Spooky sounds from your boiler

17 October 2023

Spooky sounds coming from your boiler?

Halloween is a time where you should be getting scared from Trick ‘n’ Treaters and children dressed up as clowns, not from your boiler. Here are some common sounds your boiler might make and how you can stop them from happening.

If your boiler is making lots of noise, then it can be a sign that it’s about to break down.

Boiler Gurglings

It is common for boilers to make small amounts of gurgling sounds and it shouldn’t cause that much concern. It’s when it becomes louder, or more constant, grabbing your attention, that you might want to do something about it.

Normally, a gurgling sound is caused by air in the system, a blockage or sediment at the bottom of the boiler. To check to see if there is air in the system, you should bleed the systemThis removes any air from it and doesn’t require an expert to do it. You can read our guide on how to bleed your radiators here.

Gurgling noises are also caused by having water pressure that is too low. Check to see if the pressure is too low by consulting the pressure gauge. It should be marked to show what the right pressure is, but you can also use the manual to double check. If the pressure is too low, then increase the pressure until it reaches the correct level. There are also helpful videos on our website on how to repressurise your boiler.

‘Wooshing’ and Vibrating

Wooshing can be the loudest and scariest sounds that you hear but are often the least dangerous. The most common way for the wooshing boiler sound to happen is from a blockage in the air take. To see if this is the case, you can check the external pipe to make sure nothing is blocking it, like fluff. You should also be able to feel a current of air if you place your hand over it.


Whistling or kettling, is a similar sound to that a kettle makes just before it boils. If your boiler makes this sound, then it might be a sign of sludge or limescale build up in the central heating system. This typically happens in areas with hard water where the boiler isn’t fitted with a filter.

The sound is caused by the sludge restricting the water flow to the heat exchanger which causes it to overheat and boil. If this sound is heard for a long period of time, then it can cause your boiler to fail. To prevent this from happening, a power flush using chemicals can be carried out and you can filter can be installed. For the best advice and for central heating cleaning, you can view Swale Heating’s services here.

Buzzing and Whining

If you hear a buzzing or whining sound, then this is a real cause for concern. Several reasons can cause this sound like worn pump bearings, vibrating fans or a defective burner. Only a qualified Gas Safe engineer should attempt to diagnose and fix the problem. You should aim to get this problem seen by a professional as soon as possible to prevent the boiler from failing or it leading to other problems.

All these sounds can be scary and should be fixed as soon as possible. 1 in 9 boilers are unsafe, so you should not carry out any work yourself.* If you experience these sounds from your boiler, it is always best to get it checked out. Contact us on here and one of our expert advisers will be able to help you.


Information source:

*Stay Gas Safe