Gas Furnace Steam Radiators And Cast Iron Pipes

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by em211hi, May 5, 2008.

  1. em211hi

    em211hi New Member

    Hello- We have a GAS FURNACE STEAM RADIATORS AND CAST IRON PIPES. Lately when we turn the heat on it makes LOUD LOUD clanking noises. So we just shut it off. Then we noticed a very rusty leaky pipe coming out of the side of it. HELP!!! Im not sure this is a good thing. Attached are some pictures. Could someone tell me what this is and if it could be affecting our gas usuage? Thanks for any advice in advance!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 5, 2008
  2. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Wet side of Washington State
    First of all, you do not have a gas furnace, you have a gas-fired steam BOILER.

    That rusty looking pipe is a return to the boiler and it is definitely NOT good. It is caused by a leak in the piping system, either at the boiler or up inside the insulation of the vertical pipe.

    When was the last time you had this boiler serviced? Do you ever drain any of the water from the boiler? Do you ever check the safety devices?

    It appears that the pipes MAY have asbestos-containing-materials (ACM) for insulation. That means that they MUST be treated as ACM until tested and proven to not contain asbestos.
  3. em211hi

    em211hi New Member

    Thank you! I am not sure when I have had it serviced... maybe last year. I know then the pipes were tested for ACM and came negative. We cleaned all the sludge out recently from the bottom and try to keep the water clean. This this is goign to be an expensive one. :(
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    "Loud, clanking noises" are usually caused by water surging or wet steam in the lines. You may have to have the water in the boiler treated so that the steam is generated properly.
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    I grew up in a house with single pipe steam heat. I thought it was SUPPOSED to clang and bang! Always did! House was built in '46 and as far as I know, it still clangs and bangs! It was doing it in '94 when we moved mom out to the coast. And that was the most comforable heat of any house I ever lived in. Heating bill was pretty high, though
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