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Is Your Radiator Making Noise? Here's How to Fix A Noisy Radiator

Is your radiator making noise? If your radiator is making a clicking, banging or hissing noise and you’re not too sure where it’s coming from, our resident DIY expert, Tom Drake explains why this could be happening and how to solve the issue quickly. Here’s some ways that could be causing your radiator to be noisy, and how to solve them quickly.

It’s super important to take care of your radiators! You should be bleeding them regularly, balancing them to ensure they all heat your rooms up at the same rate, and cleaning your radiators by flushing out the sludge that could be stopping them from working efficiently. 


Clicking Noises

Gurgling Noises

Water Running Noises

Banging Noises

Radiator Clicking Noises

Why Does My Radiator Click?

Clicking and creaking noises are the most common noise a radiator or heated towel rail will make and this is actually pretty normal. It’s most likely that this is caused by expansion of the metal after a rush of hot water flows into it. Similarly, when the radiator cools down, the metal contracts as the hot water gets cooler. 

How to Fix a Clicking Radiator

It’s likely you’ll hear these clicking noises from your radiator when the heating is first turned on or turned off and it doesn’t mean your radiator is about to explode, so you do not need to worry about radiator clicking noises unless it persists and changes its sound - if so, read on!

Radiator Making Clicking Noise

Radiator Gurgling Noises 

What Causes a Gurgling Radiator?

It’s also very common to hear gurgling noises in your radiators, which is caused by trapped air that needs to be released. We know that hot water heats radiator pipes, but air can sometimes get trapped along with the water, and can cause cold spots in your radiator especially at the bottom.

How to Fix a Gurgling Radiator

A quick fix to this problem is to bleed your radiator, and it’s recommended that you bleed your radiator every year before the heating season to ensure they’re ready for action. To do this, turn your heating off, then use a radiator key to loosen the valve on each radiator by slowly turning it anti-clockwise. You should hear a hissing sound as the air escapes, then close the valve when all the excess air has been released.  Your radiator should now heat up a lot more efficiently and the gurgling noises should stop.

You should also be flushing the sludge from your radiators regularly if you’re experiencing cold spots, as there could be an accumulation of dirt and dust building up inside. Check out how to do this properly in our step by step guide for flushing radiator sludge

Radiator Gurgling Noise

Radiator Making Water Noise

Why Does My Radiator Make a Water Running Noise?

Your radiator may be making noises that sound like running or dripping water which can also be caused by air pockets. Although water is used to heat radiators, you shouldn’t be able to hear the water, so it’s likely the trapped air is limiting the water from circulating the radiator pipes properly. 

How to Fix Radiator Making a Water Noise

You can also solve this problem by bleeding your radiator to ensure all the air escapes, which enables a steady flow of water inside your radiator pipes.

Bleeding a Radiator

Radiator Banging Noises

Why is my Radiator Making a Banging Noise?

This can be caused by kettling, which is a build up of limescale in your central heating system, not actually your radiators themselves. Hard water areas such as the South and East of England are prone to kettling, thus noisy radiators! 

How to Fix a Banging Noise in Your Radiator

In some cases, this can be solved by draining your radiator to free up trapped water and air. You need to ensure you turn off the boiler and gas supply, turn off the intake valve and wait for the radiator to cool down and open the drain valve again. You should have some liquid released by the radiator which you can catch in a bowl, at this point you can turn the valve off and turn everything back on. 

If the banging noise persists, it may be that you need to have your boiler power flushed to ensure all the limescale and grime is removed. This will minimise future sounds and keep your heating as efficient as possible.

Radiator Whistling

Why is my Radiator Making a Whistling Sound?

A radiator may create a whistling sound when the air inside the radiator is heated and begins to expand and move through the pipes. This movement of air causes the pipes to vibrate, which then creates a whistling sound.

How to Fix Radiator Whistling

Check to see if the whistling noise is coming from the air vents. If it is, you may need to adjust the valves to reduce the air flow. If the noise is not coming from the air vents, it may be coming from the pipes. Check the pipes to make sure they are properly connected and that there are no loose connections.

Finally, check the radiator itself. If the whistling noise is definitely coming from the radiator itself, it may be due to a build-up of sediment. To fix this, you can try flushing the radiator with a mixture of water and vinegar.

Keep noisy radiators at bay by keeping them in good condition

Radiators need to be kept in good condition to keep them working properly and lasting for a long time. Check out our heating hub which has everything you need to know about getting your radiators ready for winter, including common problems you may face, and how to ensure your radiators are working as they should!

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