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Boiler Noise



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 21st 04, 01:09 PM
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Dec 2004
Posts: 6
Post Boiler Noise

Recently our Thorn Apollo copper boiler (30/50) - 23 years old - had started making noises. The best I can describe is to say sounds like 'fluttering' just short of the banging which I know as 'kettling.' This builds up from none to noisy enough to be heard in other rooms than where it is located in the kitchen. In the early days we had banging and adding Fernox solved it - but over the years has probably become very dilute.

As we are covered by West Midlands Gas maintenance contract - I asked them to visit. The Gas Fitter/engineer said that it was due to a build up of solids on the heat exchanger and that it would need to be replaced. For this to happen the system would have to be drained down and on filling 500 ml of Fernox boiler noise silencer added, at the time it sounded logical. He said this is not covered under the contract and that I would have to pay. He left me a quote of 564.83 - this seems an awful lot of money. This does not include a system flush - and radiators are uniformly hot anyway.

If this work is considered necessary I aim to get a quote from an independent Central Heating company - though expect I will have to pay for them to come out and assess the situation anyway.

However since I made the call for the visit the noise has been getting less and was not at its worst when the engineer called. For the last 3 days there has been absolutely no unusual sound whatsoever. This leads me to think that his diagnosis may be incorrect.

I would be grateful for any views, suggestions.

Conrad
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  #2  
Old December 21st 04, 04:15 PM
Andy R
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Conrad" wrote in message
...

Recently our Thorn Apollo copper boiler (30/50) - 23 years old - had
started making noises. The best I can describe is to say sounds like
'fluttering' just short of the banging which I know as 'kettling.'
This builds up from none to noisy enough to be heard in other rooms
than where it is located in the kitchen. In the early days we had
banging and adding Fernox solved it - but over the years has probably
become very dilute.

As we are covered by West Midlands Gas maintenance contract - I asked
them to visit. The Gas Fitter/engineer said that it was due to a build
up of solids on the heat exchanger and that it would need to be
replaced. For this to happen the system would have to be drained down
and on filling 500 ml of Fernox boiler noise silencer added, at the
time it sounded logical. He said this is not covered under the contract
and that I would have to pay. He left me a quote of 564.83 - this seems
an awful lot of money. This does not include a system flush - and
radiators are uniformly hot anyway.

If this work is considered necessary I aim to get a quote from an
independent Central Heating company - though expect I will have to pay
for them to come out and assess the situation anyway.

However since I made the call for the visit the noise has been getting
less and was not at its worst when the engineer called. For the last 3
days there has been absolutely no unusual sound whatsoever. This leads
me to think that his diagnosis may be incorrect.


I had an old boiler with a similar prob. I cured it by adding a c/h cleaner
and running it with that for a couple of weeks then a good flush out,
draining the system (at least in part from the boiler itself to make sure
that got a good flush through) then refilling and adding an inhibitor.
Don't let anyone talk you into fitting a new boiler, it'll take forever to
get the money back and never be as reliable as an old one.

Rgds

Andy R


  #3  
Old December 21st 04, 05:52 PM
logized
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Conrad" wrote in message
...

Recently our Thorn Apollo copper boiler (30/50) - 23 years old - had
started making noises. The best I can describe is to say sounds like
'fluttering' just short of the banging which I know as 'kettling.'
This builds up from none to noisy enough to be heard in other rooms
than where it is located in the kitchen. In the early days we had
banging and adding Fernox solved it - but over the years has probably
become very dilute.

As we are covered by West Midlands Gas maintenance contract - I asked
them to visit. The Gas Fitter/engineer said that it was due to a build
up of solids on the heat exchanger and that it would need to be
replaced. For this to happen the system would have to be drained down
and on filling 500 ml of Fernox boiler noise silencer added, at the
time it sounded logical. He said this is not covered under the contract
and that I would have to pay. He left me a quote of 564.83 - this seems
an awful lot of money. This does not include a system flush - and
radiators are uniformly hot anyway.

If this work is considered necessary I aim to get a quote from an
independent Central Heating company - though expect I will have to pay
for them to come out and assess the situation anyway.

However since I made the call for the visit the noise has been getting
less and was not at its worst when the engineer called. For the last 3
days there has been absolutely no unusual sound whatsoever. This leads
me to think that his diagnosis may be incorrect.

I would be grateful for any views, suggestions.

Conrad

Is your service cover the British Gas "Central heating care" at 15.50 per
month? - on their web site (www.house.co.uk) they use the example of
"replace heat exchanger" as an example of the savings you can make (zero
cost) - so it should be covered - unless they are claiming the parts are
not available, in which case they would be quoting for a new boiler and
564.83 seems cheap for BG prices?
Maybe you could check the contract terms and make further enquiries - I
think it is a bit unfair to charge for repairs when you are already paying a
lot for a maintenance contract.

