0333 577 0151

6 Unusual Central Heating Noises & What They Could Mean

Everyone’s central heating system probably makes a ‘strange noise’ at some point. When your boiler, radiators or pipes start making strange sounds, it can often seem quite worrying. However, many odd noises are simple problems with quick fixes. We’ve put this simple guide together to help you tell which is which. Remember, if you are ever unsure, don’t hesitate to call a professional engineer.


The most common and usually the simplest to solve central heating noise is referred to as ‘kettling’. That’s because it sounds much like a kettle boiling. You can find out more about kettling here.


Kettling is quite a common issue and is usually caused by a buildup of sludge or limescale in your heating system. If the buildup is severe, you may require a powerflushing service to remove the sludge and get your central system back in full working order. You can find more information on powerflushing in our article.


A dripping noise coming from your boiler may be caused by a leak within your system. If this is the case, never attempt to fix the issue yourself. Call a professional engineer to properly diagnose and fix the problem.

Having a leak within your boiler is often the result of your pressure being too high, causing the leak to occur. It can also be the result of the wearing down of your boiler components, particularly if your boiler is old. In some cases, it may even be cost effective to replace your boiler with a more efficient new one.


Hearing a gurgling noise coming from your radiators? This is usually caused by an air buildup in your radiators and should have a very simple fix. You may also find that part of your radiator is not being heated fully.


Bleeding your radiators will solve a gurgling problem in most cases. This is a very simple process to carry out yourself. Just follow the steps on our radiator bleeding guide.

If bleeding your radiators doesn’t solve the problem, it may be something more serious that requires fixing by an expert. Call a professional heating engineer to diagnose the cause of the problem.


A tapping noise coming from your central heating system could be caused by a part being fitted incorrectly. If you’ve recently had a new part fitted or changed, this is the most likely cause of your tapping noise. Call in an engineer to have the part fitted correctly.

Tapping may also be caused by a buildup of limescale, particularly if you live in a hard water area. If this is the case, you may require a powerflushing service to correct the fault.


As water passes through your pipes, they expand and contract due to heat. If the pipes in your central heating system have not been fitted correctly, this could cause a banging noise to occur. This noise may be particularly prominent if your pipes are close to the floorboards.

You may need to call out an engineer to refit the pipes correctly and solve that annoying banging noise problem.


Your boiler will probably produce some noise during normal operation. However, if there is a noticeably louder humming sound coming from your boiler, this could be caused by a problem with the heating elements in your system.

This is not really a problem you can diagnose yourself, and you shouldn’t attempt to tamper with your boiler to find the root of the issue. Call out an engineer to safely fix the problem and get your boiler back in full working order.

In Summary…

There are many different noises that your central heating system can make, and while some of them can seem worrying at first, most will be easily fixed. If you are at all unsure about any noise your heating system is making, the safest thing to do is call our friendly boiler repairs team on 0333 577 0151 or contact us here.

Request Your Free
Quotation Today

Complete the form below and one of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.

We are a Yorkshire-based company covering areas around Wakefield, Leeds, Sheffield and beyond. If you are unsure if we may be able to cover your area, please take a look at our locations page. Plumbcare will only ever use your details to reply to your enquiry and we’ll never send you any spam. Ever.

Gas Safe Register
OFTEC Registered Business
CHAS Accredited Contractor
Safe Contractor Approved
Watersafe Quality Assured
Worcester Bosch Accredited Installer