Everything You Need to Know About Boiler Kettling

home boiler

If you own a boiler, you might be familiar with the term “boiler kettling.” Nothing will make you cringe like the high pitched whistle coming from your boiler. This noise can be alarming and can sound as if your boiler might explode. You might even be tempted to evacuate your home. There is no need to worry any longer about boiler kettling – here is everything you need to know:

What is boiler kettling?
When your boiler is kettling, a very loud whistling sound is being emitted from your boiler. It will sound like a tea kettle whistling but much louder.

What causes the sound?
Chemical
A boiler uses a heat exchanger in order to heat the water in your home. If your home has hard water, the flow of water can become restricted due to lime scale and other debris build up on the heat exchanger. When water heats the limescale that has formed it does not dissolve in the water. As the boiler heats the water, these salts (lime) expand and slow the water. The salts then become trapped in the heat exchanger. When the heat exchanger gets too hot, it steams and boils causing the whistling noise.

Mechanical
A faulty boiler thermostat can also be the root of kettling. The annoying whistling sound can also occur if the boiler was not installed properly or is not the right size. When the flow rate is not adjusted properly, it can affect the heat dissipation which will cause the sound.

Safety
When you hear this piercing whistling sound coming from your boiler, it can be very alarming. Do not panic, there are many safety features on your boiler that the causes of kettling will trigger and will turn off your boiler.

What to do
If you hear your boiler kettling, make sure it is turned off. You will need to call a licensed plumber to examine your boiler and fix the issue.

Prevention methods
Treatment can be very expensive, so it is worth taking the proper precautions to prevent boiler kettling. A central heating protector will help to prevent corrosion. To rid of any calcium salt left behind from hard water, the system must be flushed and a water softening system will take care of the rest and prevent calcium salt from forming.

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Tom Gillece Sr. is the founder and president of Gillece Services in Pittsburgh, providing residential Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Waterproofing services throughout Western Pennsylvania. Established in 1980, Gillece has helped homeowners with all of their emergency, maintenance, repair and replacement needs for more than 30 years. For the latest news and offers, Gillece can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.