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Is Your Boiler Making These Noises? (& Signs You Need Repair or Replacement)

September 15, 2022

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Property owners should never put off needed boiler repair! The longer you ignore damage, the worse those issues become. In turn, you might face even costlier fixes down the road. Additionally, a broken boiler risks damage to surrounding materials and even injury to anyone in the vicinity!

However, some property owners put off needed boiler replacement or repair simply because they don’t realize the appliance is failing. On the other hand, understanding common signs of boiler issues can allow you to schedule timely fixes. Is your boiler making noise? Check out some noises that often mean it’s time for boiler repair or replacement. Then, call a plumbing repair contractor near you and discuss the issues as needed!

What Is a Boiler and How Is It Different Than a Furnace?

Before you can understand signs of needed boiler repair or replacement, it helps to understand boilers versus furnaces! First, note that a furnace heats air that then circulates through a building. Second, consider that a boiler heats water to then circulate through pipes.

This heated water might heat interior spaces, such as through a radiator. However, you might also use that heated water in a sink, shower, dishwasher, or clothes washer. In turn, a water heater is technically a boiler.

repairing a boiler

Is Your Boiler Making Noise? Here's What it Means

As with forced air furnaces, sometimes a boiler makes loud noise without these signaling needed repairs. For instance, you might hear a “whooshing” noise as the appliance cycles on. Some property owners might also note the sound of water moving through pipes behind walls. However, note the following noises and when they indicate needed repair or boiler replacement:

Rattling noises

While pipes might rattle as water moves through them, loud or excessive rattling often signals needed fixes. One, you might try venting your property’s radiators, to let out trapped air. Two, check for loose valves near the rattling sound. Lastly, this might indicate loose pipes or a damaged pump, which need attention from a plumber!

Loud humming, rumbling, or vibrating sounds

Sediment buildup often risks loud humming or rumbling noises from a boiler. Also, too much pressure in the boiler can mean humming or what might resemble buzzing noises. Additionally, a pump might need readjusting so that it doesn’t push water through pipes too quickly.

Lastly, sludge in the boiler can often lead to vibrating or other similar sounds. This sludge risks severe boiler damage and overheating. Consequently, ensure you call a plumber if you notice any of these sounds, and schedule prompt repairs!

Whistling or kettling noises

Kettling refers to a buildup of steam inside any appliance or water heating apparatus, including a stovetop kettle or boiler. As that steam escapes, it often creates a whistling sound. If you notice a sound from your boiler like that of a kettle, call a plumber! Escaping steam risks injury to anyone in the vicinity and water damage to surrounding materials.

Thumping noises

Thumping noises are not uncommon from boilers and furnaces. These often indicate loose pipes or their connectors. The force of air or water moving through those pipes then causes them to bang against walls, studs, or connectors. A plumber or contractor can typically pinpoint this issue and make needed repairs.

boiller repair

What Is a Normal Boiler Noise?

As with any other household or commercial appliance, boilers do sometimes make noise as they operate. For instance, a boiler pump might create a whirring sound as it runs. You might also hear moving water as it flows through pipes behind walls.

However, no matter the sound, call a plumber if it’s excessively loud. Even normal whirring or rumbling sounds can signal needed fixes, depending on their cause. Even if your plumber says there are no issues with the appliance, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

When Should You Choose Boiler Replacement Versus Repair?

Some damage might indicate a boiler beyond repairs. However, how do you know your property’s appliance needs replacing rather than fixing? First, note its overall age and if it’s reached the end of its expected lifespan. Second, consider immediate and future repair costs versus a new boiler price.

For example, you might be facing immediate repairs that might run a few hundred dollars. If that’s the only issue with your boiler, it might not need replacing. On the other hand, an older boiler might need consistent, costly repairs. In that case, a new boiler is often the better choice.

Also, note if a damaged boiler is an opportunity to upgrade the appliance. A larger boiler can mean more consistent heating or sufficient hot water when needed. At the same time, downsizing a boiler might save you money on electricity or gas costs.

Can You Manage Boiler Replacement Yourself?

Property owners should avoid DIY boiler replacement! Remember that boilers need both water and electric hookup, and many also require gas plumbing as well. Not only is installation then dangerous to manage but improper installation can result in future property damage. Additionally, improper connection of pipes, wiring, and other components risks gas leaks, electrical fires, and other serious concerns.

Also, note that new boilers need adjustments, including checking the pump and thermostat for proper operation. If these don’t function properly, this can risk overheating, excessive water pressure, and other damage.

Lastly, consider that many boiler warranties require expert installation! Attempting a DIY installation can mean voiding that warranty. In turn, you might then need to pay for future repairs that the guarantee would otherwise cover. This is just one more reason to leave boiler installation to the pros!

Alliance Service Pros - Plumbing & Heating is happy to bring this information our readers about boilers making noise. We hope you found it helpful and useful! If so, please feel free to share it with others. Also, if you have additional questions about boilers or water heaters, don’t hesitate to contact our skilled plumbing contractors. We offer expert, guaranteed plumbing installation and repairs, including boilers, appliances, and bathroom fixtures. Additionally, we make quick work of diagnostics for those fixes! To find out more, use our contact form or just give us a call.


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