Radiator drip is driving me insane! PLEASE HELP!!!


So, I live in an 80 year old house, with a gravity based hot water radiant heat.
In my bedroom, there is a radiator, and every night, around 4-5am, when it starts warming up a drip... drip... drip... sound starts. And I cannot sleep through it. Earplugs used to work, but not anymore. It's like a drill going into my head.
So what can I do? What's Causing it?
If i kick the radiator (which I know is probably not hte greatest idea), it stops for about 30 seconds, then starts up again. Just long enough for me to get my hopes up. When it started this morning, the radiator wasn't even warm yet, so I don't think it's floorboards expanding... I could be wrong though.
Here's the setup of the system, and what I've tried so far: 3 floors, 15 radiators (13 working, 1 cold, 1 shut off), 5 per floor. Gas furnace, expansion tank next to the furnace in the basement (is that weird?)
The system had been filled to 20 PSI, so I just upped it to 25 PSI, bled all the radiators, and refilled back to 25 PSI again. No luck, still getting that damned sound.
I've tried spraying the intakes to the radiator with WD-40, I've tried pushing pillows under the radiator to dampen the noise (it didn't... just changed the tonal qualities a little), I've tried cursing at it and praying. Nothing has worked.
Please.... Please... PLEASE Help!!!
Also, if anyone has any clue why one radiator would be cold, yet still spits cold water when bled, I would welcome some help with that too...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Also, I forgot to mention, both the drippy radiator and the cold radiator are on the third floor.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I bet "drip" doesn't accurately describe the sound. That suggests water leaking. More likely that it *is* movement of the piping (expansion) rubbing on some framing as it goes. 3 floors high could have a *lot* of expansion. How much are you willing to tear out to find it? And if the system is 80 yrs old, I would be fearful of doing *anything* which might cause a pipe failure!
In a gravity system, everything must be "perfect" for flow to occur. Even one small length of pipe set with the wrong slope can impede flow to a radiator.
Expansion tank can be most anywhere on the system.
Would you be willing to simply set the 'stat to turn on later in the morning?
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You're probably right that it's not a drip, but that's the best way I can describe the sound. There is no sign of water damage in the room below.
As for how much tearing I woudl be willing to do.... it sounds like it's just below the floorboards under the radiator... I can even feel the "drips" happen some of the time. what would I have to do to prevent the soudn if I were to pull up the floorboard? Wrap the pipe in cloth or something like that?
As for the cold radiator, it actually worked about a year ago, then suddenly stopped. When I bleed it, it still has pressure, so I don't think the pipes are clogged, and nothing else has really changed in the system... what could cause it to suddenly stop getting flow like that?
In the mean time, I might do as you say and just set the thermostat an hour or two later... If I were to turn off the valve to that radiator and just use a space heater in that room, do you think that would stop the expansion, or would the general heating of the system still cause the problem?
Thanks so much for your help....
Dan

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It could be dragging where it passes thru a floor joist, for example. That will be tough to fix. Maybe grease the thing?

If one pipe is blocked (a valve closed, for example), you will still see normal bleed pressure at that rad, but it won't get hot because no flow can take place. That's just an example.

You'll have to try it and see what difference it makes.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Some radiator noises can be silenced by lifting the non-valve end a half inch or so. As radiators are quite heavy, this takes some doing. Pry bar, and then slip a shim under the closed end of the radiator. Sometimes the condensed water doesn't flow back properly in a one pipe system.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Are you sure that works on how water radiators? That sounds more like a steam radiator issue.
Stormin Mormon wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 3 Jan 2007 04:33:57 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Wait a few more weeks until you go completely insane. Then post another message.
It's always fun to read posts from the insane !!!!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@my.com wrote:

Like yours.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.