What Causes Noisy Central Heating and How Can I Fix It?

Central Heating Cost GuideGetting a new combi boiler or central heating system installed can be a dream come true for some homeowners, especially those living in old, poorly insulated properties in the colder, windier parts of the UK; finally you can keep you and your family warm during the winter without having to worry about wasting a large amount of heat energy.

If you are hearing a banging noise from central heating pipes that is not normal, nor is any sort of humming, tapping, clicking and gurgling. Central heating is not noisy heating and all noises need to be investigated.


What causes noisy central heating and how can I fix it?

Have you just had a new combi boiler or central heating installed and you are woken by strange noises in the night? Your home is now lovely and warm but you are hearing strange humming sounds, clanging and banging, clicking and tapping or odd gurgling sounds. All of these noises mean that you new boiler or central heating system has not been installed as carefully as you would have hoped.

There should be no noises, faint or otherwise coming from your boiler, pipes or central heating if it was installed correctly.

Noisy Central Heating Solutions

Having a noisy central heating system is annoying and the problem will need to be fixed as soon as possible. The problem is that it is sometimes difficult to determine where the noise is coming from. If you asking yourself, “why is my central heating so noisy?’ here are some solutions:

  • Banging and clanging pipes – if you are experiencing noisy central heating pipes or a central heating banging noise you will need to check to see of all of the pipes are fitted properly and are tied down properly. Check to see they are not hanging loose and not screwed down tightly enough. Both of these can cause internal banging of the pipes. If the position of pipes is correct you may have a simple problem of pressure and you can try to solve this by first draining and then refilling the system up again. If there is still banging after you have done this you will need to get an installer to put in wider diameter pipes that are better suited to the new boiler.

  • Humming boiler or a vibrating boiler is a sign that the heating elements are set at the wrong timing or the wrong pressure. First check that the thermostat is working correctly and if it is just slow down the speed at which the noisy central heating pump heats the water. If the pressure is left set too high damage can be caused to the pipes, especially during winter when you will also have clanging and banging noises to contend with.

  • Gurgling and tapping radiators can be caused by air built up in the radiators which means that each individual radiator needs the air bled out of the system. Just loosen the corner screw for a second until water appears then you know that the air is gone. Tapping can be caused by a lime scale build up. To cure this get some non-acidic cleaner or de-scaler solution and pour it into the expansion tank with the central heating system turned off. If this does not work you may need to have your system professionally cleaned. Remember to hire a professional and qualified engineer to flush out your central heating system.

Remember, if you lack the confidence or experience in checking or amending your new boiler, then you are always better off leaving a noisy central heating system to a professional.  A qualified, experienced contractor will be able to locate the problem more quickly and fix it with the skill and ability required, without causing any further damage. Compare a number of different quotes for the best deal, and before you know it you should have a clean, fully functional boiler operating in no time.

Installing a new central heating boiler can be expensive, so it’s best to make sure yours lasts as long as possible by getting it regularly serviced and making sure any necessary repairs are carried out as soon as possible. You might be eligible for a central heating grant to fix or replace a faulty system from your local council – find out more about central heating grants.

Serena says:

Hello there,

I have banging/tapping heating pipes under my bedroom floors but I’m not sure what tradesman I should call to help fix this problem? The boiler and radiators work fine just the pipes expand/contract to make the noise which is very annoying. How can I find someone who can fix this for me? Shall I look for a heating engineer? A plumber? A carpenter (lifting and restoring floor boards) or carpet fitter? Or someone who can do it all? If you know please recommend!

Many thanks!

mjackson says:

Hi Serena,

as detailed in our article – if you are experiencing noisy central heating pipes or a central heating banging noise you will need to check to see of all of the pipes are fitted properly and are tied down properly. Check to see they are not hanging loose and not screwed down tightly enough. Both of these can cause internal banging of the pipes. If the position of pipes is correct you may have a simple problem of pressure and you can try to solve this by first draining and then refilling the system up again. If there is still banging after you have done this you will need to get an installer to put in wider diameter pipes that are better suited to the boiler.

We therefore recommend getting quotes from local plumbers who will be able to diagnose the problem as well as quote to have the problem fixed.

The plumbers generally remove the floor boards for you and will then re-lay when they have looked at the problem.

You can place a request by filling in our online plumbing form and we will aim to match your request with up to 4 local plumbers who will contact you to arrange a free appointment to take a look and offer you quotes.

Thanks for your post and we hope to be of further assistance in the future.

Mark @ ServiceMagic

paul says:

Hi, I have a humming coming from the microbore manifold, which can be temporarily stopped by turning any rad thermostat. It always returns next time the heating fires up. Had a new boiler 3 years ago, but this is new

mjackson says:

Hi Paul,

It sounds as if you may have a problem somewhere within your heating system therefore its always advisable to have a professional take a look and diagnose the problem.

