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Radiators should be seen and not heard. It’s true that these home features can become a part of your house’s design, either blending into the decor or standing loud and proud. But no one wants a radiator that gurgles in the night or clanks and groans through the day.
There are a number of reasons why your radiator may be a little noisier than it should be. Below, find the answer to your problem based on the sounds that are being produced.
A gurgling noise is one of the most common complaints people have about their radiators. As your boiler pumps the hot water around the radiators, it is possible for air to become trapped in the system. Over time, if this air isn’t removed, it can cause issues such as gurgling noises and cold radiators. If your radiator feels cold at the top and hot at the bottom, this air could be preventing the hot water from heating it fully. We explain how to bleed your radiators later on.
Kettling can also be the reason for these banging noises. Boiler kettling occurs most in hard-water areas, where limescale is much more common. As limescale builds up in the central heating system, the pipes leading to the radiator can become blocked. When this happens, you may be able to hear a rumbling or banging noise, this may sound like it is coming from the radiators however this issue has its source in the boiler.
If your radiator is making a clicking noise (it may also sound like a creak or a groan), this may be caused by the metal expanding and contracting as it heats up or cools down. As the hot water comes into contact with the cold metal, the metal will begin to warm up. The clicking or creaking noise that you can hear is the metal expanding. Then, once the heating goes off, the metal will begin to contract as it cools down. You may find that these noises only occur when the heating is first coming on or going off. This is because, once the metal has fully heated up, it will no longer expand and the creaking will stop.
Whether the noises are new or they’ve occurred as long as you’ve lived in the house, it’s important to get the radiator system looked at. These sounds could imply that there is a problem with the system and, if left, it may get worse or cause long-term damage, resulting in the need to buy new radiators. Find out below how to solve each problem.
If your radiator is gurgling…
Gurgling is most commonly caused by air in the system, therefore use a radiator key to loosen the valve on each radiator. Wait for all the air to escape and then close the valve.
If your radiator is banging…..
The banging could be caused by kettling. In this case, you may need to have the system professionally power flushed to ensure that all the limescale and other debris is removed. This will have your system running more quietly and efficiently in no time.
If you have steam radiators and you think that the banging could be caused by trapped water, you should drain the radiator. You can do this by turning off the boiler and gas supply. Turn off the water intake valve and wait for the system to cool down fully. Once cool, open the drain valve by turning it anticlockwise. Catch the liquid in a bowl and pour it away afterwards. Close the valve and turn everything back on again when you’re done.
If your radiator is clicking...
Unfortunately, a clicking radiator is quite normal, as the sound is caused by the metal expanding and contracting. If the radiator is quite old, it may help to get a newer model that could make less noise.