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Re: Water hammering (noisy steam heat)

Posted by TenantNet on November 25, 1996 at 13:25:14:

In Reply to: Re: Water hammering (noisy steam heat) posted by Dottie on November 25, 1996 at 09:03:29:

: : I'm sure that on this list of tenant gripes mine will rank as small potatoes, but : I'm new to New York and brownstone living. I love my apartment other than the fact: that I often wake up at night to water hammering, the loud banging noise that sometimes : occurs when steam starts to fill the radiators. Supposedly this is caused by condensate: being pushed up the pipe by incoming steam at high speed and then slamming into the pipe: when it turns a corner. What I'd like to know is, are there any simple (i.e., tenant-performed): fixes to this problem, or are there any more complicated fixes that the landlord would : be obligated to perform, or will I just have to learn to sleep heavier?It's not small potatoes. It can drive you nuts. We had this problem in my building. Finally we got the landlord to drain the pipes in the basement. If done properly, this fixes the problem. If the landlord refuses to do it, call the DHRC information line,240-6009 because I believe that you're entitled to the quiet enjoyment of your apartment. Meanwhile, you can buy a "white noise" machine at a place like Hammacher Schlemmer on East 57th St in NYC which you may find helpful.

Glad to see someone else responding and yes, it is a problem, but no, I don't think that DHCR would do anything about it. Even if they did, it might take years.
But what you can try (and I remember a thread on this in the newsgroups), is that the steam comes up, condenses and then must drain as water down the same pipe (on a one-pipe system).
In some buildings sue to bad plumbing or settleing of the foundation, this can get out of whack where the "drain" pipe is such that the water must travel uphill to drain back down (which of course it can't do), so the build-up of water causes the hammering sound.
Try this: take a piece of wood and put it under the legs of heater so as to raise it about an inch. This may take a few people and some muscle and there should be some give in the pipes. If you can do this, then the heater will be higher than the pipe and the water can travel downhill.
If you can get your super to ddo it or have them bring in plumbers, if they will.

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