Have a noisy boiler, and struggling to figure out what the problem is?
In our 5-minute guide, we’ll cover 7 reasons why your boiler could be making a noise, and how to fix the problem.
If you’ve got any of the following noises coming from your boiler, we’ll explain them in detail below:
Limescale build up in pipes and connections to the boiler is common hard water areas. Check to see if you’re in a hard water area here.
The limescale will attach itself to boiler components, and the pipework connected to the boiler. This will create hotspots.
When steam bubbles pop, they’ll create tapping, banging and clanging noises, depending on how severe the issue is.
Limescale is notoriously hard to remove.
You’ll need to get some central heating inhibitor, dose the system and flush the system out.
This will remove a good chunk of limescale, but limescale that’s years old, might not be removed.
Once you’ve flushed the system, fit a limescale reducer (also known as a scale reducer).
This will help to catch any limescale that passes through the system in the future, preventing further clunking and banging noises.
Central heating sludge build up occurs in all areas, not just hard water areas.
As the interior of boiler components, radiators and pipework deteriorates, it breaks off into heating sludge (or attaches itself to parts in the boiler).
Sludge that’s broken off and travelling around your system will make tapping, trickling and clicking noises. That’s the particles hitting the sides of pipes and radiators.
Luckily, heating sludge is much easier to get rid of than limescale.
Low water flow and boiler’s that lose pressure could be contributing to your noisy boiler’s problems.
Much like water hammering, the sudden lack of circulation and pressure, followed by sharp boosts of pressure will create banging and clanging noises in the pipework.
If a boiler loses pressure, it’s got a leak. You can diagnose a boiler leak and fix the problem here.
Low water flow rate could be due to the heating pump being on a low setting, or internal parts being seized.
Most pumps have a flow rate setting on the top of the pump. Increasing the flow rate, will help to stop your boiler making noises when it’s on.
Airlocks in central heating systems are common. If you have an airlock in your heating pump, it will be banging.
You’ll get this predominantly a few minutes after your turn on the boiler, or when running hot water.
Quality pump manufacturers fit a bleed screw to their pumps.
You can release the air from the pump here. This will stop the boiler banging.
If your boiler is making a whistling, kettling or gurgling noise, there’s a good chance that there’s an issue with the heat exchanger. A boiler that’s kettling is not a good sign.
The heat exchanger in a boiler is prone to attract limescale build-up. This creates hot spots, and therefore, the kettling and whistling sounds you are hearing.
Try the solution we covered in #1 (heating inhibitor and a hot flush).
But, we’d recommend speaking to an engineer. A heat exchanger that has huge limescale build up on it, is most likely about to crack.
Unfortunately, these components are not particularly cheap to replace.
A heat exchanger including parts and labour (depending on the boiler) could cost as much as £500.
Is your boiler making noises, and then not working or firing up? If so, there’s a good chance you’re hearing clicking noise or a light tapping.
This is an ignition fault. The noise you’re hearing is the boiler trying to ignite, and failing.
Have a boiler engineer come and diagnose the fault. The fault could be related to problems such as:
Is your boiler making humming noises, or constantly vibrating? There’s a good chance there’s a seized part on the boiler pump.
Check the pump. It should be warm, but not hot.
If it’s hot to touch, it’s likely a seized component.
Boiler pumps make humming noises and vibrate (slightly) as they operate, so it’s important to check this isn’t just it’s normal operating noise level.
As a temporary fix, tap the pump gently. This should free up the components enough to let the motor do its job, and the humming noise to stop.
But, you still need to find the cause of the problem. It’s likely the problem relates to limescale or sludge build up (see #1 and #2), and the pump needs to be cleaned.
Is the noise limited to the boiler? Or, can you hear noises coming from the central heating pipes?
We’ve created a detailed guide to noisy central heating pipes here.
In summary, let’s cover a few things you can do to reduce boiler noises that including tapping, banging and even humming:
Thanks for reading our 5-minute guide to diagnosing a noisy boiler.
Ready to get your boiler noise fixed? Get a quick quote here.
Whether your boiler is making banging, crashing, or tapping noises; I hope this has helped.
Still have questions? Add a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.