As a homeowner, knowing how to diagnose and fix problems within your heating system can be advantageous, especially approaching the colder months. A common issue that often comes up with radiators is the array of strange noises that they make and what they mean. So, whether your vertical radiators are hissing, or your column radiator is clicking, read on to find out what this might mean, and what you can do to fix it.
What causes a noisy radiator?
Generally, if your radiator is making a noise, it is completely normal. Depending on the noise that your radiator is making, it can be for a few different reasons – when you have identified the reason, you can then begin to fix the issue. So, whether you’re being kept awake by a banging or hissing sound, or your radiator is clunking more than normal, there is a way to quieten down your heating system and give you added peace of mind that it is working as it should. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the common causes of radiator noises and how you can fix them.
Flush out sludge
Sludge in your heating system can make for a noisy radiator. This is a result of corrosion within the central heating system and metal oxides can turn it deep brown to black in colour. Sludge works to block your pipes, and the general flow inside your radiator. As well as noise, you can check if sludge is present by checking if your radiators are heating thoroughly – if your radiator is cold at the bottom, this can indicate sludge.
If you think your radiator is making noise because of sludge blockages, you should power flush your radiator to get rid of it. You should ask a plumber for help with this, to get your heating back to working effectively. Whilst flushing, the plumber will most likely add an inhibitor to the radiator so that it can be protected from corrosion in the future, so you can sleep soundly without mysterious radiator noises to wake you.
Bleed out air
This is one of the most common causes of radiator noises in households. Over time, air can get trapped in your radiator and these oxygen bubbles along with other gases, form inside your heating system and take up space. You can check for air bubbles by checking if your radiator is cold at the top, or if it takes a while to heat up. If you think that you have air bubbles in your heating system, the best way to fix this is to bleed your radiator. You should bleed your radiators frequently, at least once a year to keep them running as they should, and this is something that you can easily do yourself. Bleeding out the air from the radiator may get rid of the strange noises, so it is always worth a try!
If your radiator is making a hissing noise, this may be due to excess water running through it. This can be an indication that your radiator requires balancing – you can also check for this if your radiators furthest from the boiler don’t tend to get as hot as the others. Balancing your radiators is something you can do yourself – it means an even amount of water will be flowing through all your radiators and therefore the rushing or hissing noises can be eradicated.
When metal gets hot, it expands – which is sometimes the cause of the noises that we hear around our homes and from our radiators. It is normal for radiators to make clicking, ticking, or banging noises now and again, due to them heating up and contracting again when cooling down. You should expect some noise from your radiators because of this, but if you think they’re making more noise than usual or a different noise you’ve not heard before, you may want to try one of the above steps.
Verified Content by Experts
USA Tales has content written by niche experts, travelers, students, and those with real-life experience. Our content is also periodically reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure content accuracy and relevancy. Have a question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org