Pipes banging in 1 zone. tried everything I know with no success. HELP

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Old 03-12-13, 04:05 PM
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Pipes banging in 1 zone. tried everything I know with no success. HELP

Hey Guys (sorry this is very long but I want to be clear and thorough),

I just bought my parents old house (the house I grew up in) and It has hot water heating which I am a big fan of. However, ever since my parents bought the house (15 years ago) the pipes have banged in 2 of the rooms. They aren't really handy or maintenance type people so they just lived with it, but its my house now and that is now my 3 month olds nursery and I would REALLY like to get it to stop banging.

This is hard to explain in type but i'll do my best.
The 2 rooms were orginally 1 room but there is a wall added to make it 2 rooms and there are 2 thermostats and 2 zone valves. At the inlet of the room the pipe splits and the are 2 loops around the perimiter of the orginal room. Each loop goes through both rooms but only heats one of the rooms, it has a small diameter pipe with no fins in the room it doesnt heat and changes to large Diameter with fins int he room it does heat in. the loops are stacked one on top of the other and go back into 1 larger diameter pipe at the return outlet.

NOTE: THE BANGING ONLY OCCURS WHEN THE ZONE VALVES CLOSE

Ive read for a few days on this forum and tried all the things I thought might help to no avail. I have;

-Bled the lines from the small bleeder valve that is close to the zone valve (closed the return valve and manually engaged the zone valve and bled a few gallons out of the lines, not noticeable sputtering or air bubble present)

-with the zone valves for that zone manually engaged, I Bled from the return spigot on the main return line before the boiler but there is not shut off valve after the spigot so I dont know that that would get any air out of the line.

-to try and stop pipe movement, I strapped all the pipes in the baseboards (they were all loose and could move freely by hand) that quieted it a little bit in the room but the banged still exists and even is a little louder in the walls.

- I have honeywell zone valves that I read can close too quickly and cause water hammer so I popped the short springs off the levers, maybe noticed a slight change but not really.

-Checked both zone valves and they are running in the correct direction according to the arrows stamped on the valves.

Dont know what else to do at this point. The only other thing that seems a little odd is the pressure in the line reads 17-20 lbs depending on if the boiler is running or not (cant remember the temps in and out) seems hight to me but I dont know enough to say really. I do have an expansion tank (havent checked pressure yet) and the boiler was replaced about 3 months ago but uit has always banged so I dont thing that that has changed anything.

Any help or suggestion would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance.
 

Last edited by Joryevans; 03-12-13 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 03-12-13, 04:59 PM
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NOTE: THE BANGING ONLY OCCURS WHEN THE ZONE VALVES CLOSE
Does the banging start immediately when the zone valve closes? Does it happen with all zones or just the one (the above quote refers to the plural, zone valves, but earlier you referred to one specific zone)? How long does the banging persist? This could be water hammer caused by excessive flow velocity cut off suddenly by the valve. What is the make and model number of your circulator pump? Have you verified that your expansion tank (which also acts as a shock absorber) isn't water logged or lost its air cushion?

Wide angle photos of your system would be helpful. At this point, wide-angle photos would be more helpful than close-ups.
 
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Old 03-13-13, 05:36 AM
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Are you CERTAIN that you know which direction the flow is going? and that's how you determined that the valves are installed in the correct direction?

Can you show us pictures?
 
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Old 03-13-13, 02:54 PM
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Test picture

This picture is irrelivant just seeing if I can post one and if so I will take some photos tonight and post them tomorrow for you guys to look at.

 
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Old 03-13-13, 02:58 PM
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Ok it works.... I will get a picture of the expansion tank (looks pretty new) the circulator Pump (also looks pretty new) the zone valves and a few others that might shed some light on what im looking at. any other specific picture requests let me know asap so I can collect them.
 
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Old 03-13-13, 03:25 PM
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Start the fire, I'll bring the Labatt's. Looks strangely like my backyard! well, minus all the junk cars.

Make sure to get a couple from different angles that show the entire system so we can tell what we are looking at when viewing any closer shots.

Remember that we need to 'be there', so take the shots with that in mind.

It might be better if you upload to a FREE account at PhotoBucket - (click this link) to a PUBLIC album and post a link to the entire album here. The forum resizes photos and sometimes hard to see. Go for the high res... well lighted... in focus... etc. On photobucket we can view the full size pics.

I'm mainly interested in making sure that the valves are installed in the correct direction...
 
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Old 03-13-13, 03:33 PM
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Totally understand.

I drew a little diagram of the rooms Im taking about. The whole heating system is really a hot mess its all over the place coming in and out all over yhe place in the basement. I can figure most things out and this one is leaving me with a few ??? at the end. LOL

This might help you understand the way it looks in addition to the pictures.

