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Boiler Kettling

Boiler Kettling – What’s That and How Can You Stop it

The phenomenon known as boiler kettling may be the cause of any unexpected behaviour you notice in your boiler or any strange or unusual sounds it is making.

This article has been written for persons who have heard kettling-like noises coming from a working appliance, for those who have boiler system problems, and for do-it-yourselfers who wish to repair their kettling boilers themselves. We provide additional information regarding the issue and what it implications for your unit. We’ve mentioned a few typical causes as well as some suggestions for how to stop it.

What is a Kettling Boiler?

If you’ve never heard of this phrase or are unsure of what it means, don’t worry; we’re here to explain it to you. A boiler makes sounds similar to a kettle or a combination of whistling, popping, rumbling, and bubbling, which are typically audible while your device is operating. When something inside the boiler interferes with or slows down the flow of processes, this occurs. The boiler’s water temperature shouldn’t rise above 100 degrees Celsius or boil because if it does, the sounds we’ve outlined above will begin to occur.

Every boiler makes some noise as it operates, but it should be very quiet and difficult to hear. While these noises are normal, your boiler making stronger kettling noises should raise some concern.

Is it Dangerous?

Modern boilers include built-in safety features that, in the majority of cases, if not all of them, are meant to detect overheating and shut off the system as a preventative precaution even before it begins kettling.

Better turn off any old boilers that are making odd noises. It could be problematic if it reaches the kettling stage since, in theory, the tremendous internal pressure could force the internal pipes to break, releasing steam and even posing electrical risks.

Why is Your Boiler Kettling?

Your boiler may kettle for a number of different reasons. No matter whether of the following is the cause some are easier to solve than others—you need to address it right away. Find a reliable business for emergency boiler repair in London as soon as you can.

1. A Leak in your Boiler System

A central heating system leak is one of the frequent issues that can cause your boiler to whistle. Finding the boiler leak requires close inspection because it could be anywhere in your system, even in challenging-to-find areas. Don’t forget to look into your home’s radiators and piping as well.

A boiler leak can occur for a number of reasons. The most frequent ones include over-pressurization, corrosion that typically occurs with older devices, and improperly installed pipework.

2. Your System is Overheating

If there are no leaks, a hot boiler may be the cause of kettling sounds. This can be the result of an incorrect thermostat setting or, more generally, a broken thermostat. Whatever the cause, the water in your boiler is growing hot enough to produce steam, which is what is producing the odd sound.

3. Limescale and Sludge Build-up

The third typical cause of strange noises coming from your boiler is limescale buildup. Anywhere in the heating system, limescale and’sludge’ buildup is a problem that can result in a number of problems with the appliance and the pipework. Additionally, it’s frequently the cause of cold spots on your radiators.

Therefore, limescale build-up in pipes near the boiler can also cause it to gurgle since it impedes water flow. The installation of a water softener will stop scaling and other damages.

4. A Faulty Thermostat

Using an outdated system? If so, your boiler’s thermostat is likely malfunctioning. The diverter valve or the thermostat frequently wear out over time; in this instance, an expert must repair the faulty component. Remember that if your boiler is old, it can be more economical to acquire a new energy-saving boiler rather than shelling out cash for pricey repairs.

You must get your appliance assessed by a Gas Safe Engineer if the thermostat and boiler are not communicating. Get a one-time or yearly boiler servicing, and the staff will alter the regulator’s entire configuration or tweak the settings as necessary.

5. Issues with your Boiler Pump

The central heating pump, which is typically located next to the boiler, could be destroyed. It functions by pushing pressurised water back into your system, yet occasionally things don’t go according to plan. It may be making strange noises because the heat exchanger is not moving the water through it quickly enough due to a malfunctioning boiler pump.

How to Stop Kettling in a Boiler

If you are confident in your skills and knowledge, we can give you some advice on how to fix a Ketling boiler. Please bear in mind that the majority of the following operations are not for beginners, and if you’re unsure of your ability to do them properly, engage a professional boiler engineer. Additionally, only Gas Safe plumbers are authorised to do repairs on the boiler itself, not its external components.

Additionally, if your boiler is brand new, fixing the issue on your own as an unlicensed professional will probably violate the guarantee.

However, here are other boiler kettling remedies you might try:

Internal or External Leak Repair

A trained expert should be hired to address a boiler leak because they will probably need to replace the pipe or fix it properly. DIY leak-sealing techniques like glueing or wrapping something around the pipes are never the solution and may possibly make the problem worse. It is preferable to pay the boiler leak repair bill once and be confident that your heating system won’t break down again.

Heat Exchanger Maintenance

If the heat exchanger is what’s causing the issue with a kettling boiler, cleaning it may be a straightforward solution. If it isn’t too dirty, find it, remove it, and scrub it with a soft brush. The best option is to replace the heat exchanger if there is too much limescale buildup and cleaning it is difficult.

Making routine boiler and heat exchanger maintenance a task for the future is advised. Although a professional is required for some maintenance activities, there are a number of things you can do to keep your boiler in good working order.

Replace Your Thermostat

Depending on the specific case, you may need to replace the thermostat if you’ve determined that it’s the issue. If you’re unsure of the regulator’s issue, a dependable engineer can establish whether the settings are off or the regulator is faulty.

Perform a Power Flush

Your issue with limescale and sludge buildup in the system can be resolved by a central heating power flush service. In essence, your heating system’s interior will be thoroughly cleaned.

How can a heating system be power flushed? This is not a DIY project; it is typically carried out by a professional using specialised tools. To get rid of the sludge buildup, a potent external pump is employed to power-flush a combination of chemical agents throughout the central heating system.

Install A Magnetic Filter

A boiler magnetic filter is a tool that cleans the interior of your heating system of magnetic and non-magnetic dirt particles. Since the filter catches sludge and debris as water passes through your system and prevents undesirable buildups from happening, you can use it as long-term protection.

Get an Electrolytic Scale Inhibitor

An excellent answer to your problems with limescale buildup. The inhibitor functions as a water filter and modifies the composition of the lime scale to stop it from adhering and accumulating inside the system. The best part is that it’s a low-cost, maintenance-free device that maintains your system’s water flow.

Use an All Liquid Inhibitor

This is a potent liquid that efficiently and swiftly dissolves the minerals and rust in the water. Regular use of a liquid inhibitor, which eliminates any build-up and is even advised by boiler manufacturers, helps to prevent numerous issues from developing inside your heating system. In fact, failing to use such a product on a regular basis to clean the boiler’s interior could violate its guarantee.


If your boiler is more than ten years old, you should think about replacing it completely. Modern, more recent boilers offer a number of extra advantages in addition to being more energy-efficient and simple to install.

If you don’t have any experience or aren’t certified by the Gas Safe Register, we don’t advise you to try any of the fixes mentioned above on your own. Kettling, as we previously stated, isn’t very risky, but it’s best left to boiler engineers who have the necessary skills and training.

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