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noisy heating and dirty marks on walls created by radiator


 
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Jacquie

from United Kingdom

Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Lancashire,
United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:51 pm Reply with quote

I need to cover 3 points - I had a complete new central heating system installed about 18 months ago and have the following issues.

The boiler is a Worcester 28CDi combi boiler with 8 radiators

1. When I turn the hot tap on either upstairs or downstairs there is a tapping noise from under the upstairs floor boards. This is a new problem - we have recently had a couple of new floorboards fitted where the noise is coming from - cld the floorboards have something to do with it?

2. One of the radiators downstairs makes an intermittent thudding noise. All the radiators have thermostats on them. The one that makes a noise is in the hallway and the thermostat is always on full = 5 but it doesn't make any difference what number the thermostat is on, the noise continues regardless. It thuds approx every minute or so and is driving me round the bend.

3. The radiators are creating dirty, grey marks on the walls at the edge of each radiator - the marks are like smoke marks going upwards which are ruining my decorating. I have tried to remove the marks with a duster but daren't rub too hard just in case I make it worse.



The plumber that fitted the system has now retired.

I'm desperate now to get these issues sorted out if someone could help me I'd be extremely grateful.

Thank you
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Slugbabydotcom

from United Kingdom

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 2:49 am Reply with quote

1. Yes
2. Sounds like the TRV could be fitted the wrong way round
3. I've never been consulted or had this issue before so although I do have some ideas I will leave my theories open to debate.
The theory :-
When you pass a magnet through a metal coil you create a current ..... Thats how my new torch works. If your system has magnetite in it in the form of sludge then that is effectively passing thousands of magnets through a single coil of metal [the radiator] producing the same effect.
The answer I propose therefore is to earth the radiator and remove the sludge from the system.
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Nestor_Kelebay

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 4:30 am Reply with quote

Jacquie:

I'm not at all familiar with heating systems in the UK, but I believe I can advise you on the cause and cure of the dark marks that are forming at the TOP edge of your radiators and extending upwards, just like smoke marks.

They are in fact caused by tiny particles of dirt suspending in the rising air above the radiators precipitating onto the wall.

And, the problem is exacerbated by two factors;

A) a source of smoke particles in the house, such as someone smoking, or burning incense or candles, and

B) the use of a flat or eggshell paint on the wall which the dirt has an easier time getting caught on.

Basically, what is actually happening is that the air rising due to convection is carrying tiny particles of dirt with it, and this dirt is precipitating out of the air stream onto the rough surface of the flat paint on your walls.

If you simply scrub off the surface layer of paint with an abrasive cleaner (like a Scotchbrite pad), you'll find the paint underneath to be perfectly clean, meaning the dirt is on the surface of the paint, not coming through the paint.

You'll also find that one of those "microfiber" cleaning cloths will be much more effective at cleaning the dirt off because the size of the dirt particles and surface porosity of the paint you're cleaning is far too small for a brush or sponge or rag to penetrate into. We're talking thousandths of a millimeter for the size of the pores in the surface of the paint to a few hundred thousandths of a millimeter in diameter for the size of the dirt particles. Even a microfiber cloth has fibers far too big to be really effective at getting into those tiny pores to clean them out, but it will do a better job of cleaning than anything else cuz it's the right size.

If you can eliminate the really really tiny dirt particles from the air in your house, then you'll reduce the problem, and that means getting rid of sources of smoke. Dust in your house consists of paper and fabric fibers, dead skin cells, pollen, road grit, etc. and all of this stuff is huge and heavy compared to smoke particles. To get dirt that will be tiny enough to be suspended for hours in the air and be carried aloft by the convective air currents rising from a radiator, you need really really tiny dirt, and that means smoke particles. If there are no sources of smoke in your house, it could very well be that this dirt is coming into your house from outdoors. Also, if it's taken a long time for these marks to form, then that means there is little of that really tiny dirt in the air of your house, so maybe the source is outdoors.

Also, if you scrub off the dirty surface layer of paint above the radiators, and repaint with a smoother glossier paint, you'll find it won't get as dirty as quickly, and that dirt will be much easier to clean off.

And, for what it's worth, buy a GOOD QUALITY satin or semi-gloss paint to repaint those areas. Good quality paints cost more, but they stand up much better to scrubbing without losing their gloss.
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The following user says thank you to Nestor_Kelebay for this useful post:
canon25 (20 Feb 2012)
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ChrisR

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:13 am Reply with quote

1.) Boards are trapping and/or rubbing against the pipes. If you put insulation in between , which may mean cuttin out a little wood, it will stop.

2) TRV's which are FULLY open , ie set at about 30, are unlikely to close, so be making a noise that way. Prove that by removing th e thermostatic head from the trv. I expect the problem is, again, trapped pipes, but with more room for the pipes to spring and build up a tension before moving with a thud.