Dave


  #4  
Old December 21st 04, 06:22 PM
Owain
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Posts: n/a
Default

"Conrad" wrote
| As we are covered by West Midlands Gas maintenance contract -
| I asked them to visit. The Gas Fitter/engineer said that
| it was due to a build up of solids on the heat exchanger and
| that it would need to be replaced. For this to happen the
| system would have to be drained down and on filling 500 ml
| of Fernox boiler noise silencer added, at the time it sounded
| logical. He said this is not covered under the contract and
| that I would have to pay. He left me a quote of 564.83 -
| this seems an awful lot of money.

Is that for the whole job parts and labour, or just for draining down and
adding Fernox? With British Gas and variants one never knows just how far
they're extracting the michael in their pricing.

At 23 years old, if the boiler *is* getting past it, it might be worth
looking at a newer, more efficient, boiler. But not just now. Heating people
will be at their busiest and priciest.

Owain


  #5  
Old December 21st 04, 07:18 PM
Ed Sirett
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Posts: n/a
Default

On Tue, 21 Dec 2004 13:09:10 +0000, Conrad wrote:


Recently our Thorn Apollo copper boiler (30/50) - 23 years old - had
started making noises. The best I can describe is to say sounds like
'fluttering' just short of the banging which I know as 'kettling.'
This builds up from none to noisy enough to be heard in other rooms
than where it is located in the kitchen. In the early days we had
banging and adding Fernox solved it - but over the years has probably
become very dilute.

As we are covered by West Midlands Gas maintenance contract - I asked
them to visit. The Gas Fitter/engineer said that it was due to a build
up of solids on the heat exchanger and that it would need to be
replaced. For this to happen the system would have to be drained down
and on filling 500 ml of Fernox boiler noise silencer added, at the
time it sounded logical. He said this is not covered under the contract
and that I would have to pay. He left me a quote of 564.83 - this seems
an awful lot of money. This does not include a system flush - and
radiators are uniformly hot anyway.

If this work is considered necessary I aim to get a quote from an
independent Central Heating company - though expect I will have to pay
for them to come out and assess the situation anyway.

However since I made the call for the visit the noise has been getting
less and was not at its worst when the engineer called. For the last 3
days there has been absolutely no unusual sound whatsoever. This leads
me to think that his diagnosis may be incorrect.

I would be grateful for any views, suggestions.

For this age of appliance you are probably looking to make a good medium
term repair.

Firstly the sudden increase in kettling might be due to pump problems
especially the pump cutting as the boiler warms up? (failing overrun
thermostat?).

Secondly a tube of boiler noise silencer is about 30 and is injected
directly into a radiator - really anyway it can be put directly into the
circuit.

If I were in your position I would not be looking to spend more than 50
quid on the system given its age.

--
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at www.diyfaq.org.uk
Gas fitting FAQ http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/GasFitting.html
Sealed CH FAQ http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/SealedCH.html


  #6  
Old December 21st 04, 07:20 PM
Ed Sirett
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Tue, 21 Dec 2004 17:52:24 +0000, logized wrote:


"Conrad" wrote in message
...

Recently our Thorn Apollo copper boiler (30/50) - 23 years old - had
started making noises. The best I can describe is to say sounds like
'fluttering' just short of the banging which I know as 'kettling.'
This builds up from none to noisy enough to be heard in other rooms
than where it is located in the kitchen. In the early days we had
banging and adding Fernox solved it - but over the years has probably
become very dilute.

As we are covered by West Midlands Gas maintenance contract - I asked
them to visit. The Gas Fitter/engineer said that it was due to a build
up of solids on the heat exchanger and that it would need to be
replaced. For this to happen the system would have to be drained down
and on filling 500 ml of Fernox boiler noise silencer added, at the
time it sounded logical. He said this is not covered under the contract
and that I would have to pay. He left me a quote of 564.83 - this seems
an awful lot of money. This does not include a system flush - and
radiators are uniformly hot anyway.

If this work is considered necessary I aim to get a quote from an
independent Central Heating company - though expect I will have to pay
for them to come out and assess the situation anyway.

However since I made the call for the visit the noise has been getting
less and was not at its worst when the engineer called. For the last 3
days there has been absolutely no unusual sound whatsoever. This leads
me to think that his diagnosis may be incorrect.

I would be grateful for any views, suggestions.

Conrad

Is your service cover the British Gas "Central heating care" at 15.50 per
month? - on their web site (www.house.co.uk) they use the example of
"replace heat exchanger" as an example of the savings you can make (zero
cost) - so it should be covered - unless they are claiming the parts are
not available, in which case they would be quoting for a new boiler and
564.83 seems cheap for BG prices?
Maybe you could check the contract terms and make further enquiries - I
think it is a bit unfair to charge for repairs when you are already paying a
lot for a maintenance contract.

Yes there is an opening for a good will ombudsman to take them on on this
one. Kettling that can be heard throughout the house must be approaching a
'fault' in at the opinion of at least one judge out there. ;-)

The 564.83 was for a clear out, a new boiler would be a tad more I think.


