Steam Heat Radiator Ticking Noise

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  #1  
Old 02-02-12, 12:55 AM
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Steam Heat Radiator Ticking Noise

Dear all,

I moved in a new house and I'm having trouble with a radiator ticking noise. It feels almost as if a water drip was falling inside the radiator itself.

I just had the valves changed, the radiator works fine afa the heat is concerned, however from the moment it is turned on until some time after it has been turned off it continuously emits this noise at an interval of 2/3 seconds. It goes on literally for three hours.

While this is definitely not a loud noise, it is really driving me nuts and I can't bear it anymore. I'm even considering to have it shut down or move from this house.

I shot a video of it:
Radiator Ticking noise - YouTube

Please ignore the hissing it's just the camcorder background noise, it's not the radiator itself.

Can some kind soul please provide me with any idea on how to solve this? I currently tried to tilt the radiator and move it in a slightly different position. The only thing that stops this noise is closing down the main valve, and waiting for it to gradually stop producing this noise. That obviously takes the heat away as well, though.

Thank you,

r.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-02-12, 03:50 PM
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I do not know if your heating system is steam or hot water (sounds like it is steam). The steam boiler will force steam upward into the radiators where it condenses (producing heat for the living space),and return as a liquid under gravity back to the boiler possible causing your drip, drip, drip noise. If that is the case, short of piping modifications, I do not know what you can do. Good luck.
 
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Old 02-02-12, 05:29 PM
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I was thinking at first that it was expansion noise, but then that wouldn't go on continuously.

This is the only radiator in the home that does this?
 
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Old 02-02-12, 11:53 PM
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Get a carpenter's level, preferably as long as the radiator but shorter will do, and set it upon the radiator. It should tilt VERY slightly towards the valve end on the radiator. If it is dead level or tilts the other way you need to shim the feet opposite the valve to get the correct tilt.
 
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Old 02-04-12, 12:45 AM
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thank you for replies.

yes, it's the only radiator doing this noise and Furd: it already does tilt towards the valve end of the radiator.. still doing it.
 
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Old 02-04-12, 10:00 AM
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Where is this radiator in location to the boiler? Is it closest or furthurest from the boiler?
Was the radiator hot the whole way across?
 
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Old 02-05-12, 10:52 AM
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i live on the last floor of a 4 floor building. the boiler is on the 1st floor.

there are two radiators: one of them sometimes is not hot the whole way across, but it's not the one making this noise.

i just found out that it still makes this noise even if the valve on the ground is completely shut off.

i'm getting crazy, isn't there something that i can try?
 
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Old 02-05-12, 11:23 AM
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one of them sometimes is not hot the whole way across,
Is this one pitched properly?

I don't know what else to tell you...

First post you said that you moved into a 'house', but now it's a 4 story apt building!

Do you OWN the apartment? (condo) or are you renting ?

This makes a big difference, because if you are renting, you shouldn't be having to pay for new valves installed, and your LANDLORD should be given the task of making this right, no matter how trivial it sounds to him/her.
 
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Old 02-05-12, 11:33 AM
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It sounds a lot like water dripping into a pool of water.
 
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Old 02-05-12, 03:15 PM
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I wonder if there's a big wet spot on the tenant's ceiling on the floor below? I wonder if they can also hear the noise?

You said you had the valves replaced... was this an attempt to get rid of the noise? or did this just start AFTER the valves were replaced?
 
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Old 02-06-12, 07:50 AM
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Really sounds like expansion noise. If it still does this after the valve is shut off, then it may be part of the piping below the floor that is still heating when the rest of the system is running.
 
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Old 02-06-12, 03:20 PM
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I dunno Xiph... constantly expanding for three hours?
 
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Old 02-06-12, 04:56 PM
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If, it's an apartment building, not a house. If, there are lots of other heat calls that make the system run for hours, or at least continuously enough. If, there is sufficient common or connected piping. If....
 
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Old 02-06-12, 11:16 PM
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You are right, I badly expressed myself. This is an apartment in a 4 floor 1920's victorian building.

I don't own the apartment, I rent it. So yes, my landlord is trying to to their best but I'm still having the problem and am trying to get a way to solve it.

Actually, if I found out that if I close BOTH radiators then the noise is gone, otherwise even if I open the one in the bedroom, the one in the living room will keep on doing the noise I've posted on youtube.

damn.

BTW, thank of all of you guys giving me feedback on this. I really appreciate it.

r.
 
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Old 02-07-12, 06:05 AM
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You could try lifting the escutcheon for each radiator and spraying some WD40 or similar into the hole (watch you don't stain the floor). It might get whatever part is rubbing against the wood framing. Also possible the piping is simply rubbing on the flooring. Lift up the escutcheon and see if the pipe at each radiator has some clearance around the wood flooring and subfloor.
 
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Old 02-07-12, 07:17 AM
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What about the possibility of crud either within the radiator or obstructing the valve by the floor?

You wrote:
yes, it's the only radiator doing this noise and Furd: it already does tilt towards the valve end of the radiator.. still doing it

Is it tilted toward the shut off valve typically by the floor or the air valve at the end of the radiator? Does the air valve point up, is the little hole in it up?

When I lived in a place with with steam heat, the array of sound it made was reassuring and part of the joy of an old place.
 
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Old 02-07-12, 03:15 PM
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I wonder if there's a big wet spot on the tenant's ceiling on the floor below? I wonder if they can also hear the noise?

You said you had the valves replaced... was this an attempt to get rid of the noise? or did this just start AFTER the valves were replaced?
Roberto... answers?

Have you asked neighbors if they can also hear the noise?

P.S. I kinda like the band! Good job! Ciao!
 
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Old 02-10-12, 12:40 AM
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Hello again!

Sorry for the wait I was trying to get the tenants below, that I've not yet been able to meet. Tomorrow or monday, again, the maintenance personnel is going to come and see if they can fix the issue.

@NJ Trooper: the valves were substituted in an attempt to get rid of the noise, which clearly didn't work out.

It is quite weird, if I slightly move the radiator, the noise stops for a minute or so, then starts again. It does so even if I just walk next to it, so I believe it might be something with the pipes hitting somewhere under the floor and the noise might just appear to come from the radiator itself.

@TBurr: the radiator is tilted towards the shutdown valve in the floor. The other valve is pointed upwards. Yes, small puffing and hissing are nice, but a perpetual TICK is just.. not it.

..let's hope they can fix this..
 
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Old 02-10-12, 05:56 AM
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Yes, this is rubbing due to expansion. Did you lift up the escutcheon to see where the pipe comes through the flooring? Is it rubbing there? Can you spray some WD40 through its little red straw into that area?

If moving the rad (and thus moving the pipe) cures it, you might also be able to make a shim for next to/around the pipe to move it into the position where it doesn't make the noise. Some candidate materials would be plastic toilet shims (which might melt a bit), or a short piece of PEX tubing. You can get PEX couplings cheap. Cut it/them to wrap around the pipe part or all of the way.

The noise sounds like it's coming from the rad because sound travels really well in hollow metal piping and radiators.
 
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