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Don’t let it be your boiler that goes bang this fireworks night!

Some love fireworks night, others not so much! Wrapping up warm and heading out to watch the enchanting displays is exciting for many. Make sure you come home to a warm house and that your boiler isn’t making any noises before you leave!

If you think your boiler is making noises the first step is to work out where the sound is coming from. The noise maybe misleading and travel and echo through the heating system. You need to establish if it is a noisy boiler, radiator, or central heating pipe.

Once you think you know where the noise is from you should check your boiler for any fault codes. Most new boilers will come with digital displays that will show an error code should something go wrong. Not all noises generate a fault code so keep reading to find out more!

What noise is your boiler making?

Gurgling sounds

It is common for boilers to make small amounts of gurgling sounds and it shouldn’t cause that much concern. It’s when it becomes louder or more constant to grab your attention that you might want to do something about it.

Normally, a gurgling sound is caused by air in the system, a blockage or sediment at the bottom of the boiler. To check to see if there is air in the system, you should bleed the system. This removes any air from the system and doesn’t require an expert to do it.

Gurgling noises are also caused by having water pressure that is too low. Check to see if the pressure is too low by consulting the pressure gauge. It should be marked to show what the right pressure is, but you can also use the manual to double check. If the pressure is too low, then increase the pressure until it reaches the correct level.

‘Wooshing’ and vibrating

Wooshing can be the loudest and scariest sounds that you hear but are often the least dangerous. The most common way for the wooshing boiler sound to happen is from a blockage in the air take. To see if this is the case, you can check the external pipe to make sure nothing is blocking it, like fluff. You should also be able to feel a current of air if you place your hand over it.


Whistling or kettling, is a similar sound to that a kettle makes just before it boils. If your boiler makes this sound, then it might be a sign of sludge or limescale build up in the central heating system. This typically happens in areas with hard water where the boiler isn’t fitted with a filter.

The sound is caused by the sludge restricting the water flow to the heat exchanger which causes it to overheat and boil. If this sound is heard for a long period of time, then it can cause your boiler to fail. To prevent this from happening, a power flush using chemicals can be carried out and you can filter can be installed.

Buzzing and whining

If you hear a buzzing or whining sound, then this is a real cause for concern. Several reasons can cause this sound like worn pump bearings, vibrating fans or a defective burner. Only a qualified engineer should attempt to diagnose and fix the problem. You should aim to get this problem seen by a professional as soon as possible to prevent the boiler from failing or it leading to other problems.

All these sounds can be scary and should be fixed as soon as possible. 1 in 5 boilers are unsafe so you should not carry out any work yourself.* If you experience these sounds from your boiler it is always best to get it checked out.