Noisy boiler? Here’s how to fix it

Posted on 3/8/2019

Apart from an annual check, boilers normally don’t need a lot of attention. But as with any appliance, things can, and do, go wrong from time to time. The first sign of a faulty boiler is often a strange or unexpected sound. And if your boiler is still heating up, it may be tempting to ignore the sound and carry on with everyday life.

To save yourself from a costly repair or replacement later on, it’s important to investigate any funny sounds immediately. The first thing to do is to identify the source of the noise. Sometimes the noise doesn’t come from the boiler, but the radiators or central heating pipes instead.

Many modern boilers now have digital displays. These will show an error code if there’s something wrong with your boiler. You can refer to the product manual or contact the manufacturer’s helpline directly to decipher the codes if you don’t know what they mean.

For boilers without digital displays, the type of noise is often a good indicator of what could be wrong. Here’s a handy list of the most common problems and solutions.

Gurgling sounds

If the gurgling is constant or loud – and not just the water boiling – you may need to bleed the system, increase the water pressure if it’s low or slow down the circulation pump. If you’re in doubt, contact a Gas Safe Registered engineer to help you.

Whooshing or vibrating sounds

This may sound frightening, but the cause is often simple and easy to fix. Check the air intake (flue) and filter to make sure there are no blockages. If the air filter is difficult to remove or clean, ask a qualified engineer for help.

Buzzing or whining sounds

These noises may be the result of worn pump bearings, a defective burner or vibrating fans. As these issues are more complex and involve the inner workings of your boiler, it’s best to get a certified tradesperson out.