"Thunking" Noise Coming from Steam Heating Pipes

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Old 01-26-13, 03:55 PM
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"Thunking" Noise Coming from Steam Heating Pipes

I just had a new gas steam boiler installed. Two issues: There is a hollow, "thunking" noise (like lightly knocking on an empty 50 gallon drum) coming from the piping leading into my Master Bedroom radiator. Driving me nuts. The other is that the upstairs is at about 68 degrees while the downstairs is set at 63 degrees for the evening and 75 degrees when down is set at 70. It is always about 5 degrees warmer up than down. I have adjustable vents with numbers on them but don't know how to adjust them or if that is even the problem. ny advice would be appreciated.
 
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Old 01-26-13, 06:31 PM
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Hi Gerry,

Was just the boiler replaced with no other changes to the system piping?

Prior to the boiler replacement there were no issues?

What make/model boiler?

Can you take pics of the boiler and nearby piping?

adjustable vents with numbers on them
Any manufacturer name or model numbers on the valves?
 
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Old 01-27-13, 06:58 AM
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Thunking

Without seeing the system, I can guess that the new boiler is new and maybe a little more effecient. Perhaps the water level might be a little high, causing some water to carry up into the piping as the water boils. There might be some construction oils in the water side of the boiler. The air valves with numbers mean low numbers slow venting, high numbers faster venting. You can adjust them to try to balance your system, I have moved seemingly faster, and slower
venting valves without numbers [non asjustable] around to ballance a system.
Sid
 
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Old 01-27-13, 09:28 AM
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The valves are No1 Vent-Rite. This one valve seems to let off a tea kettle sounds rather than clear release of steam.
Utica Boiler (150MPH). Went from oil to natural gas. No other changes. No noises before the change except in one radiator in another room but we solved that with new valve and slightly tilting so water would head back down.

How do I post pictures?
 
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Old 01-27-13, 09:32 AM
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OK. I have never had a steam system before so this is all completely new to me. If I have it set for high number for faster venting, would that mean more steam (heat) would make its way to that radiator quicker? So, if I wanted less heat upstairs, lower the numbers upstairs and increase the numbers downstairs until I got the results I wanted?
 
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Old 01-27-13, 09:56 AM
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Well, just noticed something else that might be affecting the system. Master Bed radiator has slight leak coming into radiator just after the knob that turns radiator on and off. Also, on the room next door that had some noise issues previously, I just went in to check on what number it was set at and when I removed the cover and touched the radiator, it was cool to the touch. It had not been turned back on after he replaced the valve! No wonder it had been so quiet.
So, maybe turning that back on and adjusting venting will help a little. Another question arises: To tighten and/or replace the leaky coupling, do I turn off the whole system or do I just have to turn off that one radiator? Do you use teflon tape like with other plumbing jobs dealing with threads?
 
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Old 01-27-13, 10:29 AM
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Hi Gerry,

I'm going to recommend that you pick up a book... click link below:

Heating Help

It's the best $25 you could spend on your system.
 
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Old 01-27-13, 10:41 AM
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Just ordered it! That is great- thank you!
 
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Old 01-27-13, 11:24 AM
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The valves are No1 Vent-Rite
These? They are adjustable, knob on bottom.


image courtesy emersonswan.com
 
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Old 01-27-13, 12:00 PM
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Did the installers 'skim' the boiler properly after installing it?
 
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Old 01-27-13, 02:02 PM
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I have absolutely no idea. I will ask.
 
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Old 01-27-13, 02:07 PM
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Yes. That is what some look like. There are two that are different, with the adjuster on top. And, there are two downstairs that are not adjustable.
 
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Old 01-27-13, 02:07 PM
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Another question arises: To tighten and/or replace the leaky coupling, do I turn off the whole system or do I just have to turn off that one radiator? Do you use teflon tape like with other plumbing jobs dealing with threads?
That sounds as if it might be a 'union' fitting... if so, no teflon tape won't help.

Can you take a pic of it?
 
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Old 01-27-13, 03:27 PM
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Coupler sounds like the proper description. Here is photo of coupler and the valve.
 
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Old 01-27-13, 03:30 PM
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Sorry, I meant union fitting sounds like a proper description.
 
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Old 01-27-13, 04:06 PM
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Where's the leak Gerry?

On the bottom of the valve, or the side? I think you said on the side.

That's something that would need to be looked at up close to determine... at least for me... some other guys might say right off the bat... oh yeah, you need to do this or that... let's hope they stop by.
 
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Old 01-27-13, 04:18 PM
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Leaking out of the middle fitting leading from the pipe to the radiator and dripping just to the right of the pipe coming out of the floor.
 
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Old 01-27-13, 04:55 PM
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chances are that it might need to be taken apart and have the union faces cleaned up, but you MIGHT just be able to tighten it... problem is if it's been leaking a long time it's probably corroded and it probably needs to come apart...

I wouldn't mess with it now middle of winter... put something under to catch drips.
 
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Old 01-27-13, 05:50 PM
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Thanks! I will do that. Thanks again for the tip on the book as well
 
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