If this is something you would like to proceed with, please fill in our online heating repair form and we will aim to match you with up to 4 local companies who will each contact you in order to arrange an appointment to quote.

We hope this helps resolve your issue.

Mark @ ServiceMagic

Jo says:

When my combi boiler kicks in the noise upstairs is so loud like a constant motor running. The sound in front of the boiler is quieter than the sound upstairs but it still sounds like a running engine. It is so bad that my little boy gets up as soon as the heating kicks in. Is this right ? No one else seems to have this problem and in my other homes I have often never even heard the boiler kick in. We are obviously living with the noise but why is this so loud ?
Thank you

mjackson says:

Hi Jo,

It sounds as if you may have a problem somewhere within your heating system therefore its always advisable to have a professional take a look and diagnose the problem.

If this is something you would like to proceed with, please fill in our online heating form and we will aim to match you with up to 4 local companies who will each contact you in order to arrange the free quotes.

We hope this helps resolve your issue.

Mark @ ServiceMagic

Helen White says:

Hi I have a humming noise which is quite loud and annoying but I can’t seem to find out where it is coming from could it be my boiler?????

mjackson says:

Hello Helen,

Thanks for your post.

we would recommend requesting for quotes to have your problem repaired which can be done by filling in our online heating form.

Once we have processed your request you will be matched with up to 4 local contractors who will each contact you in order to arrange a free quote upon appointment.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Mark @ Servicemagic

Guy says:

Hi
The house opposite has had a lot of work done over the last few months & since November there has been a continual humming noise coming from the area of the flue. It’s to loud to be Infrasound as it’s over 20db. Wondered if you’ve heard anything of this?

mjackson says:

Hi Guy,

We would suggest speaking to your neighbour in order to confirm whether the issue is with their property or yours.

There could be a number of causes so it’s best to contact a local heating engineer who will be able to diagnose the problem.

We hope that this information helps.

Mark @ ServiceMagic

Richard says:

My central heating system is pretty quiet when its running, but when the timer switches it off and the pump stops, I get a rising crescendo gurgling noise accompanied by some banging which lasts about 10-20 seconds and then goes quiet again. The fact that the noise comes when the system is off seems a bit odd?

mjackson says:

Hi Richard,

It does sound like there could be a fault therefore, we would recommend getting professional advice from local contractors.

Please complete our online heating form and we will aim to match you with up to 4 contractors who will each contact you in order to arrange the free quotes.

Thanks for your post.

Mark @ Servicemagic

Ruth Wishart says:

Hi there.
Iv recently had a new combi and flue fitted. Since then I can hear banging noises. But not from three boiler. It’s like from outside in between three bathroom and kitchen. I was quite startled the first time I heard it. I wonder if it’s from the flue? ??
It tends to get louder at night too.

Thanks

mjackson says:

Hi Ruth,

It sounds like there may be a fault somewhere in the system therefore its always best to speak to a professional who will be able to diagnose the problem for you.

Please feel free to fill in our online heating repair form and we will aim to match you with up to 4 local contractors who will each contact you in order to arrange the free quotes.

Thanks,

Mark @ Servicemagic

Kaylee says:

Hello,
Ive recently moved into rented accomodation and it had a new combi boiler fitted before i moved in.
I have heard a noise a few times that sounds like a vibration in the radiator (quite hard to explain)
But if you turn the dial down a little bit at the end of the radiator it stops. Then it starts again and when i turn it down a bit more it stops again.
It seems to be when alot of hot water is used, first time i heard it i was washing up, second time the washing machine was on.
Before calling out the landlord i was just wondering if there was something i could do to cure it?
Many Thanks
Kaylee

mjackson says:

Hi Kaylee,

Thanks for your post.

We would recommend speaking to your landlord and asking them whether they are able to arrange for an engineer to come out and take a look.

It could be quite a small fix however it could be part of a larger problem so its always best to have professional diagnose and fix the issue.

We hope this helps.

Mark @ Servicemagic

Rebecca says:

We have a 1.5 yr boiler, we sleep over the room it’s in.
It make a constant surge noise like the gas is being fired in a constant stream.
When the timer goes off it goes into turbo boost like a constant flame thrower sound as supposedly it cools down
It drives me crazy
We have had 2 engineers service it….
Any ideas?

mjackson says:

Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for your post.

The problem could be caused by a number of things such as a build up of scale in the heating system, the boiler thermostat is set too high or is faulty, an insufficient water flow to the boiler or a lack of water pressure.

The information we have provided is only a rough guess at what the problem might be and we would always recommend speaking to professional engineers.

Please feel free to complete our online Boiler form and we will aim to match you with up to 4 local heating engineers who should be able to help.

