What Does That Boiler Noise Mean?

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Has your boiler suddenly become vocal? It’s not uncommon for boilers to make noises but when you start hearing something different, louder or just plain annoying, you should take note. Boiler noises can indicate a variety of problems, including:

  • Trapped air
  • Low water pressure
  • Limescale
  • Overheating
  • Faulty thermostat
  • Poor water flow

To determine what the problem is you need to be clear on two things:

  1. Where is the noise coming from
  2. What is the noise?

  1. Where the noise is coming from?

Before you make any conclusions about the noise your hearing first you need to be clear where it is coming from.

Is there a loud noise coming from your boiler, or perhaps there’s a strange sound coming from one of the radiators or the central heating pipe?

2. What is the noise and what does it mean?

When you know what the noise is you can take the necessary steps to fixing the problem. The sooner you act, the less chance you’ve got of bigger, more costly problems.

Gurgling noises

You might notice a gurgling sound coming from your radiators or boiler. A small amount of gurgling from your boiler is normal, but loud or consistent gurgling can suggest a problem – usually low pressure or trapped air. Gurgling radiators typically mean you’ve got either:

  • Trapped air
  • A frozen condensate pipe
  • Low water pressure

These things can potentially be diagnosed yourself, or with help from a professional.

Fixing trapped air

Trapped air can be removed by bleeding the radiators. – Learn more about bleeding a radiator. It’s not a good idea to ignore trapped air as this can be bad for your heating system.

Checking for a frozen pipe

The condensate pipe is usually white and plastic, it comes out of the boiler and exits the home. By locating the pipe outside the house you can then thaw it out with some warm water. Gurgling sounds that are caused by a frozen condensate problem are quite common so be sure to check it.

Checking low water pressure

Your boiler may have a pressure gauge which will tell you if the water is low or normal. You should always refer to the boilers manual but typically anything below 1 bar is considered low. If you have low water pressure then the boiler may need re-pressurising. If you are confident doing this yourself you can, or you can call a professional.

Whistling noise

Is your boiler trying to compete with your kettle for the best whistle? Whistling – also known as kettling is a common boiler sound associated with limescale build-up. People who live in hard water areas are more likely to experience this as hard water results in limescale deposits that build up on the boiler’s heat exchanger. A build-up of deposits causes water to accumulate, overheat and generate steam which results in the whistling noise you hear.

An accumulation of limescale isn’t the only problem associated with boiler kettling however, other potential causes include a build-up of sludge, debris, or a worn/stuck pump.

Sludge and debris should be cleared with a power-flush of the system, you can call a boiler repair professional for this.

Don’t ignore boiler whistling – this can not only reduce your systems efficiency – costing you more money, but it can also overwork the boiler and reduce its lifespan.

Vibrating Noise

This type of noise usually means something is loose, such as a bracket that simply needs tightening. This is something you can fix yourself but if the noise does not disappear by adjusting the brackets then you’ll need to schedule a boiler inspection.

Banging noise

Are you noticing a banging noise coming from your pipes when you turn on your hot tap? This can be caused by overheating, or pipes that aren’t properly secured.

A loud banging noise can suggest something else. This can be caused by a build-up of debris around the heat exchanger, or a faulty thermostat. Call a boiler professional for a power-flush to clear the build-up.

Still need help?

If you’re not able to repair the problem yourself, or are unsure about what it is you are hearing do not hesitate to contact a boiler specialist. For boiler repair in Norwalk and the rest of Fairfield County CT contact top rated specialists Hellas Air Temp: 203-852-0666

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