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Old 04.01.2012, 11:11
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Sound from radiator

We moved into a new appartment last year and everything is fine except a sound coming from radiators in the living room - it knocks during cold season! This knocking doesn't have any schedule and may happen 24h/day with different volume and intencity. Some days are better than others, but it often knocks at night and wakes up our guest if they sleep in the living room. Also, my daughter is sometimes very scared of this sound - her room is just next to the living room. It actually prevent us from moving her for sleeping in her room. I'm working at home and it annoys me as well.

So far noone could fix it and the last conclusion of the expert was that battery has to be replaced and this could only be made in sommer. The problem is that due its cost the company is probably not going to to that! We wrote an official letter claiming that it is THE problem for us and we require some compensation or rent reduction and asked them to inform us about their plans for reparation. Basically, if they don't fix it we will have to look for another flat (which is hard!). The answer was that during their last visit there was no sound and they don't consider this problem as something to be solved or compensated.

I was already in Mieterverband and they said that if the quality of life is reduced to 5% then in the court it is considered as a problem. But since quality of life is not easy to measure and going to the court might be waste of too much time, he advised us to ask for any compensation (which we did without any result).

So, my questions:
  • Is there any way to prove that there is a sound and the volume is too high sometimes to live with it?
  • Maybe some measuring device we can use ourselves or some external expert who can confirm that?
  • Are there any norms of the accepted volume/intencity of the noise in the flat?
  • What are my right in this situation? Was someone in similar situation?
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Old 04.01.2012, 11:22
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Re: Sound from radiator

battery? i guees they are refering to the battery in the meter on the radiator? if so I see absolutly no reason why this would case any noise.

its more likely air in the system/system heating up/down causing the sounds.
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Old 04.01.2012, 11:25
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Re: Sound from radiator

as with Rob I can't understand "battery" in relation to a radiator... unless they are english style night storage radiators and I never recall those making any noise.

what sort of radiator?... steam? , water? 'lectric?

if steam or water they should be bled to remove any air pockets that could be causing the knocking.
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Old 04.01.2012, 11:29
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Re: Sound from radiator

I would start recording the sound for about a week and send it to the landlord and see if they will reconsider the compensation request
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Old 04.01.2012, 11:47
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Re: Sound from radiator

Sorry, I'm not a native speaker and probably used wrong wording... Ok, the whole story then:

We live in 12-floor building with a very complicated system of pumps (water I guess). They are located on two levels: downstairs and on 6th floor. These pumps are broken from time to time and in spring they claimed that after their replacemnt the problem will go away. Indeed, some other type of sound which was present in the bedroom was gone after this reparation, but knocking in the living room stayed. It seems like in all 4-room apartments from 6th floor up there is this knocking, but I don't know for sure. Agency says noone complains as much as we do - maybe those people have other problem, I simply don't know.

When all possible pumps were changed we managed to arrange a visit of Heizungsmaster in October (for the first time!) He confirmed the problem specifically with our radiator, but put a piece of rubber between radiator and its support (metal rods), and the sound became a litter lower then. There was actually some paper padding, so probably someone tryed to solve this problem before. After a couple of weeks it was very loud again - maybe not as often very loud as before his small reparation, but annoying! Then Heizungsmaster came with the guy from the renting agency and that time there was no sound, and they claim they fixed it...

Last edited by Ekaterina; 04.01.2012 at 11:58.
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Old 04.01.2012, 11:51
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Re: Sound from radiator

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if steam or water they should be bled to remove any air pockets that could be causing the knocking.
they were opening Ventil (valve) to do exactly this, as I understand
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Old 04.01.2012, 11:54
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Re: Sound from radiator

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I would start recording the sound for about a week and send it to the landlord and see if they will reconsider the compensation request
I would do that as well, but with what kind of device? One can amplify any recorded sound to almost any volume.

Also, thet say that since the sound is in the living room it doesn't disturb! But I can hear this sound from any other point of the flat - how could I record this?

I thought of video camera to show my location, but I'm not sure it is a proof...
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Old 04.01.2012, 11:55
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Re: Sound from radiator

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I would start recording the sound for about a week and send it to the landlord and see if they will reconsider the compensation request
And more important I want this to be fixed at the first place. Compensation is another thing.
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Old 04.01.2012, 12:00
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Re: Sound from radiator

I had a problem with radiator noise although it was a dripping sound rather than a knocking one. It's apparently quite common so would be odd if it is the case for you and they missed it.

Still may be worth trying the tips I received in this recent thread: Noisy radiators
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Old 04.01.2012, 12:11
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Re: Sound from radiator

When you write "battery" do you mean the radiator, with the thermostat valve, about 2 meters wide and 1 meter high?

Is the noise caused by the radiator heating and cooling while sitting on the metal supports?
Often removing air (Bleeding) from the radiators will not stop the noise.

We have a similar problem with all our radiators at 05:12 every morning. At this time the temperature of the water is raised to make the apartment warmer and all the radiators make the bumping noise.

If you turn the thermostat to off (turn clockwise = 0 ) does the knocking stop?
When the radiator is cold does the noise stop?
When the thermostat is opened does the radiator warm up?
When the radiator warms up does the knocking begin?


You can now demonstrate to anyone that the hot water is causing the radiator to expand, and rub against the metal supports.

The heating engineer has said he cannot change the radiator until after the system has been turned off (Usually after 1st May)

I suggest you ask all the residents to do the little experiment above, and make a joint action against the owner, to force a repair of the system in the spring.
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Old 04.01.2012, 12:18
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Re: Sound from radiator

Thanks for the answer!

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If you turn the thermostat to off (turn clockwise = 0 ) does the knocking stop?
When the radiator is cold does the noise stop?
When the thermostat is opened does the radiator warm up?
When the radiator warms up does the knocking begin?
No
No
Yes
It intencifyes for some seconds when warming, but not always, it is not very predictable and not strongly dependent on the thermostat, more on the weather outside. Maybe it is due to dependency of the overall heating from the weather - there are some sonsors which control its behaviour. And it stops when you lift radiators up.

Quote:
I suggest you ask all the residents to do the little experiment above, and make a joint action against the owner, to force a repair of the system in the spring.
I thought of this as well, but not all neighbours are welcoming guests. Even Hauswart told me that he can't solve some problems because people do not let him in and say they don't have any problems.
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Old 04.01.2012, 12:24
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Re: Sound from radiator

The type of noise is rather like from the drops falling into a metal plate one by one with different intencity/speed/size.
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