is pitched incorrectly. Put a level on the radiator. It should be slightly pitched toward the pipe that comes up out of the floor with the shutoff valve. You can put small wood shims under the legs on the opposit side to pitch it. Only a slight pitch, 1/2" is needed.

As for the heat running now, it it has a heattimer control, it may be still in heat mode. Maybe the aquastat seting is too high. Either way.....have him call the oil company and get it corrected.

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