Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/Baseboard heater noise



I have an old (at least 10 years, maybe more) baseboard heater in my house, installed by previous owners (we live in Canada).
The heater works from a wall-mounted dial (that kind that goes click when the heat comes on).
The heater makes loud popping noises which I would say sounds like popcorn popping or maybe hard rain falling on a metal room. It only happens when the heater is heating up, it does not happen the entire time the heater is on.
The heater is positioned under a large window and against an exterior brick wall.
It is in part of the house that was built as an extension, so there are no air ducts, just base board heaters.
Its 8 feet long, tan colored.

Aside from this it works very well, but we've had this problem for 2 winters (learned to live with it) and would like to solve it. Any advice? I was told I might need to "bleed the air" but I dont know what that means and I can seem to find a knob to turn or a door/slot to open it up.
It looks like this one http://365daysofcenturyhomes.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/electric-baseboard-heat
the top piece is slightly angled lower in the center, along the length so there is a "v" shape to it.



Bleeding air is something that's done with hot water heating, so if you have a heating boiler that may be appropriate. However, if it's electric baseboard (the thermostat description leads me to think that's the case), there's no hot water and nothing to bleed.

The noise is generated as the element heats and expands; once it's up to temperature the noise stops, right? It could be the element is binding on something inside the enclosure. I used to get some of that in the home I owned until 93, never worried about it.

You didn't say how long you've owned the home, so I have no way of knowing if this is a recent development (possibly something to worry about) or if the thing always worked that way (maybe not to be concerned).

Send me a follow-up if you need more on this.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


thanks for the quick reply!!! We've owned the home for 3 years and its always been like this (sorry for the confusion, its definitely not done with hot water).
On-line it says I should switch to an digital thermostat that keeps a more even level or spray wd-40 on the clips/joints?

Not sure if either one makes sense.

I'm assuming I can change the thermostat myself?

Your thermostat is "Line Voltage" (120V or 240V) as opposed to "Low Voltage" (24V), and I don't know of any line voltage digital stats (the ones I've dealt with are 24V). Bottom line: You'll cook a low voltage stat connecting it to line voltage. And I doubt you'd gain much in response time: Digital stats keep the heat off for some length of time before cycling it on again, so you may end up with a slower response time (This gets into a discussion of "CPH" - cycles per hour - and I'd rather not go there).

I'd be reluctant to spray anything on the element or anything touching it: The element gets quite hot and you may end up inhaling vaporized WD40. You might remove the cover and look for signs of chafing, perhaps you could straighten out a bent support, for example. DO TURN OFF THE ELECTRICITY BEFORE REMOVING THE COVER!!!

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Fred Weldin


I can't help you if your whatsis won't work, people (Especially if it's a refrigerator); I have no experience with appliances, and I haven't been involved with H&AC service and repair since March 08, 1996 (Thank the Lord); I always send a "standard" reply to appliance questions and H&AC "Service and Repair" questions (about 20 a month), so if you want to know why your whatsis isn't working like it used to, ask someone else. A lot of my answers arenít read by the questioners; in that event, I always send reminders to read the answers for a month or more (the word "idiots" comes to mind - actually there's another more appropriate word, but discretion prevents its use here). If you have questions about how big a unit you need, if one room's warmer than the others, if you want an opinion oas to scope of work on bids received, etc. just ask. Do visit www.askweldin.com, there's a lot of good information on sizing, ductwork, efficiency, as well as some techniques accomplished DIY-ers can use to troubleshoot and improve their H&AC. Finally, I want to thank all of the kind, serious people whom I meet here: I enjoy working with you. My wife says I'm "snarky" from time to time; as for you others, please use your imagination as to the responses swirling on the snarky side of my brain when I read your questions.


53 years in the business. See www.askweldin.com


B of ME U of D 1965, numerous classes, seminars and a lot of "Hands On" learning since.

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