--
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at www.diyfaq.org.uk
Gas fitting FAQ http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/GasFitting.html
Sealed CH FAQ http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/SealedCH.html


  #7  
Old December 22nd 04, 12:02 AM
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Dec 2004
Posts: 6
Question Boiler noise - edited post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Sirett
On Tue, 21 Dec 2004 17:52:24 +0000, logized wrote:


"Conrad" wrote in message
...

Recently our Thorn Apollo copper boiler (30/50) - 23 years old - had
started making noises.
snip
However since I made the call for the visit the noise has been getting
less and was not at its worst when the engineer called. For the last 3
days there has been absolutely no unusual sound whatsoever. This leads
me to think that his diagnosis may be incorrect.

Conrad

Is your service cover the British Gas "Central heating care" at 15.50 per
month? - on their web site (
www.house.co.uk) they use the example of
"replace heat exchanger" as an example of the savings you can make (zero
cost) - so it should be covered - unless they are claiming the parts are
not available, in which case they would be quoting for a new boiler and
564.83 seems cheap for BG prices?
Maybe you could check the contract terms and make further enquiries - I
think it is a bit unfair to charge for repairs when you are already paying a
lot for a maintenance contract.

Yes there is an opening for a good will ombudsman to take them on on this
one. Kettling that can be heard throughout the house must be approaching a
'fault' in at the opinion of at least one judge out there. ;-)

The 564.83 was for a clear out, a new boiler would be a tad more I think.


--
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at www.diyfaq.org.uk
Gas fitting FAQ http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/GasFitting.html
Sealed CH FAQ http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/SealedCH.html
Many thanks to Andy R, Dave, Owain & Ed Sirett,
You have helped me make a decision here,
1) to introduce an inhibitor - run the system and see the benefits/ solve the problem.
2) check out British Gas as to why they think my heat exchanger is not covered under my heating maintenance contract.

Ed,
Your point about the pump, does this help?
The temperature of the out going pipe is too hot to touch when the boiler
is set to high - whilst the return pipe remains just warm. As the house is
up to temperature and the returning water only warm - I am wondering if it
is more likely to be the pump not taking the water away from the boiler fast
enough.

I still don't understand why the noise went away for the last week and has started to return again today.

I have also challenged British Gas and am awaiting a reply.

Conrad

Last edited by Conrad : December 22nd 04 at 03:44 PM. Reason: To add a note to one of the contributors - with new information.
  #8  
Old December 22nd 04, 09:13 AM
Mike Dodd
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Posts: n/a
Default


However before taking either step I wonder why I am currently
experiencing no problem whatsoever. And ask will the problem come
back? Also where has it gone?!

Conrad


I'm also curious, as the symptoms and date coincide with my own experience
this week with a 7 year Baxi Solo. Problem also disappeared (for the time
being).



  #9  
Old December 31st 04, 12:42 AM
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Dec 2004
Posts: 6
Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Dodd

However before taking either step I wonder why I am currently
experiencing no problem whatsoever. And ask will the problem come
back? Also where has it gone?!

Conrad


I'm also curious, as the symptoms and date coincide with my own experience
this week with a 7 year Baxi Solo. Problem also disappeared (for the time
being).
I have acted upon the advice given here and injected Fernox into a radiator - which although a little more expensive saves me bending my knees too much. The thought of fiddling with hose to the outlet pipes is not an easy one nowerdays. Hence the method used.

At first the boiler went very quiet, but now a week later is getting noisy again - I am tempted to buy another cartridhe of Fernox as on the package it says a very noisy boiler may require 2. (Even tho' I would noy have described mine as 'very noisy'. Another 22.73 seems reasonable if I get a 'cure'. But who knows - perhaps I will just go the extra dosh.

Conrad
  #10  
Old December 31st 04, 06:55 PM
Senior Member
 
First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Dec 2004
Posts: 174
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrad
I have acted upon the advice given here and injected Fernox into a radiator - which although a little more expensive saves me bending my knees too much. The thought of fiddling with hose to the outlet pipes is not an easy one nowerdays. Hence the method used.

At first the boiler went very quiet, but now a week later is getting noisy again - I am tempted to buy another cartridhe of Fernox as on the package it says a very noisy boiler may require 2. (Even tho' I would noy have described mine as 'very noisy'. Another 22.73 seems reasonable if I get a 'cure'. But who knows - perhaps I will just go the extra dosh.

Conrad
All these additives worry boiler manufacturers. Less is best. I know you find it hard but I would drain it down flush it through drain again fill again if you must add an inhibitor but better check the ph, which should be 7 in your case, in the case of a cast iron heat exchanger it wants to be a little more acidic. If ph too acidic add inhibitor accordingly until it is 7.

As to your problem, you could while it's drained down fit a new pump head wouldn't do any harm anyway.

If you're an additive freak, many people are experiencing good silencing benefits with washing up liquid, and good cleansing effect from dishwasher tablets. Do it at your own risk.

The greatest benefit you can diy for your central heating is drain it down flush and refill more often than every 23 years.
 




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