Why is my boiler making a loud vibrating noise?

The hot water boiler that powers a central heating system is an important part of our home that often gets overlooked. That is until you hear a worrying noise coming from under the stairs or in a cupboard, and all of a sudden your boiler needs attention.

There are a few different sounds your boiler can make when it is in distress. If you are asking yourself ‘why is my boiler making a loud vibrating noise?’ then we have some top tips and important information that you need to know. Here we are going to look at some of the potential causes of the noise, and what you can do to stop it.

Follow the sound to find the problem

Your central heating system is mostly made from two materials that are great sound conductors; metal and water. You should take some time to follow the sound around your house so you are sure the problem is isolated to the boiler itself.

The problem could be elsewhere in the home, such as an upstairs radiator or a water pipe in a bathroom. If you had a boiler installation performed recently by professional heating engineers, it is more likely that the problem is elsewhere in the home than with the boiler itself.

Check your boiler’s display for error codes

When you are sure the loud vibrating noise is coming from the boiler itself, check the boiler’s display and dials for more information. Most modern boilers have a simple LED display that may provide an error code such as ‘E19’ or ‘60’. Your boiler’s manual, or sometimes a sign on the boiler itself, will have information that corresponds to this code that should help you diagnose the problem.

You can also use the internet to search for the answer, and even for your boiler’s online manual. These codes can help you diagnose the most common boiler problems and can help you decide what to do next. If there is no error code displayed, don’t be disheartened. There are still things you can do to find out ‘why is my boiler is making a loud vibrating noise?’ and what you can do to stop it!

The 3 most common causes of a loud vibrating noise

Without an error code to help you to solve the problem, you are going to have to rely on your ears again. The sounds that your boiler makes can tell you a lot about what is going on inside, and if you listen carefully you can often identify the issue accurately.

The Pump

This part of a boiler is the heart of any heating system. It regulates the flow of hot water around your home, to all your radiators and any heated towel rails, and every hot water tap. If water is not circulating correctly around your home it can make a loud vibrating sound. This is often accompanied by a whooshing noise from the water moving around the system or a banging or rattle from the pump itself as it struggles to do its job.

If your boiler’s pump is the cause of the noise it is best to call in a professional. The pump may only need some maintenance, such as a speed adjustment, or may need replacing. One of the benefits of boiler cover is that you know exactly who to call in this situation, and you will not have to pay an unexpected repair bill.

A Pressure Problem

The water that circulates through the pipes in our homes is pressurised, as is the water that flows into our boilers from the mains supply. A lack of pressure, or too much pressure, can cause some incredibly loud sounds in the pipes and around the boiler in your home.

High pressure usually produces a loud and constant humming sound, and a lack of pressure will sometimes cause intermittent banging noises. Look for the pressure dial on your boiler and see if the needle is in the red part of the dial. This can tell you if your system is low or high pressure.

Your boiler’s manual will tell you how to address this, usually adding water if the system is low pressure. Checking the pressure of your boiler regularly is important because it can prevent low pressure from happening and help extend your boiler’s lifespan.

The Flue

Your boiler breathes in the fresh air from outside and expels spent air and gases. If these become blocked by leaves, for instance, this can cause noises to come from the boiler. This is more often a whistling or humming sound, but can also cause a loud vibrating noise if there is a significant blockage.

Though it is rare, some people have had problems with their boiler caused by birds nesting in their flue! Debris from the outdoors has the potential to cause noises in your heating system. If you are having trouble finding the problem inside, you may need to investigate outside.

The flue of a boiler should be examined as part of a thorough service of your boiler. Making sure you have a boiler service regularly by a professional can save you money by spotting costly problems early.

By following this quick guide we think you should be able to find out why your boiler is making a loud vibrating noise and take some steps to stop it. Remember to rely on the experience of qualified, professional heating engineers if your boiler has a serious problem that you cannot fix yourself.