If you’ve got a boiler system, you are probably familiar with the disconcerting sound of your pipes occasionally banging without warning. What causes the pipes to do that? Is it harmful to your boiler system? What can be done about it? Read on for an explanation of what those banging noises actually are, and what can be done about them.
Air in the Pipes
One of the most common causes of banging sounds in a boiler system. If air gets into the pipes for any reason, it can cause pressure fluctuations that make loud gurgling or banging noises. Air can get into the system in any number of ways, from a defective valve to a previously replaced part. This is especially common in boiler systems that make use of radiators. The solution is to drain all the air from your system, allowing the pressure to equalize again. If you aren’t familiar with the procedure yourself, call a professional to do it for you.
Water becoming trapped in your boiler is another common cause of loud banging noises. When water becomes trapped in the boiler for whatever reason, it is subjected to too much heat and evaporates into steam. When water boils into steam, it expands around to around 1700 times its volume. That sudden and drastic increase in pressure could be what is causing the banging in your system.
As for what is restricting the water flow in your system, it could be any number of things. A broken pump could do it, as could a heat exchanger with limescale deposits. No matter what it is, though, the important thing is that you turn off your boiler as soon as you notice this kind of noise. Whatever is causing it, it isn’t good for your system. Call a professional to look at it as soon as possible, and he or she should be able to eliminate the cause of the noise for you.