Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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New to NYC Steam Heat? Why Do Steam Radiators Hiss? What Is Steam Banging?

Are you new to owning or managing property in New York City? If so, NYC steam radiators may be an unknown world for you. And their hissing and banging can be a headache you haven’t dealt with previously. Here’s a refresher on how steam heat functions, as well as what causes radiators to make such abominable noises and how to stop them. Pro tip: if you’re a tenant and reading this, it will give you a heads up about what to ask your landlord if your radiator is causing you aggravation.

How Does Steam Heat Work?

A quick refresher

Steam radiators are an old-fashioned form of heat. They have been around for more than 100 years. Many older buildings in New York City utilize this method of heat because it still works… as long as you work out a few kinks first.

The system is quite simple. Water is heated in a boiler until steam is formed as the water reaches its boiling point and transforms from liquid to gas form. The steam then travels through piping to the radiator, where it warms the environment through radiant heating.

There are three types of radiators commonly used today:

  1. Cast-iron free-standing radiator: this is the typical old-style radiator most people recognize. It takes up more space and takes longer to heat up, but it also holds heat the longest. We often see this type of steam radiator in NYC buildings.
  2. Baseboard radiator: this one combines the cast-iron free-standing radiator model with the low space needs of an electric baseboard heater. It uses the same steam method, but it takes up much less room and is less noticeable in any living space.
  3. Ceramic heating system: this is a newer type of steam radiator. It’s more efficient and isn’t hot to the touch like old-fashioned radiators are.

What Causes Radiators to Hiss?

Escaping air

The noise of a radiator is enough to drive some people crazy. There’s a simple explanation for this intrusion in the space: air escaping from the radiator. Instead of steam being trapped inside the radiator to provide heat, it is being released into the room.

Water, however, should NOT escape this valve!

What Is Steam Banging?

Trapped Water

Steam banging often wakes up tenants early in the morning or late at night, as that’s when radiators are heating up to greet the day or give people one last blast of heat before bed. This sound has been described as a hammer banging on pipes or someone knocking on the radiator, and it’s maddening to people trying to sleep.

What causes the banging noise? Once the steam has entered your radiator, it eventually condenses and must return in the form of a liquid to the boiler, where it can be heated up again to start the process anew. But if water becomes trapped in the radiator — or a section of the steam piping — it can start duking it out with the steam rising through the system, creating that terrible racket and reducing the efficiency of the radiator as a heat source.

There’s often a simple fix for this. Sometimes the radiator sits level on the floor when it should actually be tilted toward the intake valve, which sits between the steam supply pipe and the radiator, near the floor. If a level shows that your radiator is not tipped slightly toward the intake valve, you can increase the incline by shimming the far end of the radiator.

Usually, a wooden door shim or a couple of paint stir sticks purchased at a hardware or home supply store can be positioned under the other end of the radiator to tilt it forward. About a five-degree change should be sufficient. If this doesn’t do the trick, it may be time to call in the pros to see if there’s another cause for the noise.

Call Sanitary Plumbing for Help with Noisy Radiators

Your hyper-local blue-chip plumbers

If your property is having radiator problems and the tips above don’t provide a solution, Sanitary Plumbing is happy to come out and have a look to assist you. We’re experts at working with hissing and clanging radiators, as well as systems that gurgle, leak, or don’t provide adequate heat.

Call us at 212-734-5000, or schedule an appointment online with our convenient online message form. Don’t wait until heat season is here and your tenants are being kept up at night for weeks on end by noisy radiators. Reach out today.

Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with We may collect and store the following personal information:

  • Name, email, address, telephone number, and (depending on the service used), move-in dates;
  • Transactional information (such as lease terms, lease parties);
  • Computer sign-on data, statistics on page views, and traffic to and from the Website; and
  • Other information, including IP address and other web log information.

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
  • Provide the services and necessary customer support you request;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Antler Pump & Motor Corporation, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Antler Pump & Motor Corporation. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: