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Warning Sounds Your May Hear From Your Boiler

woman-listeningOne of the advantages of using a boiler system to heat a home is that a boiler runs quieter than furnaces or heat pumps. Boilers don’t use powerful fans to distribute heat but instead a circulator pump that moves heated water from the boiler tank to the various radiators, baseboard heaters, and in-floor heating pipes. The main sounds you’ll hear from a boiler are the gas jets coming on and some noise from water movement—and even this won’t be noticeable when you’re not in the room with the boiler.

So when unusual noises start to interrupt the normal quiet of your home’s boiler, it often means you need to schedule a professional heater repair in Woodland Park, CO. We’re a local contractor who works on boiler repairs, and we’ll get to the bottom of whatever is causing the noise and what needs to be repaired.

Below we’ve listed some boiler warning sounds to listen for.


This is the most common strange noise to come from a boiler tank. It’s a rumbling sound, which is alarming to hear. Don’t worry, the boiler isn’t on the verge of exploding. But this noise does warn of problems in the tank. What’s happening is that hard water deposits have blocked flow through the heat exchanger in the tank, increasing stress on it. Trapped water in the heat exchanger changes into steam and the pressure results in the kettling sound. This is not good for the heat exchanger and may cause it to rupture, leading to extensive water damage. Please have repair people take a look at a kettling boiler.


The sound of a popping or piping noise from a boiler is often the preamble to kettling. It usually means a layer of sediment across the bottom of the tank is blocking the movement of heat from the heat exchanger. Water trapped under the sediment heats up and bubbling through the layer. Technicians can flush the tank to stop this and prevent it from getting worse.


A sort of high-pitched vibrating (not a deep rumble) might be trouble with the circulator pump having come loose and shaking inside the casing. It could also be from a sediment build-up.


If you hear something like the whine of an airplane from the boiler, it could also be trouble with the pump—in this case, the pump is starting to fail and may need to be replaced. 


Here’s a noise you may hear from the radiators and baseboard heaters rather than the boiler tank. The gurgling indicates that there are air bubbles inside the boiler’s pipes. There should be no air inside the system since this helps to prevent corrosion. If there is air in the pipes and terminal points, you shouldn’t just attempt to bleed the radiators. It’s important to find out how air got into the system, as this often means there are hidden leaks somewhere—and a leaking boiler is bad news!

Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning serves Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. Call us when you need repair work for your boiler or other heating system.

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