February 1

How To Deal With Strange Sounds from Heating System & Radiators

Water Heater Noises and What They May Mean

Is your water heater making strange sounds? Before you call a professional, it's helpful to know what could be causing the problem. 

A water heater can make a variety of noises. Some sounds are completely normal and nothing to worry about while other sounds may indicate an issue with your unit. As part of your Tenancy agreement, you are required to undertake minor maintenance to the property and this includes checking water heater sounds and determining if they are normal or would require the attention of a professional. 

By learning what the sounds mean, you'll know whether calling in a contractor is crucial or not. As a tenant, you may think that listening to water heater sounds and figuring out what they mean may seem like too big a task but in fact, it will take no more than a few minutes of your time. Of course, you can call a contractor to do it but this will likely cost £80 upwards.

It's a simple process and below is a video and a guide that shows what some of the more common water heater sounds are, what causes them, and how to determine if the noise is something you should be concerned about.

Water Heater Sounds And What They Mean

Rumbling And Boiling

This sound is caused by sediments that have settled into the bottom of your water heater. It is one of the most common water heater sounds and one of the most benign—it doesn't mean any immediate repairs are needed. 

The sound is caused by sediments that have settled into the bottom of your unit. As your water heater heats up, these sediments will start to move around, resulting in the characteristic rumbling sound. This is a normal part of the water heater operation and nothing to be concerned about. However, you need to note when you started hearing these sounds because the time to flush your water heater might be close. Flushing your unit will remove sediments from the tank and help prolong its lifespan. Most manufacturers recommend regularly flushing your water heater every six months.


Another common water heater sound is a hammering noise. This is usually caused by high water pressure inside your unit. If the pressure gets too high, it can cause the valves and fittings inside your unit to vibrate and make noise. 

This is typically nothing to worry about but if the noise is particularly loud or persistent, it's important to have a professional check your pressure relief valve. This valve is designed to release pressure when it gets too high, so if it's not working properly, it could damage your unit.

High Screeching Or Screaming Whistling

These high-pitched noises are usually caused by air bubbles that become trapped in the water lines leading to your unit. When these air bubbles are heated, they expand and contract, which causes the screeching or whistling sound. 

This is also generally nothing to worry about but if the noise is bothersome, you can try bleeding the air out of your water lines by opening a faucet at the highest point in your home until the noise stops.

High Hissing

Yet another common water heater sound, that high hissing noise from your water heater is most likely caused by condensation on the unit's burner assembly. When this condensation is heated, it turns into steam, which causes the hissing sound. 

This is normal when your unit first starts up but if it continues for an extended period, it could be an indication that your unit isn't burning properly. If you're concerned about this noise, it's best to have a professional take a look at your water heater. Most manufacturers would recommend having your burner assembly professionally cleaned once every year. 

Cracking Or Ticking And Popping

These sounds are caused by thermal expansion in your unit. As the water heater heats up, the metal expands and contracts, which can cause cracking or ticking noises. 

This is perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned about. However, if you hear any bangs or pops coming from your unit, it's best to have a professional check it out just to be safe.


A dripping noise from your water heater usually indicates that there's a thermal expansion in your water lines. As the water in your lines heats up, it expands and contracts, which can cause drops of water to fall from the pipes. 

This is also normal and nothing to worry about but if you notice any leaks around your unit, it's best to have a professional take a look at it right away as this could be indicative of a bigger problem. 

What Water Heater Sounds Mean And Why It’s Okay For You To Check Them Yourself

Knowing what different water heater sounds mean can help you determine whether or not you need to call a professional for help.

In most cases, the noises are nothing to worry about and you may have a few more months before you call in your water heater contractor. 

To be sure do a secondary check. Check for leaks around your water heater. Check if your radiator is not giving off heat. Test the hot water in the bathroom. Or, check your water heater's pressure gauge to see if the pressure is within the normal working range. These are checks that, if you do them yourself, can give you some measure of satisfaction and peace of mind. 

But if you're unsure and you find that your checks have not changed your concern, please contact us on 01522503717 and we will be able to send out a contractor. It's always better to err on the side of caution and have someone take a look at your unit just to be safe. However, if it is found that it falls under your responsibility as a tenant then you will be charged for the work. 

Reminder That You May Be Charged - Where our contractor has arranged a time with you to attend and you postpone, cancel, or don't show up or where it is your fault for the appointment not proceeding you will be responsible for paying the call-out charge for the contractor and potentially any restocking fee for parts. Where the fault, issue or damage, is put down to your or other tenants, permitted occupiers, or guests' actions, you will be responsible for paying for the repair. These terms are already part of your Tenancy Agreement.


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