How to Quiet a Banging Steam Radiator | This Old House

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This Old House plumbing and heating contractor Richard Trethewey silences a noisy radiator. (See below for a shopping list and tools.)

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Shopping List for How to Quiet a Banging Steam Radiator:
- Furniture pads, used as shims to level tilting radiator
- Air vent, for replacing the existing air vent
- Teflon tape, for sealing the threads on the new air vent

Tools for How to Quiet a Banging Steam Radiator:
- Pipe wrench, used to loosen the nut securing the radiator to the steam pipe
- 48-inch level, for leveling the radiator

Steps:
1. Turn down the room's thermostat to ensure the heating system doesn't start up.
2. Use a 48-inch level to check the radiator for level.
3. Use a pipe wrench to loosen the nut holding the radiator to the steam pipe.
4. Lift the low end of the radiator and slip furniture pads under each foot of the radiator.
5. Raise the opposite end of radiator and set it down onto furniture pads.
6. Check the radiator for level, and add or subtract more furniture-pad shims, if necessary.
7. Tighten the nut to reconnect the radiator to the steam pipe.
8. Unscrew the old air vent from the radiator.
9. Wrap Teflon tape around the threads of a new air vent, then install the new vent onto the radiator; hand tighten it only.

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Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we're ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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How to Quiet a Banging Steam Radiator | This Old House
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