Boiler System with Banging Pipes - HELP

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  #1  
Old 01-25-19, 12:18 PM
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Boiler System with Banging Pipes - HELP

Hello everyone,

New home owner for 1.5 years now and this is my 2nd winter in the house. Last year we experienced loud banging noises in the walls during the night when we had the heat running. After some googling, I decided to purge the system, which consists of 2 zones (1 for the first floor which is living space and 1 for the 2nd floor which is the bedrooms). Purging both zones eliminated the banging the very first time so my wife and I were extremely satisfied. Fast forward to this winter, same thing again - loud banging noise during the night. We've purged the system 4 or 5 times now but we haven't had a single night pass where we don't hear anything. And the noise is intense, it's as if someone is knocking on your bedroom window over and over and over for 10-15 straight seconds.

What could it be and is there any troubleshooting that can be done before calling in a professional? I've tried to let the system purge longer periods and waiting for a pocket of air to come out that may possibly be at the opposite end of the house but I'm scared/uneducated on how long I can purge for before potentially damaging the system or even worse, the house. I can't find anything online that tells me to monitor something while purging such as pressure or how long I can purge for. Can I just keep purging till the system dries out completely? Can it even dry out completely or is it constantly replenishing water? The system typically runs at around 30-35 psi till I shut it off to purge, at which point it gradually drops to 0 psi.

Any help is appreciated!
 

Last edited by pabadear; 01-25-19 at 12:36 PM.
  #2  
Old 01-25-19, 01:14 PM
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What is the system pressure and temperature now? You shouldn't purge down to zero pressure. When purging, best to jack up the pressure to, say, 25 psi, try to hold that pressure by adding water as required. You have probably caused problems by over-purging - and bringing in fresh water loaded with entrained or dissolved air.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 01:42 PM
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Hot water or steam system?
 
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Old 01-25-19, 01:54 PM
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Gilmorrie - I'm reading other threads on here and I do see that it's recommended to keep it between 25-28psi so I guess that's my first problem. When you state that I may have introduced fresh water, can that be corrected by keeping the pressure within the 25-28psi window while attempting to purge again?

EDIT to add: In regards to current settings, I can check and report back once I get home (in about an hr from now).

2john02458 - from my understanding, it's a steam system. Any way to confirm?
 
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Old 01-25-19, 02:01 PM
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There is a proper way to bleed your system and as gil said you most likely caused more damage the way you did it.

My concern is you said you were running at 30-35 PSI. At that pressure your relief valve should be going off and if not you have a defective relief valve, which can be dangerous or a defective pressure gauge.

Pics of the system would be helpful.

P,
You have a hot water system. You do not purge steam systems.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 02:15 PM
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Damage that is reversible by properly purging or damage that will require replacing parts? I really hope it's reversible...I read several articles and watched so many YouTube videos before performing this - none of them mentioned anything about pressure. Great.

Here's a picture of the system and the gauge from a few days ago. Again, I'll confirm this once I get home to see what it's reading now.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 02:54 PM
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Sorry for the choice of words. Just meant you compounded your problem.
 

Last edited by spott; 01-25-19 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 01-25-19, 03:53 PM
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Current temp: 150F
Current Pressure: between the 25-30psi marks. More towards the 25psi mark.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 04:27 PM
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pabadear,

Sent you a pm message.
 
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Old 01-29-19, 11:33 AM
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Thanks for all the info, Spott. I tried purging again yesterday, this time keeping an eye on the pressure gauge. I got some bubbles out but couldn't keep the water flowing for more than a minute or so because the pressure just kept dropping. I tried keeping it steady between 25-28 psi using the pressure reducing valve but it just kept dropping. I stopped and turned things back on and noises were still present.
 
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Old 01-29-19, 03:24 PM
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If the feed cannot keep up with the draining then you can close your drain spigot a little so the feed can keep up. You must either have low street pressure or a partially clogged feed valve.

If pressure continues to drop below factory setting and feeds back in when your done you'll never get rid of the air.
 
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Old 01-29-19, 06:34 PM
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Looking at the picture, there seems to be a wet spot on the floor under the pressure tank. Possibly the tank is failing?
 
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Old 01-29-19, 08:47 PM
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I saw that in an earlier pic. If you remove the blue cap and check the pressure if any water comes from the Schrader valve the tank is toast. Remember to close the yellow ball valve first and shut off the boiler.

Sorry 4135V. Thought you were OP. Getting late, will not let me delete.
 
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Old 01-31-19, 10:46 PM
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Good eye, 4135V. What appears to be a wet mark though is actually a piece of wood. I'll try measuring the pressure of the tank to see if it's failing or not to at least rule it out as a possible component issue if it's functioning and holding proper pressure. I appreciate all the help - my apologies for the late responses. Wife and I are expecting in March so we've been working on the baby room for quite sometime. Finally finished it today so going to spearhead this on Saturday.

I'm really hoping to get this resolved before our hands get full - the noise drives me absolutely crazy and don't want it to aggravate us during the little sleep we are privileged to get once the little guy arrives. I'm pretty handy but this has been personally annoying me - may consider getting a handyman out to purge it properly if I can't do it. Just doesn't seem that hard but I guess it's easier said than done.
 
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Old 02-08-19, 09:51 AM
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Apologies for the delay - but there is a reason behind it. So Saturday is my "work on the house" day. I started off by fixing a leak under the kitchen faucet which of course didn't go as planned because the shut-off valve associated with the leaking water hose was also busted. So I shut off the boiler and then the main water valve in the basement in order to replace the busted shut-off valve in the kitchen. After doing all that, I turned everything back on. The main water valve, the kitchen shut off valve, and the boiler. Everything my wife and I used from that point on for just the first time relieved any air that was in the pipes. Flushing all 3 toilets in the house, turning on all the water faucets around, etc. Figured that was all normal since I had turned off the main water valve. It's been 6 days so far and not a peep from the heating system. My wife just started her paternity leave this week as well so she's been home all day and she hasn't heard anything at all since now the system is running more than usual.

Does any of this make sense? Is it possible the air bubbles exited another way? I thought it was a closed system so I don't think that's the case. The weather this week has also been about 20 degrees higher than normal, so the system isn't working as hard to keep the house warm but I don't think that should affect the flow of water within the pipes, would it? I cranked both thermostats I have in order to force the boiler to work since it's already warm inside and still - quiet as can be. I had to go to my baseboards and to the basement to make sure it was running.

I hope I don't jinx it but I'm very curious what changed here....

I haven't touched it since it's been working.
 
 

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