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Question:

Question about noisy boilers in apartment buildings... HELP!?

Question about noisy boilers in apartment buildings... HELP!?

Answer:

Most larger hydronically heat buildings are controlled using a Heat-timer device in conjunction with an outside sensor that will enable the boiler to turn on when its pre-set operating temps are reached, usually about 55 degrees. This means that when the outdoor temperature falls below 55 degrees the other controls kick in and the boiler begins heating the building to its preset temperatures/(pressures). Newer models of Heat timers have indoor sensors for balancing the distribution of the heat, not quite a thermostat in the normal sense but can act as one when properly set up. The whooshing sound you are hearing is the Burner engaging as the call for heat comes on, however the twenty minute cycle you describe, unless the temperature outside is a fridgid -0 to -20, indicates probable short cycling of the unit. While annoying to you this is majorly costing your building owner in wasted fuel, (which will probably lead to rent increase this spring/summer). Hydronic systems, when done right are one of the most effective and efficent delivery sytems for heating these larger structures. How does this help your noise issue? How Long will it go on? The boiler will continue to run until outside temps once again get over 55. The short cycling will continue untill your landlord determines and corrects the cause of the boilers short cycling. As for the noise, short of getting your landlord to insulate or soundproof the boilerroom ceiling below you (yeah that is going to happen) you can try having your floor of your apartment carpeted and padded. this should dampen the sound if you intend on staying long term.
It sounds like you have a zone valve that's opening and closing near your apartment. You should have a thermostat in your unit, otherwise, how do you control the heat? The boiler should be in the basement and you shouldn't hear it. There may be a drain line for the toilets running through the walls near you that could sound like that, it's very similar to that type of noise. Your going to have to see management on this one and track it down. It may be a noise from a toilet in another unit that runs through the walls there.
first off most boilers are in the basement of buildings and are usually isolated fromthe living quarters. are you sure that you are hearing a boiler and not your neighbors noise? more than likely if you do have a boiler in your building it is an old hot water one. they do tend to be very noisy and inefficient, you probably are hering the pipes bang caused by the hot water mixing with the cold causing what we engineers refer to as a water hammer. either way you will have to learn to live with it or pray for an early spring!!!!!!!
they usually run depending on their size and the size of your apt. if in fact it is a boiler they are on a thermostat and will only run in the winter time.sorry not much help

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