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Got Noisy Central Heating Pipes? Here’s Why. And, The Fix.

Are your noisy central heating pipes driving you insane?

Rightly so. And, even if there not, there’s a good chance you want to know what’s suddenly causing the noise.

In this 5-minute guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to diagnose the problem behind your noisy heating pipes.

We’ve split the guide into:

  • The problem behind noisy pipes.
  • The fix.

Want someone to fix your noisy pipes? Get a quick quote here.

Typical Noises Coming From Heating Pipes

Each property is different, but depending on the pipework’s age and condition, you might be experiencing one of the following noises when you turn on the heating: 

  • Banging

  • Rattling

  • Clunking

  • Vibrating

  • Tapping

  • Clicking

  • Knocking

5 Reasons Heating Pipes Are Noisy

#1 – Natural Start-Up Process

The first thing you need to consider is that the banging or knocking you’re hearing is natural.

Pipes, radiators (and every other part of the heating system for that matter) will expand as they heat up.

A normal heating system will take anywhere from 10-30 minutes to heat up completely.

If you’re experiencing noises such as tapping, banging and knocking that comes from the floor boards and walls for this period only; this is likely to be due to the natural start up process of the heating system.

Also expect to hear similar noises in the heating pipes when you turn your heating off. The pipes will be contracting.

The Fix

Is there an area in the house where the noise is coming predominantly coming from?

A heating engineer will be able to lift floor boards. They’ll then re-route the pipework, so it’s got adequate space to expand without touching the floorboards.

#2 – Limescale And Sludge Build-Up

Limescale build-up is typical in hard water areas.

You can check if you’re in a hard water area here.

And, central heating sludge builds up in most systems. Essentially, it’s rust on the inside of pipes breaking off and circulating around the system.

What will this cause?

Expect to hear noises that sound like grit trickling through your pipes so: tapping, rattling and clicking noises are most common here.

The Fix

Get a heating engineer to:

  1. Dose your heating system with inhibitor, this will break down limescale and heating sludge.
  2. Flush your system to remove as much sludge and limescale as possible.
  3. Fit a scale reducer, for those in hard water areas; this will catch limescale before it builds up.
  4. Fit a magnetic boiler filter (all areas); this will catch central heating sludge.
  5. Remove debris from scale reducer and magnetic boiler filter with each annual boiler service.

#3 – Unsecure Pipes

Unsecure pipes could be the culprit if you here banging, tapping, clunking and knocking. But, you also might have pipes that are constantly vibrating and humming.

Why? The pipes are not secure, and are touching the floorboards.

The cause? Either the pipes weren’t ever secured properly, or they’ve broken free from their pipe clips.

The Fix

If the noisy pipes have simply broke free of their clips, re-secure them.

If the pipework is already secured with pipe clips, it’s likely it needs to be rerouted to stop the knocking and humming noises you’re hearing.

To do this, the system needs to be drained, sections of pipework cut out, new pipe work fitted, and the system refilled.

We’d suggest getting help from a heating engineer.

#4 – Airlocks In Pipework

Anything that sounds like a harsh banging, knocking pipes or clunking noise is likely to be an airlock in the pipework, radiators or pump.

Luckily, airlocks are incredibly easy to remove from heating pipes.

The Fix

Bleed all the radiators with the heating on. You’ll need a radiator bleed key.

If you’ve not bled a radiator before, be careful.

Slowly open the bleed valve until you hear hissing. Hold it at that position until the hissing stops, and the valve starts to drip with water. Shut the valve.

Rinse and repeat for all radiators and towel rails.

#5 – Water Hammering (When Using Taps)

Another reason for loud sounds such as knocking central heating pipes is something called water hammering.

What Is Water Hammering?

A sudden surge in the energy circulating water in pipework. This creates noises such as knocking in pipes.

What Causes Water Hammering Noises?

Anything that requires a sudden surge of water, and that doesn’t need to be hot water:

  • Taps
  • Showers
  • Toilets

The Fix

Fit a water hammer arrestor. This acts as an “overflow” for pressure and energy.

When the surge of water power is likely to create a water hammering noise, the water hammer arrestor will absorb the excess energy – no more noisy pipes!

What’s Next?

Thanks for reading our guide to noisy central heating pipes.

Want someone to fix your noisy pipes? Get a quick quote here.

And, click here if you think noises are coming from your boiler.

We’re happy to help, so if you have any questions, drop a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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