3) I don't go with the Slug on this one - Spot on Nestor. It's particularly a problem where the boiler temperature is on max, because of the increased rate of the air convection around the radiator.
Dulux and others sell "Kitchens and Bathrooms" emulsion paint which is very tough but a satin finish, and Crown used to do a Matt (flat) paint desined to be easier to clean.

Dry atmospheres also contibute to the problem; it's easier for the dust particles to acquire and keep a static electrical charge, and be electrostatically attracted to surfaces.

A radiator isn't a coil, and the magnetite particles aren't magnetised... if both were true you would have a small current - so ?
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Jacquie

from United Kingdom

Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Lancashire,
United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 1:56 pm Reply with quote

Thank you so much for your help. I will be able to easily (I hope) sort the noisy issues now thanks to your advice.

I also now understand about the black marks - what a pain - when I had the house decorated I did have it decorated using 'flat' paint - but I thought it was of good quality as it is a designer paint by The Little Greene Co. I will try all other ideas re the micro fibre dusters and if I do have to re-decorate again at least I know now what paint I need to use.

I have been scratching my head over these issues now for months so you've no idea how fantastic it feels to get such speedy, helpful responses.

I'll let you know how I go on.

Thank you

Jacquie
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Slugbabydotcom

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Joined: 10 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:02 am Reply with quote

Quote:
3) I don't go with the Slug on this one - Spot on Nestor. It's particularly a problem where the boiler temperature is on max, because of the increased rate of the air convection around the radiator.


Quote:

A radiator isn't a coil, and the magnetite particles aren't magnetised... if both were true you would have a small current - so ?

Ok maybe I got it the wrong way round perhaps the rad is magnetised. Like I said I'd like to leave this open to debate and it was a theory I had devised when I read the post. So I'll explain how I came to that conclusion and maybe someone will help me understand my similar 'problem'
In my bedroom I have a small tv on a wall stand with a full sized TV aerial precariously balanced on top. The deflector and the ring beam parts of the tv aerial are closer than the reflectors to the ceiling and there are marks as described on my ceiling. I am told that TV detectors can tell which TV channel you are watching by a small amount of the signal reflected by the tv coming back through the aerial. A signal that is transmitted as you know is basically an electric charge.

As you said Chris
Quote:
it's easier for the dust particles to acquire and keep a static electrical charge, and be electrostatically attracted to surfaces.
Hence the marks on the ceiling.

After having had an ioniser for some time which creates similar marks I hadn't considered and am still not sure about the effect of heat as being able to cause the same problem although I could understand an exacerbation of the problem where a charge is present.
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Nestor_Kelebay

from Canada

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:55 am Reply with quote

Slugbaby:

Do those marks on your ceiling form parallel lines spaced approximately 16 inches apart? Have you noticed similar lines forming on the inside surfaces of the exterior walls of your house?
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Slugbabydotcom

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:04 am Reply with quote

No they are not 16" apart [in line with the roof trusses] and not on any outside walls its just in the area of the aerial 'beams'
I will state though that after being like that for a few years it is about time I redecorated anyway so its not so much a problem but more of something I was curious about
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Nestor_Kelebay

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:06 am Reply with quote

I'd be willing to bet dollars to donuts that the reason dirt is collecting on the ceiling directly above your TV antenna is EXACTLY the same reason dirt is accumulating on the wall above Jacquie's radiators.

Television sets consume a fair bit of electric power, and they give off a fair bit of heat. Put your hand on the back of the CRT monitor you're looking at now, and you'll feel that heat.

It's mostly cuz your TV set is mounted higher up on the wall closer to the ceiling that results in the ceiling getting dirty directly above it, whereas that wouldn't happen, or at least wouldn't be nearly as localized if the TV was closer to the floor as it is in most cases.
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ChrisR

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:54 am Reply with quote

Quote:
A signal that is transmitted as you know is basically an electric charge.
.....
it's easier for the dust particles to acquire and keep a static electrical charge, and be electrostatically attracted to surfaces.
Hence the marks on the ceiling.


No no no no no no no! Any signal to do with radiao transmission is
a) incredibly low voltage
b) alternating at very high frequency

Static electricity is
A) thousands of volts
B) Not alternating!

There are however large static voltages in a tv, which would charge passing particles of dust which would therefore be disposed to sticking to surfaces at other potentials.


Quote:
Ok maybe I got it the wrong way round perhaps the rad is magnetised
Why should it be? Even if it were, it would not impart a charge to a passing particle. I don't think there's any mileage in this line.
All that a rad might do, is attract magnetised or magnetic particles, the way the nails in those joists do.
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JohnD

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:08 am Reply with quote

On point 3 - dirt sticking to the walls - you might find it is particularly bad in a couple of vertical stripes, and if you look behind the radiator you might find that it is where the metal fixing brackets are heating up, and very close to the wall.

