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What Do Noises In Central Heating Mean

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  • What Do Noises In Central Heating Mean, Causes of a noisy central heating system, How To Stop a Noisy Boiler, Noisy Boiler
  • Posted date:
  • 26-07-2022
What Do Noises In Central Heating Mean

What does noises in central heating mean? Find out more about the noises that can come from your heating and how to stop a noisy boiler.

What Do Noises In Central Heating Mean

A particularly noisy central heating system or boiler can be the result of a number of different issues. Try to make a note of the noise that the system is making; the sound, whether it is humming, banging, clanging, buzzing, or banging, can play a key part in helping you find out what is faulty with your installation. The location of your system can also help you to find the fault. Below is a list of common issues in central heating systems and boilers that can lead to noises occurring:

  • A build up of limescale within the system
  • Pipes or components that are not secured
  • Radiators are in need of bleeding
  • An overheating system
  • A leak somewhere in the system
  • Causes of a noisy central heating system

    Below is an overview of the different types of noises that you could hear from your boiler or central heating system, as well as what the noises can mean for the health of your system. This list is not fully comprehensive, and we would always recommend having a full diagnosis from a trained and professional engineer before you take any action.

  • Banging - This can be heard in the system's boiler and pipes. This is commonly due to the buildup of limescale on the system's heat exchanger or, in some cases, the result of loose pipework or internal components.
  • Clanking - This will be heard in the system's boiler and pipes. Usually, this is the result of a boiler fan becoming obstructed. Loose pipework can also lead to clanking sounds emerging from your boiler.
  • Buzzing - This can be heard in your boiler or your thermostat. This sound is commonly caused due to malfunctioning or worn-out system parts that need to be replaced. If the thermostat is buzzing, there will likely be a buildup of dust, dirt, or other debris on the conductor. If this is not the issue, then the thermostat should be replaced.
  • Humming - This can be heard in the system's boiler or central heating pump. It is common for boilers to hum while they are carrying out their operations, but if the buzzing is becoming more and more noticeable, then there might be a loose part. This loose component will likely be the central heating pump, but it is important to check in case it is not the case.
  • Dripping - This can be heard from anywhere around the entirety of the central heating system. As you would imagine, this is the result of a leak somewhere, leading to water dripping onto a surface.
  • Gurgling - This noise will be heard within radiators. The sound occurs when air gets stuck within pipes and blocks the flow of water around the radiators. It can also be the result of a low flow rate.
  • Whistling - This can be heard in your boiler - If you are hearing a whistling noise that sounds similar to an old traditional kettle boiling, then this can be a strong indication that there has been a limescale buildup on the heat exchanger. A power flush will be needed to solve this issue.
  • Do You Have a Noisy Boiler?

    Boilers will commonly make gurgling, humming, or other odd noises, so on some occasions, it is completely normal for your boiler to be a bit noisy. 

    After all, it is a system for heating water; this will always cause at least a small amount of noise. If you believe that your boiler is getting louder and making more unusual noises that sound like something may be wrong with the system, then we would absolutely recommend checking out the issue at hand and making some adjustments.

    If you are using a conventional system, then there is a chance that your small feed and expansion tank, usually situated in the loft, may be dry and pulling air into the system. This will result in a system that creates a lot of noise and will eventually come to a complete stop and not work properly. 

    If you do find that your feed and expansion tank is dry, then check your system's ball valve. If the ball valve is not stuck in the lifted position. 

    All you need to do is move the arm up and down; this should be enough to start the flow of water back up again and get water back into the feed and expansion tank. If this process does not allow water to come through, then the ball valve may need to be replaced.

    How To Stop a Noisy Boiler

    Remove Limescale

    If you have a noisy boiler, and the system is producing a sound similar to a kettle boiling, then this can be a sign that limescale has built up within your boiler's heat exchanger. The limescale settles and then limits the flow of water. This means that water becomes trapped inside the heat exchanger, and the water ends up becoming too hot. As the water starts to boil, produce steam, and expand, the boiler will make this noise similar to a whistling kettle. This is very common in older heating systems.