 
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Old 03-13-13, 04:23 PM
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Is it possible that it's the OTHER zone that 'hammers' when the one of the valves close?

This might be difficult to determine by listening though.

How much experimenting have you done? i.e.

Does it only bang when BOTH are calling, and ONE closes before the other?

If only ONE is calling, will it bang when that one closes?

And based on the direction of the arrows on the valves, you are absolutely certain that the flow is 'clockwise' in your drawing?

I guess you are working on the pics now...
 
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Old 03-14-13, 09:08 AM
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Pictures and Answers

Photo and image hosting, free photo galleries, photo editing

That should link you to my Photobucket account which should be public. The last few photos added are of the waterheating system.

There are only pictures of the zone valve and pipe in the one room the other one had a baby sleeping in it when I was home so I couldnt get more pictures BUT they are Identical (if you look at my diagram the pics are of the zone valve area in room 1) There are also some pictures of the boiler circulator pump etc.

The pipes bang in the 2 rooms and along the exiting pipes in the wall EVERYTIME either of the zones close, no matter the circumstances. Both calling/only one calling/ etc

I'm wondering if I should empty the zone and swap the 2 valves around and see what happens. Im not sure without opening the walls so I could follow the pipes back to the boiler room that I could determine with confidence which way the flow really goes.

Thoughts?
 
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Old 03-15-13, 01:26 PM
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I'm wondering if I should empty the zone and swap the 2 valves around
I see no point in that.

I'm going to look at the pics in greater detail later...

If you start at the boiler, can't you follow the pipe until it disappears inside a wall and make an educated guess where it comes out?

The water flows OUT of the boiler from the top, and returns to the boiler on the bottom.
 
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Old 03-15-13, 01:34 PM
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The 2 pipes I believe supply and return this zone both enter the floor at same place from the basement, and where the come out is 2 stories up so I cant say which is which from that.
 
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Old 03-15-13, 02:15 PM
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How about this then?

Let everything get cold...

And fire up one of the zones.

Based on the pic, you will need a helper.

You put hand on one pipe and helper put hand on other pipe.

Whichever one gets hot first is the supply.

p.s. love that orange step-side! how much?
 

Last edited by NJT; 03-15-13 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 03-15-13, 02:21 PM
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That is simple genious. I really should have thought of that.

AT this point I hope the the valves are backward cuz I really want the banging to stop.
 
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Old 03-15-13, 02:50 PM
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For your sake, I hope so too...

And after looking at the pics, I see that they are threaded flare type of valve so would be easy enough to turn around.

Obviously, if they are backwards, it will probably fix the problem. If they are NOT backwards I'm wondering if it would be possible to install some water hammer arrestors somewhere on the piping. You have those bleeders, it might be an easy enough job to remove those, extend the pipe a bit to install the arrestors and then reinstall the bleeders on a tee...

These are mostly used on potable systems and note that the max temp is 180F, but this is what I was thinking about:

http://s3.pexsupply.com/manuals/1312..._PROD_FILE.pdf


The reason I asked about the circumstances of when they bang is because I'm wondering if it occurs when one valve closes, that the OTHER valve bangs because of the inertia of the water being transferred to the other pipe.


Might have to airbrush some flames on the baseboard covers when yer done ...

 
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Old 03-15-13, 02:57 PM
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Airbrushed Flames is a no brainer on the boiler and baseboard heaters.

Appreciate the help Ill let you know what I find out.
 
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Old 05-01-13, 01:06 PM
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Fixed!

Thought I would pop back in here for anyone who reads this post in the furure.

It ended up that both Zone valves were install backward buy a reputable plumbing company:NO NO NO:. Flipped them around and instantly banging all gone.

From all the postes I read it seemed to be the most common problem/cause of hammering pipes in a single zone. I guess that is true here as well.

Side note:



A friend of mine had this sitting in his farm yard since he was a kid, I tried to buy it off him for years and he would never sell it to me. He finally pulled it out of the weeds and got after it. Its got a chevy 400 small block in it and all the bells and whistles. He wont tell anyone but I would guess hes got 30-40k into it now.
 
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Old 05-01-13, 03:08 PM
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That's good news! Glad ya got it fixed up and the babies can sleep now.

That truck needs some pin-striping! It's a '60, yes?
 
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Old 05-01-13, 03:17 PM
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I cant remember off the top of my head but I think 60 is right.

Its either 60/61/62 for sure.
 
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Old 05-01-13, 04:11 PM
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Great looking, tricked-out truck! I'd love to have something like that to drive in our small-town parades.

My father had a 56 (or thereabouts) Chevy pickup. It was gray (ugh).
 
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