I’m a heating expert and here’s the noise you should never ignore from your radiator, it could spell disaster | The Sun

AS WE move more into winter and temperatures continue to drop, radiators making noise could be a sign of trouble ahead. 

If you can hear a clicking, banging or hissing noise and you’re not too sure where it’s coming from, Heating Expert, Dominic Lees Bell at OnlyRadiators.co.uk explains why this could be happening and how to solve the issue quickly. 

He says: “Unfortunately, the more we use our radiators, the more problems that can arise.

"The quicker these issues are rectified, the quicker you can get your heating back up to scratch and the less expensive it will be to run and repair.

“It is regular practice to bleed radiators regularly as well as balancing them to ensure they heat your rooms up at the same rate.

"It’s also good practice to clean your radiator system by flushing out the sludge that could be stopping it from working efficiently. 

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“But sometimes radiators can tell us themselves what’s going on inside and this can be in the form of clicking, gurgling, a running water sound and even banging.

"Each one of these noises can suggest something is going on but are either  easily fixed or nothing to worry about at all.”

Dominic has these tips to solve a noisy radiator. 

Clicking Radiator 

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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. 

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 or changes in sound. 


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.

A quick fix to this problem is to bleed your radiator. It’s actually 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. 

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.

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.

Radiator Banging

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! 

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.

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.

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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.

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