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noisy heating pipe
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Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 2009
Post: #1
06-03-2010 09:50 PM

Hi all, this is a question for someone with central heating experience.

We have a brand new central heating system (completed as part of a fairly extensive renovation project) and one of the pipes makes quite a bit of noise. It does it while the heating is on. To describe the noise:
- few minutes pause
- then a series of popping / crackling for about 5-10 seconds
- few minutes pause and then repeats

If it were dripping or something, wouldn't it do it constantly - with no pause while the heating is on and the pressure is up? I understood from the plumber that due to the joists (as this is in an upstairs bedroom) there was a tight fit for the pipes and he had to work around it. We've laid flooring down, but weren't staying in the room at the time. So we weren't aware of this constant nuisance until recently.

There are two radiators near where the sound occurs. I've attempted to bleed them many times, but no air escapes. I've even tried limiting the flow to one of the radiators and that seemed to help for a little while, but not anymore. The towel heater in the bathroom needs a little bleeding every few weeks. But this may be because a lot of air was in the system when it got installed and we've taken radiators on and off to install the flooring. But if this were an air issue, wouldn't it move on eventually?

Any advice is appreciated. Our setup is brand new, combi boiler, no tank (that I'm aware of), pressure is good around 1.5 (just shy of 2 bars when boiler is at full blast).


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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
06-03-2010 10:20 PM

One of our pipes underneath the floorboards used to make a noise due to expansion when the heating was on which affected one of the clips which was holding it in place; the pipe vibrated and hit the clip and the floorboard above which made a banging noise. I dont know if this helps but it may some thing like that thats wrong rather than something inherently wrong with your system, however if there is air in your system it may need a full drain down as bleeding radiators only really resolves the problem temporarily in a few locations. Air can get in to the system at any time through faulty TRVs ie thermostatic radiator valves and given the considerable length of pipework in any home getting rid of air blocks is not straightforward. The main indication of air is when radiators are not heating through properly, ie cold at the top/bottom , hot elsewhere, not just noise. However the best advice is to contact your plumber as they really should be sorting this out for you.

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Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 2009
Post: #3
08-03-2010 10:17 PM

thanks, for your advice

I've tried some stuff to begin troubleshooting. it looks like it's actually not the pipes. I got rudely woken up last night at 05:00 by the noises so I got fed up and took action. First I shut off the radiator I thought may have been the problem. I did this by turning the thermostatic valve all the way to the off position - it had been fully open.

That didn't really change anything - though at first the noises weren't as loud. So I shut off the other radiator. That did the trick. But unfortunately, it's too cold to go without radiators - so I had to turn one back on, but not all the way. And guess what? The noise is back, a bit quieter, but it's back.

Looks like I may need a plumber after all. Sad

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