knocking coming from pipes in the wall

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Old 11-02-15, 07:16 PM
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knocking coming from pipes in the wall

Whenever the weather gets a little cold, people in my 2-level 12 unit apartment building start to turn on the heat. This causes a knocking sound in the pipes that keeps us up all night. The colder it gets, the louder and more frequent it gets. The building owner doesn't want to do anything about it. I'm trying to troubleshoot for him and the manager to come up with some ideas they could try to improve the problem, considering they don't want to spend a bunch of money. The heater unit in our apartment is Slant Fin brand. I assume the boiler is the same brand but I'm not sure.
 
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Old 11-02-15, 07:31 PM
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You have Slant Fin baseboards..... correct ?

It can be pretty hard to located where that noise is coming from. It's usually caused where the pipe rubs the stud or is run thru a tight hole and slides on the wood during heating. As the pipe heats..... it expands and as it cools..... it contracts.
 
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Old 11-02-15, 08:29 PM
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Yes they're slant fin baseboards. It's coming from a few places. The thing that made me think it's not expansion/contraction is the fact that late at night when it's coldest, it's CONSTANT. If the heaters ate running all night I wouldn't think the pipes have the opportunity to cool and contract. We don't even run our heater at all but we can't get to sleep because of everyone else. It's really getting louder too. Anything I could tell the manager to do about it?
 

Last edited by wec123; 11-02-15 at 08:38 PM. Reason: More info
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Old 11-02-15, 10:22 PM
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Are you on the first floor..... which would mean the second floor plumbing runs up thru your wall ?

I'm not really sure how to stop the problem.... especially if it's in the wall. Perhaps someone has a method to alleviate it.

Apparently... air trapped in the pipes can also cause clanging noises. That could be caused by lack of air removal at the boiler or trapped air in a certain part of the loop.

Has this problem been getting worse ?
 

Last edited by PJmax; 11-02-15 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 11-03-15, 05:36 PM
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We are on the first floor. Our back bedroom shares a wall with the boiler, and because of the godawful drone from water flowing out of it we have to sleep in the front bedroom by the noisy parking lot. But that's a whole other issue. Both bedrooms have baseboard heaters, the living room has 3. The knocking sound can be heard in all these rooms and if you put your ear up to the heaters, the noise echos a little. Aside from getting louder as it gets colder at night, i think it's getting slightly louder overall too. I mentioned boiler temp and trapped air as possible causes to the manager, but I don't know if he has or will adjust it. I hope there's some other ideas out there because every room of the apartment is too noisy to sleep in for one reason or another and i don't want to move for the 3rd time in 2 years
 
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Old 11-03-15, 08:24 PM
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Pex piping can be aweful for noise, copper less so.
Doing outdoor reset with constant circ can help alot to keep the temps low, and the water flowing at temp.
Sounds also like there is too much pump for the system.
Add a variable speed circ (ECM) and outdoor reset. If the owner pays for utlities it will save them money in the long run.
Good luck, sounds like a battle ahead
 
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Old 11-04-15, 07:28 AM
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Not sure what type of pipe it was, my intuition tells me it was cheap. We had a leak above our shower and when they opened up the ceiling they found a pipe (PVC if I remember correctly) sealed with caulk. The current owner bought the property in January so there are still surprises to discover about the building. Those sound like great suggestions, I will pass them along to the manager. It's all greek to me but hopefully he knows what a "variable speed circ (ECM) and outdoor reset" is. If I can say it saves money then that certainly helps our case!
 
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