My Boiler Pipes Make A Banging Noise
Have you ever heard your pipes banging when the steam boiler comes on? It’s as if someone is taking a hammer and banging it against the pipes! If it’s a steam boiler, water has made it up into the pipes because the boiler is too full. The resulting sound comes from it’s attempt to make steam from the water in the pipes.
The excess water may have come from the automatic fill leaking through or the automatic fill is attempting to compensate for what it thinks is a lack of water during a “surge”. The water will surge when it is dirty and gets pushed into the pipes while heating. When the water comes back down from the pipes, new water has been added and now there is too much.
What To Look For..
Looking through the steam cage glass, the boiler should be about seventy-five percent full. The top quarter needs to be empty (or filled with air), because air is necessary for creating steam. If you see the water level rising and falling as it heats, you may also see the water disappear altogether. This is because it has been pushed into the pipes and is now surging.
Options For Solving On Your Own
To remedy this, you need to drain some of the water out of the steam boiler. Do this by allowing water to exit the valve at the bottom of the boiler. There may also be a blow-off valve for steam in which case you can place a bucket below to collect the drainage.
Rust and dirt from corrosion will cause the water to get dirty after an amount of time. Preemptively, you can change your water to make sure that it isn’t dirty avoiding surges. Consider completely draining the water and replacing it about once a year if you don’t have a manual flush valve.
The flush valve can usually be found below or around the steam gauge and will allow you to flush the water out until the dirty water has exited the boiler and is now completely clear. It is recommended you do this once a month.
Warning: Be Careful…
If you find that the boiler does not shut off while draining the water, call a professional HVAC technician. Never add water to a boiler that is almost fully drained and is now becoming “red hot”, otherwise the boiler will crack or possibly explode.
We all know how disruptive the sound is when the boiler comes on and the pipes bang. If you don’t feel comfortable maintaining or fixing your boiler, make sure to call an HVAC technician like Wilbur Henry Plumbing, Heating and AC at 717-755-5461.