How to Keep that Steam Radiator Silent

Closeup of an old radiator with a new thermostatHeating systems are a must have in households situated in colder parts of the world. They keep the residents sane as weather temperature falls to freezing points. Apart from that, you don’t need to install mechanical pumps when using steam radiators since the steam travels through the pipes by its own pressure. However, they can be annoying, particularly when they start to produce hammering sounds. Hence, if there is one thing that radiator owners are burning to learn about this appliance, it would have to be tips on how to keep steam radiator silent. Here are some tried and tested ways to achieve a silent steam radiator.

Shimming – It is always recommended that a steam radiator should be slightly tilted backwards, facing towards its boiler. Placing the steam radiator in a level position causes its water to hit valves, elbows, or other parts fitted inside the system. When it hits any of the plumbing fitting, banging or knocking sound is then heard. Placing functional and effective shims under one leg of the radiator to achieve an uneven position can make the water pass through the system speedily without hitting any of the plumbing fitting, thereby, reducing noise. This problem is usually the most common issue that most radiator owners face, so this tip is as essential as having a warm and cozy haven at home even during winter. On the one hand, if you aren’t comfortable using shims, furniture pads can pose as an ideal alternative.

Draining the Furnace – Just like any appliance, steam radiators need to be maintained regularly by its owners, and one of its maintenance processes is dubbed as draining the furnace or bleeding the furnace. Oftentimes, mud and dirty water settle in the furnace of the radiator, which can be a culprit to its annoying noise. These can be cleansed by drainage using the following steps. Start the procedure by attaching a short hose on the drain valve that is found at the bottom part of the radiator. Make sure that at the end of the house there should be a bucket, so water will flow directly into the bucket. Then open the valve to bleed dry the water from the furnace until it becomes clear. Take note though that the pressure gauge should be between 5 and 7 psi and that the water tank is remained half full all throughout the procedure.

Rising – The rise of 1 inch is the most recommended height for steam radiators, so the needed inclination of the pipes of the radiator is achieved. Following the recommended rise of the appliance can make it to run as silently and smoothly as possible. However, it needs to be done by a professional plumber. Try to refer this to your plumber in the future.

Replacing the Air Vent – If you are fed up of your radiator’s whistling, it’s probably the time to replace its air vent. The air vent is found at the base of the radiator, and repairing it would also require Teflon tape, furniture pads, and 48-inch level. A pipe wrench is also needed to do the process effectively. An air vent for replacement can be bought for about $15 at plumbing stores. Firstly, make sure to turn down the thermostat for the heating system to shut down. With the 48-inch level, check the radiator for its level then loosen the nut with the use of a pipe wrench. While doing this, ensure that the radiator is being held to the steam pipe. Secondly, slip the furniture under each of the radiator’s foot by lifting the lower end of the radiator. Do the same to the opposite end of the radiator. This process is very much the same when shimming, in which the main goal is to tilt the radiator a bit backwards to ensure that the water doesn’t bump with the system’s plumbing fitting. Thirdly, check for the level again and ensure that necessary tilting is achieved. Next, reconnect the radiator to steam pipe by tightening the nut. It’s now time to replace the air vent and start it by unscrewing the old air vent from the system. Before doing so, cover the old vent with a thick cloth for protection from possible sudden surge of hot water or steam. With the new air vent held upside down and its threaded stem facing upwards bind the threaded stem with Teflon tape in a clockwise direction. Finally, install the new vent and tighten it using your hand. Avoid using pliers as too much force can crack the vent. The new vent allows trapped and dirty air to escape, leaving no room for whistles and squeaks.

Having a heating system is always a boon to every household, but having one that produces annoying noise is detrimental to one’s health as it disrupts sleep and causes uneasiness. Therefore, it is high time you learn these tips on how to keep your radiator running without the noise.