Why Is My Boiler Making Strange Sounds?

There are a lot of reasons for your boiler to make sounds, and some of them might inevitably sound strange to you – even if they’re totally benign! After all, we’re talking about a system that’s continuously heating water and sending it, under pressure, throughout your home or building. There’s no way to mute all the sounds that are born from that process.


That being said, there are sounds that are perfectly okay, and sounds that are indicative of a problem. We’re going to take a look at sounds in both categories – this list won’t be exhaustive, but it should help you identify the most common boiler sounds.


Sounds that are perfectly normal

Whirring sounds are typical in a boiler – this is the sound of the boiler’s pump moving water around the heat exchanger and burner, as well as to any radiators in your building.


Rumbling noises are also normal, though they should be relatively low and consistent. This is the sound of the burner boiling the water.


Clicking noises are the hallmark of most modern appliances – modern boilers are electronic devices constantly being fed information about the heat in your building, how hot the water should be, and where it should be directed. As components switch on and off, you’ll hear clicks.


Sounds that you should look into

Banging noises, sometimes called kettling due to their similarity to a kettle being heated up, are often caused by limescale buildup at the bottom of the radiator. This can also cause a whistling sound – the kettle analogy goes deep. No surprise, given that we’re heating up water!


You’ll want to tackle this, because it’s reducing the efficiency of your boiler. You can add central heating inhibitor to your system in order to cut at the limescale and any built-up sludge. This will help with recent buildup, but very old buildup can only be cleaned out by a professional.


Humming can be caused by a number of different issues. Those of you with electric boilers might have a heating element that’s too loose – you can tighten it. The humming may also be caused by limescale buildup near the heating element.


The noise can also come from too much pressure in the system – in this case, it will often be accompanied by rumbling that’s louder than usual. Your pump may also be set too high, causing water to travel too fast throughout your pipework. In either of these cases, adjust as necessary.


Gurgling noises are almost always caused by air trapped in the boiler. Boilers are supposed to be relatively air-free systems. Fortunately, this problem is relatively easy to tackle – you can bleed your radiators in order to get rid of the trapped air. This is a practice you should adopt regularly anyway – just be sure to check and adjust the pressure as needed afterwards!


These are only a few of the many different noises your boiler might make. We’ve provided potential solutions for all of the problems, but sometimes, there are no two ways about it – you’ll need a boiler repair in Winnipeg. In those cases, give us a call – we can help you out.