Many homeowners enjoy the comfortable and quiet service heating boilers provide without the on-and-off whooshing noises produced by forced-air systems. However, when boilers do make loud noises, it can disrupt home life and sleep. If loud boiler operation has you concerned, use this guide to pinpoint the problem.
Loud Boiler Noises
There are actually many possible causes of loud boiler operation, with all problems making basically the same rumbling, percolating and banging noises:
- Mineral deposits: Dissolved minerals in water can accumulate at the bottom of your boiler tank. Mineral and scale deposits create hot spots, which causes boiling. As the rising bubbles reach cooler water, it creates a knocking or banging noise called kettling.
- Air in the system: Pipes and radiators often make banging noises when air is leaking into the system. You can bleed excess air, but the problem that’s letting air into the system must be fixed by a professional heating technician.
- Temperature: If your thermostat is set too high, it can cause excess boiling. You can turn back your thermostat, which causes a decrease in heat output. It’s important to make sure your thermostat isn’t failing.
- Water pressure: Low water pressure may cause kettling because heat can’t dissipate quickly enough. Low water pressure may be caused by faulty valves, incorrect flow rate and frozen pipes.
- Sizing: A burner that’s too large for a boiler can create localized boiling. In contrast, a circulating pump that’s too small can lead to low water pressure problems.
Working with a boiler often involves extremely high pressure, steam and water near or above the boiling point. As such, boiler troubleshooting is a job best left to a professional. Your technician will run a series of test to identify any problems causing loud boiler operation.
During your contractor’s visit, mechanical problems, water pressure, trapped air and thermostat settings are checked first. If none of these issues are causing loud noises, your boiler will be chemically treated, flushed and refilled with fresh water over the course of several days.
If loud boiler operation has you on edge, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing in the Traverse City area today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about boilers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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