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Apartment Hot Water Heater Noise

Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
edited March 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
So in my apartment, sometimes when the hot water starts up, it makes an unholy amount of noise.

It sounds as if someone has picked up the entire length of pipes along the wall, and violently slammed it against the radiator fins multiple times in quick succession.

Does anyone know what would need to be replaced / repaired to get rid of this noise? It often wakes me up at night, and is extremely annoying even when I'm already fully awake.

Gnome-Interruptus on
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Posts

  • MetalbourneMetalbourne Tube's Favorite Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Quite possibly it's a busted bracket somewhere, allowing the pipes to bang against things.

  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread King of the Forest Camphor TreeRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Hot water out of the faucet, correct? And the noise isn't actually coming from the radiator, correct?

  • PhistiPhisti Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Is it your hot water heater specifically or is it a larger building with central heating (ie boiler with radiators) - it sounds like the latter, but I'm just checking.

    If it is indeed the latter there is probably nothing you can do about it... building techs *may* be able to adjust water pressure / temperature to reduce the noise, but it sounds like it is "water hammer" related to not having modern plumbing. Older buildings (like mine) have no extensions beyond valves to allow water to slow down moving through the pipes. As a result water hammers into joints under pressure and causes the system to rattle and shake around.

    Hopefully your tech is helpful and can at least reduce the noise for you. If it is as Metal suggest, a bracket that has come loose there isn't much anyone can do. Good luck!

  • Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Yeah, its a larger building with a central boiler.

    Thanks for the tips.

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  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Yeah, its a larger building with a central boiler.

    Thanks for the tips.

    Yeah, not much that you can do about this. I've lived in a couple places with the exact same issue. That's just how it goes. Once was in a basement apartment with those pipes right above my bed. That was fun at 4am.

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  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread King of the Forest Camphor TreeRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I'm not convinced it's the boiler at fault. Water hammers occur in the domestic lines, not the radiator lines, as they happen when the rush of water is suddenly halted by a closing valve. Most commonly they occur with washing machines and dishwashers, since solenoid valves close extremely quickly--hand-closed valves gradually reduce pressure enough to avoid a hammer without use of an arrestor.

    So lemme ask again, does this happen when you use the hot water? And specifically, when you or another tenant may be using a dishwasher/washing machine?

  • Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Makershot wrote: »
    I'm not convinced it's the boiler at fault. Water hammers occur in the domestic lines, not the radiator lines, as they happen when the rush of water is suddenly halted by a closing valve. Most commonly they occur with washing machines and dishwashers, since solenoid valves close extremely quickly--hand-closed valves gradually reduce pressure enough to avoid a hammer without use of an arrestor.

    So lemme ask again, does this happen when you use the hot water? And specifically, when you or another tenant may be using a dishwasher/washing machine?

    Nope, the apartment is heated by hot water lines running through some baseboard / radiator type things along the walls. The noise only seems to happen when the heat kicks in, though its hard to tell what is kicking in over the noise. The noise is also concentrated in those same lines running along the walls.

    I have never noticed it happen when I run the hot water.

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  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread King of the Forest Camphor TreeRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Allright, if it's tied to the heat then it's definitely the boiler system. You could try bleeding the system, but that would require access to the boiler and all of the other radiator units, a task unfeasible as a tenant.

    You're fucked, but you could try to talk with your landlord and suggest bleeding the system out. It doesn't take long, but your landlord would need access to every unit and give the requisite notice required.

    Note that this only applies to a water boiler... if you have a steam boiler, your only options are to live with it or move.

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