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Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #1 
I'm going to start by saying that I grew up in New England in an old house with steam heat.  I grew up with the hissing and clanking noises common to the system.  It's all background noise to me and I don't even hear it.

Anyway, I live above a unit I currently rent.  I am fully aware of the noises from both the systems in this old house.  We have adjusted the boiler pressure, added shims, changed the settings on the steam valves until all in all, the systems makes some noise, but is overall pretty good!  The main thing is that there are no huge clanks or water hammer noises except on really, really cold days.  And those don't even happen unless you turn the heat way down and start it up from scratch.

However, the last tenant was super sensitive to any noise in the house, so she would complain all the time about hissing and clinks and clanks here and there. We did everything to make adjustments to try to fix those short of opening the walls and reinstalling new pipes and radiators. 

Anyone have experience with steam heat?  How do you handle complaints from tenants about it?  What is the extent of modifications that you have made to mitigate any noises coming from such a system?


Posts: 503
Reply with quote  #2 
I haven't had steam heat, but it sounds like what you did was perfect. Let tenants know it has steam heat and that means it makes some noise, but you shouldn't have to go beyond that. I would think it's similar to having old wood floors, they are going to creak, that's the character of that type of building that they CHOSE to rent.

Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #3 
I concur with previous poster, you should not go beyond what you have done already. It seems in amount of money you spent for what you already done, you could have got new Water based Heating System.

One thing to check though it your water line. Keep is little above half mark or at half mark. High Water level causes significant amount of problem with noise. I have had so many problems with water level being high causing Hammering problems due to auto feeder over feeding water.

Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #4 
Check the condensers. If they are not working properly then that can cause allot of noise.
If the house/apartment was refurbished check the pitch on pipes is right. Make sure that none of your valves are leaking; heat/steam loss can cause banging pipes.
If you removed/moved radiators during renovation it can cause issues...

All are easily addressed and can be fixed. Though not many HVAC companies will take on the job.

It's like moving to a house near a rail line. Eventually you get used to the noise.
As long as you explained that to the tenants prior (informed consent) they have to reason to complain. If they don't like it they can move....
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