Fixing a Noisy Steam Pipe Throwing Down the Hammer

 No, your steam lines are not supposed to be noisy. The Beatles are considered to be among the best musicians of all time. But the cacophony you get from noisy steam lines is far from considered music at  all.  

 So what is causing the noise within my steam system? It can be any number of factors.  

 Often, it is a litany of factors largely related to poor operation, maintenance,  and the design of your steam heating system.  

 Let’s look at some of the reasons you can have steam hammer and pipe banging:  

 l. The pipes are not pitched properly. Condensate is supposed to go downhill by gravity to return to the steam boiler. I have seen cases where a pipe hanger has broken, resulting in a sag in the  steam line where the condensate has collected; the steam comes down the steam  line, and bangs the condensate to the end of the line where is makes a thud  against the hard stubborn steel.  


Related Articles

Fannie Mae Announces New Requirements

Co-ops & Condos Must Fix Structural Issues to Get Funds

Signs of Structural Damage

What Boards, Managers, & Building Staff Should Look For

DOB Announces Amnesty for FISP Inspections

Deadline Extended for Buildings That Failed to File



  • What about when multiple radiators in a house are noisy and are actually flinging and leaking water?
  • I have just moved into a first floor unit of an 1889 apartment building. I have clanging in my radiators and the pipes that run floor to ceiling in each room. I have turned all of the radiators off as it is terribly hot with them on. They actually seem to be louder now. Is it possible to fix the problem in my unit alone or is this a 'whole building' problem. I know that my neighbors have been experiencing the 'steam hammer orchestra' also. Is this a problem that occurs at the beginning of the season and clears up as the system 'warms up' as the management company says?? geesh
  • The water in the system is clean , new radiator vents have been installed ,leveled radiators towards one pipe system yet the pipes hammer. their is no insulation on these pipes in the basement. any suggestions, Thanks
  • Insulate pipes with fiberglass insulation Get at least 1 inch thick 3 feet legth
  • How do you protect fiberglass insulation in steam systems?
  • so what I here is that after all these years that pipes are banging and clanging we now have a generation that doesn't know how to deal with it. live with it!!! cause I know if all the above things need to be corrected we can install maybe a new heating system. and that is not even a logical thought.
  • Thanks for Sharing useful insights.