DIY

Is a tapping radiator keeping you up at night?

Is a tapping radiator keeping you up at night?
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A home with hot water radiators normally creates a quiet, warm, and cozy heating environment. That is… until the radiator tapping noise starts clanging and banging inside itself at all hours of the day and night. Not to worry—as this is a common occurrence. The entire heating system has various metal parts and also potential air leaks. Various different radiator tapping noises might be heard throughout the house.

 

Feel free to take a look at our articles on what to do if your radiator is not getting hot, and possible reasons for your radiator whistling so you can add to your knowledge of how radiators actually work – this will become a good reference point!

Find the source of the radiator tapping noise

Tapping radiator pipes are a nuisance so let’s look a few issues that might be causing the tapping in the radiator.

#1 The steam

PROBLEM: The tapping radiator pipes sound is usually the result of steam coming into contact with cooler water, which can be caused by a leaky valve in one or more radiators in your home.

 

SOLUTION: The first thing to do is to bleed the air from the radiator, which will require the key that accompanies the heating system. Not to worry if the key is lost, check out our tips on how to bleed a radiator, and how to bleed a radiator without a key.

#2 The boiler

PROBLEM: Check the boiler which is usually in the basement. Sometimes you can hear the source of the issue from metal tapping on metal from the hot water pressure, or a dirty boiler. It may be coming from deep within the boiler and surrounding area. Malfunctions in the boiler may affect the banging or tapping in the radiators as well.

 

SOLUTION: When this occurs, you will have to hire an expert plumber to clean your boiler. Boiler kettling is a serious boiler malfunction which can cause noise within the central heating radiator system. Boiler kettling, although rare, only happens in areas where there is a lot of hard water. As limescale builds up in the central heating boiler, radiator pipes become blocked. A rumbling, tapping and banging noise is produced by the steam bubbles cooling down. 

#3 The floor

PROBLEM: The tapping radiator pipes sound is usually the result of steam coming into contact with cooler water, which can be caused by a leaky valve in one or more radiators in your home.

 

SOLUTION: The first thing to do is to bleed the air from the radiator, which will require the key that accompanies the heating system. Not to worry if the key is lost, check out our tips on how to bleed a radiator, and how to bleed a radiator without a key.

PROBLEM: The radiator valves are correctly positioned and intact, however the floor has warped or sagged under the radiator, which is very common in older homes. The outcome is that the radiator may be pitched (kind of sloping downhill) and therefore is blocking the flow of the water and steam – which may be causing the annoying tapping radiator!

 

SOLUTION: Grab a full-size level, as you will need to get the radiator to be level to the earth to potentially get rid of the tapping radiator noise! You must shimmy the radiator until the level shows the water bubble exactly in the middle. Use an array of coaster-like furniture pads to shimmy up the sloping side. In addition, you may want to actually repair the flooring if it has water damage or rotted floorboards – you have to get the radiator to work at its best by having it remain level at all times. 

We hope you enjoyed our tips on what to do about that radiator tapping noise. Don’t forget to check out our other DIY and cleaning tips such as what to do when the radiator is hot at the top and cold at the bottom and how to clean a water heater.

 

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