Boilers are one of the many types of home heating systems. But occasionally, boilers and pipes make noises that can make you think you live in a haunted house. Certain noises can indicate if there is a problem with your boiler. If your boiler is making noises, Doc Dancer is here to help. “Doc” Dancer has been Fort Wayne’s trusted HVAC comfort specialist since 1946. Contact us today for boiler service so we can address those strange noises.
How to Find the Cause Of Boiler Noises
Even if you don’t experience any issues with your heating system but you’re wondering why your boiler is so noisy, there are a few things you can do yourself that can help pinpoint exactly what is wrong with your boiler. A boiler making noises should not be ignored. Noises coming from boilers generally indicate there is a problem.
Many modern-day boilers have a digital screen that will give you error codes when something is wrong. Consult your owner’s manual to decode these messages, or search your boiler’s manufacturer and serial number to see if you can find a digital copy of the manual online.
If you cannot find a manual, identifying the types of sounds your boiler is making can be a big help to your technician. Is your boiler rattling or vibrating? Giving a technician an accurate description of the sounds you’re hearing can help diagnose your boiler’s problems.
Boiler Noises and What They Mean
If you have a boiler making noises in your home, you could hear a wide range of different sounds coming from your heating system. Below, you’ll find more information about common sounds homeowners hear when there is a boiler making noises and the causes behind these troublesome sounds.
Clicking or Tapping
If your boiler is making tapping or clicking sounds, it’s most likely due to ignition issues. The boiler may have difficulty igniting because of no gas, faulty valves or thermocouples, low pressure, or dirty pilot light.
To troubleshoot the cause of these boiler noises, first, check the gas supply. If there’s no gas, the boiler won’t be able to ignite. Make sure the gas valve on the line to the boiler is open. Sniff around the area to see if you can smell any gas, which may indicate a leak. If you smell gas, call for help immediately.
Next, check the pilot light. Shut off power to the boiler at the breaker and close the gas valve to interrupt the flow of gas. Open up the access panel and inspect the pilot light. If you see dirt or debris on the apparatus, you can use a cleaning cloth or a small wire brush to remove any buildup. Replace the access panel and restore electrical power and gas flow to the boiler when finished.
Rattling or Vibrating
Rattling noises coming from your boiler may be the result of a loose connection or pipe. If you can locate the source of the noise, use a wrench, and tighten any connections. Check for any unclipped pipes as well, as they could also cause rattling or vibrating noises.
Another easy thing you can do to try to fix your noisy boiler is to check the air vent. A blocked air vent is one of the most common causes of boiler problems. If the air vent is user-serviceable, remove it and clean it.
Dripping or Gurgling
Dripping and gurgling noises are often cause by trapped air in your system. Air in your boiler system may lead to corrosion. When this happens, you might hear rattling, dripping, or gurgling noises. Bleeding your system can help make these noises stop.
To bleed your system, follow these steps:
- Turn on the heating at its max setting and allow the boiler to circulate water through the system for about 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and wait 10 minutes or more to allow all radiators to cool.
- Find the valve on the radiator closest to your boiler. Place a cloth or towel underneath the valve, then use the bleed key to turn the valve counterclockwise until water starts to drip out, but do
- not open the valve completely.
- Once only water runs out of the valve and there is no air coming out, turn the valve back clockwise to close it.
- Repeat this process on each of the system’s radiators.
- Turn the heating back on and check the boiler’s water pressure gauge – the water pressure reading should be 1.5 to 2 bars.
If you encounter any resistance when trying to turn the valve, stop immediately and seek professional help. If you’re uncomfortable about bleeding your system, “Doc” Dancer is happy to help.
Low water pressure can actually cause a boiler to make gurgling noises, too. Bleeding radiators to fix a boiler making noises due to trapped air can sometimes lead to water pressure drops that cause the same gurgling noise to recur. Leaks can also cause water pressure to fall. When the water pressure is low, it can impede the boiler’s ability to do its job. In addition, low water pressure can cause the boiler to overheat, which can lead to serious damage.
To avoid damage, it’s important to ensure that your boiler has adequate water pressure. Check the boiler’s pressure gauge – a reading below 1 is an indication of low water pressure. If pressure is low, you can follow the instructions in your boiler’s owner’s manual to repressurize the system.
If you’re not sure how to do this, you can contact “Doc” Dancer for help. Look for leaks that could be causing the pressure drop – if you notice damp spots near your boiler, pipes, or radiators, have the leaks repaired by a professional.
Popping, Whistling, or Banging
If the flow of water from the heat exchanger becomes blocked, it can be one of the reasons your boiler is making loud banging noises. Sediment buildup and limescale around the boiler’s heat exchanger can block the movement of water throughout the unit, causing the heat exchanger to overheat and create noise. These noises are what we call boiler kettling because the whistling, popping, rumbling, and boiling sounds are similar to a kettle that is boiling. Sometimes these loud bangs make it sound like your boiler is going to fall off the wall or explode. We promise that won’t happen, but limescale buildup is not something you should try to tackle yourself.
Call “Doc” Dancer to Fix Your Noisy Boiler Today
A boiler making noises can be disruptive and scary. Boilers shouldn’t make noise, so if you are hearing noises suddenly, you’ll want to call “Doc” Dancer as soon as possible. We’ll diagnose and fix your noisy boiler quickly so you can enjoy peace and quiet in your home.