If you put a narrow shelf above the radiator it will tend to take the airflow away from the wall a bit as it rises, and you will not get such obvious dirt marks.

If you have got smokers in the house then you will just have to get used to redecorating frequently.
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Jacquie

from United Kingdom

Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Lancashire,
United Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:59 pm Reply with quote

Thank you for all responses. The smoking thing has been mentioned a couple of times. Both myself and my husband smoke but we go to great lengths to only smoke in certain parts of the house and we don't smoke in the lounge where the marks are on the walls. We do smoke in another one of the other reception rooms - we also have marks on the wall in that room too although not nearly as bad as in the lounge where we don't smoke at all.

We keep the boiler on a low to medium temperature however we normally have the rad stat on full in the lounge (cos it's north facing and freezing - not helped by the fact that the radiator is on the wall opposite the window rather than being under the window as it should be as I learnt from this forum) but the other reception room is south facing and therefore we only have the rad stat on number 2 or 3 (radiator is on oppostie wall to window again). Also the paint in the lounge is 'flat' paint and the paint in the other room is eggshell. Perhaps the rad stats and the paint are both contributing factors.

My thoughts:-

Thank you for the idea of the shelf - maybe I ought to get one of those radiator cover things but will this result in less heat from the radiator in what is already a cold room.

Should I turn the boiler up perhaps and turn the rad stats down or will this be an inefficient way of heating the house.

Goodness me!!! I only want a clean warm house - maybe we ought to stop smoking or smoke in the privvy or even the garage.

what's your thoughts on the boiler/rad temperatures as mentioned above and on the radiator cover?

I'm pleased to have created a bit of a brain teaser with this one and a heated debate - if you'll pardon the pun - ha! ha!

Just out of interest slugbabydotcom - are you a smoker? - just thought I'd ask since you have a similar problem.

Thanks once again - Jacquie
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ChrisR

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:20 am Reply with quote

As I said above, I think you'll find the problem worse if you turn the boiler temp, and therefore the radiator temp, up. Shelves tend to get stains on the walls at their ends, but do throow the warmed air out into the room rather than letting it go straight to the ceiling!
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canon25

from United Kingdom

Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 1
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:15 pm Reply with quote

Nestor_Kelebay wrote:
Jacquie:

I'm not at all familiar with heating systems in the UK, but I believe I can advise you on the cause and cure of the dark marks that are forming at the TOP edge of your radiators and extending upwards, just like smoke marks.

They are in fact caused by tiny particles of dirt suspending in the rising air above the radiators precipitating onto the wall.

And, the problem is exacerbated by two factors;

A) a source of smoke particles in the house, such as someone smoking, or burning incense or candles, and

B) the use of a flat or eggshell paint on the wall which the dirt has an easier time getting caught on.

Basically, what is actually happening is that the air rising due to convection is carrying tiny particles of dirt with it, and this dirt is precipitating out of the air stream onto the rough surface of the flat paint on your walls.

If you simply scrub off the surface layer of paint with an abrasive cleaner (like a Scotchbrite pad), you'll find the paint underneath to be perfectly clean, meaning the dirt is on the surface of the paint, not coming through the paint.

You'll also find that one of those "microfiber" cleaning cloths will be much more effective at cleaning the dirt off because the size of the dirt particles and surface porosity of the paint you're cleaning is far too small for a brush or sponge or rag to penetrate into. We're talking thousandths of a millimeter for the size of the pores in the surface of the paint to a few hundred thousandths of a millimeter in diameter for the size of the dirt particles. Even a microfiber cloth has fibers far too big to be really effective at getting into those tiny pores to clean them out, but it will do a better job of cleaning than anything else cuz it's the right size.

If you can eliminate the really really tiny dirt particles from the air in your house, then you'll reduce the problem, and that means getting rid of sources of smoke. Dust in your house consists of paper and fabric fibers, dead skin cells, pollen, road grit, etc. and all of this stuff is huge and heavy compared to smoke particles. To get dirt that will be tiny enough to be suspended for hours in the air and be carried aloft by the convective air currents rising from a radiator, you need really really tiny dirt, and that means smoke particles. If there are no sources of smoke in your house, it could very well be that this dirt is coming into your house from outdoors. Also, if it's taken a long time for these marks to form, then that means there is little of that really tiny dirt in the air of your house, so maybe the source is outdoors.

Also, if you scrub off the dirty surface layer of paint above the radiators, and repaint with a smoother glossier paint, you'll find it won't get as dirty as quickly, and that dirt will be much easier to clean off.

And, for what it's worth, buy a GOOD QUALITY satin or semi-gloss paint to repaint those areas. Good quality paints cost more, but they stand up much better to scrubbing without losing their gloss.


THE MICROFIBRE CLOTHS WORKED FANTASTICALLY. THANKS
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