    In order to remove the excess scale, a descaling solution can be added to your system's feed and expansion tank. Once the descaler has found its way throughout the whole of the system, you should flush through your central heating with clean water. At this point, you should also add a radiator inhibitor in order to prevent corrosion. Removing the limescale buildup should assist in stopping the noises from your boiler and also improve the lifespan of your system, as well as the efficiency of your boiler by allowing water to pass through the system easier.

    Check The Flow Rate

    A noisy boiler can also be due to a low water flow within the system. Modern gas boilers will always require a specific flow rate in order to operate at their full capacity. This is a vital detail to remember if you are using a modern gas boiler. Making sure this flow rate is correct in your boiler will help you to rectify the issue and stop your boiler from making the unwanted noise.

    In order to figure out the required flow rate for your boiler, we would recommend first looking at your boiler's manual. If the manual does not prove to be helpful or you no longer have the manual, then you can contact the boiler's manufacturer and have them find the information for you.

    Remove Sludge and Debris

    It is very important to have your boiler regularly serviced. If you do not, then you may find that your boiler will begin to create noises more often. These noises can occur when the system is turned on or when hot water is being used on the property.

    It can also be a good idea to install a filter within your system to help with your central heating by removing sludge or debris. The filters are also good for the reduction of carbon emissions if they are fitted with an additional auto bleed valve.

    Preventing a Noisy Boiler

    Now you know how to fix a noisy boiler, but how can you prevent the buildup of limescale within your boiler in the first place? The process of ensuring the limescale doesn't build up at all, so your boiler doesn't become noisy, is actually easier than getting rid of the limescale.

    Installing a Water Softener

    One way to ensure that your boiler does not have a limescale buildup and starts making unwanted noise is to protect the boiler from hard water. The best way to do this is to install a water softener nearby your main water supply. This will ensure that the hard water particles are replaced with safe sodium particles. This will help with the future buildup of limescale.

    Get an Electrolytic Scale Reducer

    Another way to boost the quality of your water and decrease the amount of limescale buildup is through the use of an electrolytic scale reducer. This is a much cheaper alternative to a water softener but still incredibly effective as a means to prevent your boiler from becoming noisy.

    Are Your Pipes Banging?

    When you are using the taps in your bathroom, is it common to hear a banging noise? This is called water hammering, and it is caused by a few different things. Firstly, it can be due to pipework not being sufficiently secured underneath the floorboards. It can also be caused by the pipes overheating, or in other cases, air finding its way into the system and causing issues.

    If you hear your pipes making a banging or thudding noise, then the first thing we would recommend is checking your thermostat. Either on your boiler or on your wall. To ensure that this is done appropriately, completely turn off your boiler and allow the system to cool itself down. Once the boiler has been switched off for a while, you should turn the heating back on again and then turn up the thermostat. It is important to crank up the thermostat significantly.

    While doing this process, you should hear a click. If you do not, then you should contact a professional gas-safe engineer to come to your home and take a look at your central heating system.

    One of the most common causes for banging pipework is the pipes underneath the floor not being properly fastened. Copper pipes especially need to be correctly secured in order to prevent the pipes from rattling too much and causing unwanted noise.

    A solution to fixing the issue of banging pipes is to press some felt around each individual pipe underneath your floorboard. Try to focus on each point where the pipes make contact with a joist or another pipe. Wrap some felt around each of these points to ensure a snug fit.

    If you have also had an engineer take a look at this issue for you and the problem is persisting, then it can be worth the investment in plastic pipework. The material allows for the pipes to be much more flexible, as well as making nowhere near as much noise as copper piping.

    Do you need a heating engineer in East London? 

    Contact us for heating services in Docklands, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Newham, Hackney, Southwark or Greenwich.