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Knocking Pipes

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Knocking Pipes

Postby stever80 » Tue Jan 28, 2003 4:44 pm

To all,

Over the course of this winter I have pipes behind the wall in my apt that knock when heat rises through them. The knocking is extremely loud and disturbing and has caused many sleepless nights. Basically my apt is a one bedroom that was converted into a 2 bedroom by cutting the living room in half. I live in the converted bedroom. The landlord has cut the wall and has looked numerous times but they dont ever seem to see the problem. So the wall is patched up but the pipes continually knock pretty frequently and are extremely loud. What are my rights? The landlord said they are not going to do anything more and that there is no problem yet they sent one of their ppl to my apt which heard the loud noise but they still are not doing anything.

What are my right in this situation?
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Re: Knocking Pipes

Postby mjr203 » Tue Jan 28, 2003 5:39 pm

I have tried reading up about this...

it is pretty technical. If you really want to get to the bottom of your problem and suggest a solution to your LL/super or solve it yourself your will probably have to consult a master plumber.

Here is an article on steam heat systems I found.

http://www.masterplumbers.com/plumbviews/2002/BasicSteam.asp

In many but not all cases knocking is caused by "water hammer," a technical problem occuring due to pressure differentials and state changes:

http://www.builderswebsource.com/techbriefs/waterhammer.htm

This website suggests to "Secure Loose Pipes":
While this may not always be convenient due to poor accessibility of hidden pipes, long straight runs are generally the worst offenders. Where accessible, tightly secure all pipes at frequent intervals to minimize rattling against hard surfaces. While strapping will help to alleviate some of the rattling sounds resulting from water hammer, it does not address the water hammer condition itself.

Seems to me that old buildings in NYC suffer from this problem due to A) age B) lack of expertise in plumbing on part of supers and C) general stinginess of LLs and the expense of plumbing rehab that leads them to do NO prevent maintenance.
most Landlords suck it.
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Re: Knocking Pipes

Postby stever80 » Tue Jan 28, 2003 6:13 pm

But my question is can they be held liable for not doing anything?

I mean they have looked at the wall and said that there really isnt anything they can do. They opened the wall and looked at the pipes and said it looks all good. But its still makes an atrociously loud noise. Can I possibly videotape the noise and bring it to small claims court and get reimubrsed for the months I couldnt sleep

Or can I pay a reduced rent for their not fixing this issue by deeming that room not livable? Is there anythign else I can do??? :(
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Re: Knocking Pipes

Postby mjr203 » Wed Jan 29, 2003 12:43 pm

I don't know if you'll be able to get a reduction.

Did they have a plumber inspect the problem?

If not they should. A layman will not be able to fix it.
most Landlords suck it.
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Re: Knocking Pipes

Postby joliett » Sun Feb 02, 2003 10:06 pm

See if the radiators can be bled by letting out air...you can usually find a bleeder valve on your radiators and you may have to go to the top and bottom radiators on a riser and maybe your neighbors too. Your landlord may have to buy the valves, $10 each in hardware stores.

Take the air out and the pipes will probably quiet down.

WARRANTY OF HABITABILITY
Tenants are entitled to a livable, safe and sanitary apartment. Lease provisions inconsistent with this right are illegal.
Joel Teicher, P.E.
www.TenantEngineer.com
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Re: Knocking Pipes

Postby Chimera » Mon Feb 03, 2003 4:43 am

You don't need to buy a bleeder valve for every radiator, you can also buy a single radiator key (found in any hardware store) that will easily bleed every radiator not fitted with a valve. It's also best to bleed every radiator in the building at once, to prevent air bubbles from forming.
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Re: Knocking Pipes

Postby Chimera » Mon Feb 03, 2003 4:44 am

You don't need to buy a bleeder valve for every radiator, you can also buy a single radiator key (found in any hardware store) that will easily bleed every radiator not fitted with a valve. It's also best to bleed every radiator in the building at once, to prevent air bubbles from forming.
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Re: Knocking Pipes

Postby jot0n0 » Mon Feb 03, 2003 10:42 am

The original posting did not specifically mention if the building is equipped with a steam or hot water heating system, but if the building is equipped with a steam heating system, the problem may lie with dirty boiler water which cause “surging” in which the water in the boiler is jumping along with the steam into the main riser causing hammerings in the pipes. The remedy for the LL is to drain the dirty water and add boiler cleaner additives, which will stop the surging. If it’s a hot water system, then the remedy is described in above posting.
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