3 Reasons And Solutions For Noisy, Banging Boiler Pipes

If your home uses a boiler for heating purposes, there is a good chance you will encounter a time when you hear banging sounds coming from the pipes. While this is especially common with older homes, it can also happen with newer ones too. When this happens, you may wonder whether to call an HVAC company or a plumber, but the answer is that either type can fix the problem. Here are three of the most common reasons this happens and the ways contractors fix the problems.

Water Level Is Off

A boiler system operates with water, which is what heats a home. The water is heated in the boiler and is sent throughout the house through pipes to radiators. The system will usually operate without a lot of noise if the water level is correct.

There are two main types of boilers, and banging pipes will occur for different reasons with both types. With a steam boiler, the boiler produces steam to heat the house, and the cause of banging pipes with this type of boiler is typically that the system contains too much water. The extra water in the system puts added pressure on the pipes, causing them to bang.

With a hot water boiler, the banging sounds are often a result of a lack of water. You might hear banging noises, but you are more likely to hear gurgling sounds, or sounds of water rushing through your walls. To fix this problem, a plumber will usually bleed the air out of the lines, which will clear up the problem.

Loose Pipes

With either type of boiler, the annoying sounds you are hearing might be a result of loose pipes. This doesn't happen often in newer homes because the pipes are secure and new, but it is common in older homes.

When pipes are loose, the water rushing through them will cause them to move. As they move, they may hit other pipes, boards, or other building materials found in the walls of your home.

Fixing this problem is slightly harder because a plumber will have to go inside the walls to access the pipes. Before this is done, the plumber may turn the heating system up to a high temperature to make the water flow. The plumber will then listen to the walls to locate the main sources of the banging sounds. After this, he will have to cut the drywall from the walls (if necessary) to get to the pipes. Once the plumber reaches the pipes, he can tie them down with brackets, clips, or pipe hangers.

Pressure Is Off

The third common reason for banging pipes is due to the pressure of water in the system. The water that circulates through the pipes of your home does this with pressure from the boiler.  The problem is that the pressure of water entering your house is different from the pressure a boiler needs to operate.

Because of this difference, a boiler should have a pressure reducer valve on it. This valve reduces the normal water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (psi) to the correct pressure level a boiler needs. Most boilers operate at 20 psi to 30 psi, but it depends on the size of the system.

If your boiler doesn't have a pressure reducer valve on it, a plumber will install one. If the valve is broken or not functioning properly, it may need to be replaced.

Living in a home with noisy, banging pipes can be distracting and aggravating, but there are solutions. Call a plumber from a company like Bishop Plumbing, Heating and Cooling to come and inspect your boiler system to find out exactly why it is making these disruptive sounds.