Check This for a Hissing Radiator

09.01.21 12:15 PM By Quix Plumbing Service

Simple solutions to silence a noisy radiator

Got a noisy radiator? Don't worry, we've got some helpful tips for what you can do. We'll start with some important safety information and then get into the nitty-gritty details of how to troubleshoot the issue. So read on for peace of mind about what's going on with your heating system!

Some noise is normal, for example, you will likely hear a ticking sound when your radiator expands and contracts, and it's not uncommon to hear a little hissing or gurgling too. But if the noise is so bad it's keeping you awake at night or disturbing you during the day, there are things you can do. Here we have listed the top three disturbers of the peace and what you can do to remedy them.

So let's discuss safety and address the most frequently asked question first which is: "Are noisy radiators dangerous"? Answer: Not usually. In fact, you're more likely to be injured by coming into contact with the hot metal than anything else. So we recommend covering them for safety's sake. 

Banging Radiator

 If you hear a banging noise, it's usually caused by hot steam hitting cooler water. As the water flows, it causes it to move at a high speed and bang against a valve or fitting. 

SOLUTION 1 : Pitch the radiator back toward the valve using shims (small spacers you can put under your rad's feet to lift one end higher than another. This will help the condensation in the radiator to drain back toward the boiler rather than collecting in the radiator itself. 

SOLUTION 2 : If you have a steam radiator, check to make sure that the shut-off valve is in the 100% open position. This will help to avoid loud banging noises and water buildup.

 If you hear a continuous banging noise (in the pipes) it could mean that your radiator's vent is stuck closed. Most likely the vent needs to be replaced which is a job best left to the professionals.

Hissing Radiator

 If you hear continuous hissing sounds,  it could mean the radiator’s air vent is stuck open, clogged, or too small. It's important that your air vent always remains fully open. 

SOLUTION 1 : Make sure that the boiler is off, and that the radiator is cool. Then replace it with a new air valve. To replace an air valve. Gently turn the old air valve counterclockwise (while looking straight at the valve) being careful not to snap it off.

Before installing a new radiator valve, wrap the threading with Teflon tape to ensure you have a tight seal. Then install the new valve by screwing it into the radiator threaded hole clockwise (about 3-4 turns) until firmly in place, with the venting hole of the air valve on top.

SOLUTION 2 : Go to the opposite end of the radiator and repack the valve. Screw off the top of the handle by pushing down on the screw and pushing up on the handle. At the bottom of the stem remove the nut using a counterclockwise motion.

 The goal is to create a new seal by either inserting a fresh gasket into the nut or using graphite packing before screwing the nut back onto the stem. Reattach the handle and voila!

Gurgling Radiator

Gurgling sounds are easy to fix, and usually mean there's an accumulation of air in your pipes.

SOLUTION: Bleeding your radiators will resolve the issue. It's important to bleed your radiators at least once each year in order for the system to operate efficiently. We recommend performing this must-do maintenance at the beginning of the season to keep your radiators running at maximum efficiency.

Radiator noises and leaks are often symptoms of an underlying problem. It's important to know what these sounds mean so that you can take action quickly before the issue becomes worse or more expensive to fix.

Our boiler specialists have years of experience diagnosing problems with radiators, boilers, cooling systems, heating systems - you name it! Call us today and we'll let you know whether it's a quick fix, or if there’s a problem worth taking care of immediately. 


We're here to help you with any plumbing issue you may have – no matter how big or small.