If you hear your boiler or heating pipes making noises such as whistling, gurgling or banging, you should find out the cause as soon as possible.
Such noises could be a sign of something called kettling, which happens when limescale collects in the heat exchanger. Strange noises can also occur due to low water pressure or pump failure.
While any repairs will need to be carried out by your local heating engineer, there are several checks you can perform to discover what’s causing the problem.
Is there scale in the heating system?
When steam bubbles are produced by a build-up of limescale, it's sometimes possible to hear loud bangs. This build-up can cause 'hot spots' which will need to be treated with a chemical descaler.
To effectively use a chemical descaler you will need to:
- Shut down the system
- Add the product to the feed and expansion tank and leave it for a few days
- Drain, flush and refill the system
Is the boiler thermostat set too high or is it faulty?
To combat a noisy boiler, try lowering the boiler thermostat. While you’ll have to compromise on the temperature of your rooms, lowering the thermostat should help to reduce the noise level.
Is there insufficient water flow to the boiler?
A common cause of a noisy boiler, poor water pressure can often be to blame. To find out why there isn’t enough water flowing through to the boiler, monitor the following:
Water flow rate
Firstly check that the mains water is switched on. If it is, also check the feed and expansion tank, which are commonly found in the loft.
In order to examine the float valve, turn off the power supply to the boiler. Locate the tanks and double check that the float valve isn't stuck. If it is, you'll need to reposition its metal arm to release it.
Ensure that the open safety-vent pipe is correctly installed. If it isn’t correctly installed air can get into the system, causing noise in the boiler.
Frozen water supply pipe
If the weather’s particularly cold, the noises you’re hearing could be due to a frozen water supply pipe.
Is there a lack of water pressure in your boiler causing noise?
If you suspect there’s a problem with the water pressure you can double check by looking at the pressure indicator located on your boiler. If the pressure’s too low you should see a prompt to increase it.