boiler sounds like its about to explode

13 Dec 2009
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United Kingdom
I moved into my new rented house a few weeks ago and I had heating but no hot water. i spoke to the landlord who got out the plumber who advised the diaphram had split and needed replacing
the boiler is a combi a worcester one

the plumber replaced and everything was great hot water and heat ...... However the radiators all seem to be hot at the top and coolish at the bottom. I live with my 20 year old daughter we are not techncally minded atall. any aswell as the radiator problem

for the last week or so there has been a high pitched noise like a squeek quite loud just one squeek every 10 mins or so and its been driving us mad we cant make out where it is coming from i thought it was the smoke alarm tell us the battery was low or something but that is right near the airing cupbopard where the boiler is situated. The boiler makes weird sounds and bangs and every ten mins the boiler seems to fire up then settles when we are in bed it sometimes sounds like someone is coming up the stairs ..... anyhow
lat night was the last straw ..... the squeeks are constantly squeeking but we we in bed and i thought at first a big aiircraft was going over the house but it seemed to be building to a creschendo. my daughter shouted me and said there is something wrong with that boiler it sounded like it was a volcano about to erupt and i was scared i reached into the cupboard and turned off the boiler on the dial and on the wall. even tough everything is off io still hear the god darn squeek . i cant get the plumber till monday ( its sunday today) the pressure gauge was somewhere between 2 and 3 im scared to put the boiler back on .... but we have no hot water otherwise even though everything is off we hear the squeek beep what could be wrong? please help
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have you turned off the fused spur to the boiler, the main electrical supply to the boiler?

If so, and the noise is still there, then its not the boiler, but something else.
Thank so m uch for your speedy reply :) yep im thinking the noise could be unrelated and a coincidence its just like ....driving me crazy and cos im not technical I think oh no its the boiler the gas supply is on a meter and i thought all kinds is it telling me the gas is about to run out or is it that smoke alarm which is on the cieling over the stairs so i cant get close enough to see if its that ......

Everything is off on the boiler and the house is freezing cold

but that creshendo noise last night was very scarey we thought it was going to explode
Is your gas meter one that operates with a pre-payment card.

I'm not sure, but do these meters bleep when the internal battery is on its last legs (they have an internal battery that operated the mechanical valve).

Transco will come and put a new battery in, or upgrade meter, if phoned and told about it.
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Nope, I can't find any information about these meters beeping for 'low battery', only when meter is near end of credit, then it does not say whether it is once only, or more than that.

Make sure it's not a carbon monoxide alarm beeping somewhere in the house :eek: :eek:
thanks so much tryitandsee
I really appreciate you looking into it for me.... yes its a pre payment one .....apparently that how landlords get round tenants leaving with an unpaid bill which is sensible ... however Im baffled really, ive turned the boiler back on now and the heating has come on and had a shower in hot water the beep is still there but the boiler thankfully dosnt sound like its errupting now though the pressure gauge has gone right down to number 1, the plumber is coming out tomorrow so I will let you know :)

once again thanks for the speedy response

Peace skye
the radiators all seem to be hot at the top and coolish at the bottom.
this is very likely due to sludge, which is very common in old and/or neglected systems, or a worn-out pump, and needs work by either a professional or a DIY plumber. There is a chance though that it might be due to poor balancing which you can easily fix yourself using the radiator valves. Go round the house and see if there is any one rad which is noticably hotter than all the others. Turn it off and see if some or all of the others then warm up. If so post back and we will explain how to re-balance.

p.s. are you sure the bleeping is not a smoke alarm on low battery?
Hi there John

I went around the house and one of the radiators was hotter than the rest The one in the lounge.
I switched it off and sure enough the others got warmer. so i have unbalanced radiators? ( hehe that sounds so very me ) would surely appreciate your help.
balancing radiators

Basically, you adjust the Lockshield Valve (this is the one at the far end from the usual valve that you turn on and off). You may have to remove a plastic cap, and you can turn the spindle either with a knob taken off the usual valve, or with a small adjustable spanner, until they are closed, then open just a fraction of a turn until water starts to flow. Each of them should be adjusted so it has about the same heat loss between incoming water (flow) and outgoing water (return)

As a rough guide, the incoming pipe should be "too hot to hold" and the outgoing pipe should be "too hot to hold for long"

After you have adjusted them, let then run for half an hour then see if any of them need adjusting again. A lockshield valve only needs a fraction of a turn.

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