Normally, your central heating is nice and quiet – you may hear a few little gurgling or clicking noises when it comes on, but that’s a reassuring sign the heating’s working and everything soon settles down.

However, if your radiators continue to make noise, there may well be something that needs fixing. Here are the most common problems:


Air bubbles can occur as a result of the water moving inside the pipes, and they will make little clicking noises. They can be dealt with fairly easily by waiting for the system to cool down so the air bubbles rise to the top, then bleeding the radiators. You may have to do this more than once to completely get rid of all the bubbles.

A greater amount of air in the system will cause a gurgling noise. Again, bleeding the radiators should sort the problem.

If there is a lot of air in the system, then there may be a problem with the feed and expansion (F&E) tank, which is usually in the loft. The F&E tank works in a similar way to a toilet cistern. If the tank is dry, it is probably a result of the ball valve becoming stuck in the lifted position. Wriggle the arm up and down until it frees and the water flows back into the tank. If that doesn’t happen, the ball valve will probably need replacing.

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Badly fitting parts 

If you hear tapping noises coming from your radiators, it’s likely that a part has come loose or, if you have recently had something replaced, it has not been fitted properly. If possible, tighten the part up again, or call in an engineer.


A build-up of limescale inside the heat exchanger restricts the water flow and causes a noise that sounds like a whistling kettle. It can be dealt with by descaling the system. First, add descaler to the feed and expansion tank. Once it has had time to work, drain the system and flush the system with clean water. Alternatively, contact a plumber or engineer and ask them to do a power flush.

Warping pipes

When your pipes expand and contract as the water inside heats up or cools down, you may hear creaking noises, especially if the pipes are up against wooden joints or furniture. If the piping is running through any hard to reach joints, you may need to hire someone to sort out the problem.

Still unsure? To find out more, simply get in touch!