Thanks again and we hope this helps.

Mark @ Servicemagic

Randy Walker says:

Hey, I have central heat (gas) but not A/C. Whenever we turn the thermostat up, it’s always made a slight humming sound (sounds like it’s getting charged up) but recently it stopped working correctly. Now it just makes the humming sound for about 5 minutes and just quits trying. We’ve replaced the thermostat but to no avail.It seems like it just isn’t firing up or something and unfortunately I’m completely inexperienced in this field. Any suggestions?

mjackson says:

Hi Randy,

Thanks for your post.

This could be due to ”contact chatter” – What your hearing is contact chatter. The blower motor has a contact switch with points that pulls in to supply power to the motor. Here’s how it works. The thermostat sends a signal that is 16 volts to the coil on the contact switch making it a magnet pulling the contact points together. The power is feed to the start capacitor that jump starts the blower motor. If the contact points in the contacter are burned or dirty it will buzz and chatter. You can try cleaning the points in the contacter. Turn of all power to the unit, remove the contacter cover, use a finger nail emery board to clean the points. You can push the points closer together with your finger. Once the points are clean replace the cover and turn the power back on. I hope this solves your problem.

If you try this and the problem persists, you may need to call out a professional – if this is the case then please fill in this form and we will try and match you up with up to 4 local companies who might be able to help.

Thanks

Mark @ Servicemagic

Natalie brown says:

Hi
Wen i turn my heating on its making a ringing noise , can u tell me why it’s making the ringing,
The ringing dont stop intill the heating had been turned of and it’s cooled down
Thanks

mjackson says:

Hi Natalie,

Humming boiler or a vibrating boiler is a sign that the heating elements are set at the wrong timing or the wrong pressure. First check that the thermostat is working correctly and if it is just slow down the speed at which the noisy central heating pump heats the water. If the pressure is left set too high damage can be caused to the pipes, especially during winter when you will also have clanging and banging noises to contend with.

This is only a guess at what your issue is and it’s always best to speak to professionals when diagnosing a problem.

You can request free quotes from local companies by visiting our website and filling out our heating repair form.

I hope this helps.

Mark @ Servicemagic

David says:

Hi there,

I’ve recently moved and discovered that there is a high pitched noise in my bedroom (barely perceptible normally but very annoying when you’re trying to get to sleep!). At first I thought it was something electrical but then I realised that it was coming from one of the pipes (servicing the bedroom’s radiator) under the exposed floorboards, which is strange because it’s summer and I don’t have any heating on. The bedroom next door has a radiator that sometimes rattles, but I assumed this is unrelated and due to the fact that I live next to a busy road, so the building’s bones are susceptible to a passing double decker bus/lorry.

Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks,

David

mjackson says:

Hi David,

We wouldn’t be able to advise as we aren’t professional heating specialists however, if you would like to have a professional look at it please feel free to fill in our online request form and we will aim to match you with up to 4 local contractors who will call you in order to arrange a convenient time for them to visit you and provide you with a free quote.

Amanda says:

i just had oil put into my tank and when i went to bleed my boiler it started to make gurgling noises my boilers outside, i haven’t used my heating for a few months

mjackson says:

Hi Amanda,

Thanks for your post.

We wouldn’t be able to advise on this as we are only an introductory website and aren’t heating engineers.

Please feel free to fill in our online request form and we will aim to match you with up to 4 local contractors who will call you in order to arrange a convenient time for them to visit you and provide you with a free quote.

Andy says:

Hi
Had a new combo boiler and central heating system installed earlier this year. When the heating is switched on, there is a hissing sound from a number of the radiators, many of which were fitted brand new. I called the engineer back to look at it and he told me it was normal central heating noise and that it was caused by the speed at which the new boiler delivers water into the system and radiators. I kind of let the issue drop as the heating wasn’t on during summer. Having just put the heating back on, this noise is there again, the loudest being in my bedroom. It is a rushing air noise, almost like an air-con unit rather than a radiator. Any ideas? Is this normal as has been claimed?

mjackson says:

Hi Andy,

Thanks for your post.

We would love to help and advise on this however it would be difficult as we are not heating engineers ourselves.

Please feel free to fill in our online request form and we will aim to match you with up to 4 local contractors who will call you in order to arrange a convenient time for them to visit you and provide you with a free quote.

Jenny says:

I have oil fired central heating which is just about 1 year old. Two of the radiators keep banging after the heating has been on for about half an hour, radiators have been bled so it’s not that. All the radiators have thermostats on them and i was advised to take one of the thermostats off but this hasn’t worked. Have you any idea what the problem might be ?

mjackson says:

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for your comment.

It would be hard for us to advise as we aren’t heating engineers.

The best thing to do at this stage would be to contact a local engineer who will be able to advise.

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