Hydronic baseboard: return tubing expansion noise

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Old 11-05-17, 02:52 PM
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Hydronic baseboard: return tubing expansion noise

My upstairs zone is one long continuous above-floor run. It has 3/4" copper return tubing resting on return tubing brackets above the fins. When the return tubing heats or cools it causes the brackets to "ping" a little bit as the friction between the return tubing and the brackets is finally overwhelmed by the tension of the expansion/contraction of the tubing. The front covers are attached to these same brackets, and these "pings" get transferred to the covers and cause them to make noise.

I doubt I am the first person to experience this problem. Does anyone know of a good remedy?
 
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Old 11-05-17, 03:12 PM
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H,
Copper tubing needs room for expansion and contraction. Just make sure the pipe isn't fastened too tight to the bracket. It should just hang there and make sure there's a space. Sometimes they fasten these pipes so tight to the bracket it rubs against it when the pipe gets hot which is not good. They used to have hooks to just lay the pipe into but you can use picture wire or something compatible to do the same thing. Just make sure there is space for movement and you will not hear a thing. Same with the pipe coming up through the floor. There must be room for expansion.

Hope this helps a little.
 
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Old 11-05-17, 03:16 PM
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Hi Spott, thanks for the reply.

Actually, the pipe isn't fastened to the brackets at all, it just lays on the bracket like the hooks you mentioned. I'm still getting this noise just from the weight of the pipe + water dragging across the bracket as the pipe expands and contracts. Any other ideas?
 
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Old 11-05-17, 03:20 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Friction causes the noises. Eliminate friction and the noises are gone.

Metal to metal contact will always cause noise. A piece of plastic or vinyl between the two will stop the noise. A bit of spray grease between the two can also help.
 
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Old 11-05-17, 03:28 PM
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PJmax,

That's what I was thinking too. I am struggling to come up with ideas as far a specific plastic or vinyl product to buy that would be thin and flexible enough to slide around the pipe so that none of the pipe contacts the bracket. The bracket surrounds about 75% of the circumference of the pipe, and I only have 1/16" or so gap between the bracket and the pipe to work with.
 
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Old 11-05-17, 03:48 PM
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What I use specifically is caterpillar grommet materiel. It's available all over the internet. It is a polyethylene type material that slides on to the metal where the return pipe lays. There are many variations of it. Even the home improvement stores carry it. It slides onto the metal hook forming a nylon to metal surface allowing the return pipe to slide without noise.

PANDUIT Adhesive Lined Weather Resistant, Solid Edging, PE (Polyethylene)
Spring-FastŪ Grommet Edging: Overview
panduit/adhesive-lined-grommet/
 
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Old 11-05-17, 04:01 PM
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PJmax, this is exactly what I had in my mind's eye. Looks perfect, thanks!
 
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