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How To Fix A Noisy Baseboard Heater

Baseboard heaters, also called hydronic heaters, are installed along the baseboards of the room, and they provide heat from heated water traveling through metal tubing. However, you may experience noises such as gurgling,  buzzing, hammering, pinging, banging, or thumping.

These noises can be annoying as well as indicating a serious problem. Fix a noisy baseboard heater by following these steps.

Repair Thumping, Knocking, and Squeaking Noise

To fix noisy baseboard heaters, gather: 

  • Work gloves
  • Buckets or containers
  • Flat-blade screwdriver
  • Small slotted screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers or radiator key
  • Vacuum and attachments
  • Universal fin comb
  • PVC water pipe or wax paper
  • Pipe cutter or scissors
  • Power drill 

Thumps and squeaking can be fixed with plastic piping or wax paper. Some units may have plastic sliders inserted under each metal carrier. Check for sliders knocked out of place, or make your own.

Use your fingers or a small slotted screwdriver to unfasten the metal end caps of the heater cover, and remove it. Trim a PVC pipe in half lengthwise to one-or-two inches long, and insert it into the hole in the wall and the supply line.

The cold water passes through the boiler to be heated and returns to the boiler, it often causes a knocking or thumping sound from expansion. Cut small pieces of wax paper or insulators and slide them between the wood and pipe.

Fix Pinging and Banging

Banging noises can commonly be traced to the boiler from the zone valve closing too fast, causing pressure forced back in the system to raise the valve slightly. Inspect the pressure gauge on the boiler, which should be between 12 and 20 PSI. If you don't see PSI in this range, contact an HVAC service.

Take the end caps of the heater cover, and detach the cover. Look at the fins for debris and bent fins, which cause pinging by rubbing together. Use our vacuum and brush attachment to clean the fins. To straighten bent fins, slide the fin comb teeth between the elements. 

Repair Gurgling

An uneven unit can cause gurgling noises. Lay a torpedo level on top of each unit to check for evenness. To make the baseboard unit even, detach the uneven covers, then the screws from one side of the cover. Drill new holes to make the covers level, and fill holes with drywall compound or putty.

 Find the bleeder valves, remove the caps, slide a bucket under them, and run the unit for ten minutes. Turn the valves to the right with the radiator key or pliers, and close the valves when you see water dripping. Removing air should help stop gurgling. 

To learn more, contact heating contractors near you!

About Me

Although it might seem like something that is easy to do, plumbing isn't one of those jobs for the faint of heart, especially in heavily used areas like bathrooms and kitchens. I started thinking about learning how to repair plumbing a few months ago, and it was really neat to see how much of a difference my efforts made. Before I knew it, I was able to streamline my entire home through proper repair, and I was impressed with the results. I wanted to start a website completely devoted to plumbing repair, so I made this blog. Check it out!

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