Whirring noise and burnt out smell

9 Jan 2010
Reaction score
United Kingdom
I had a central heating system fitted last year with a combi boiler, no problems until this evening when I heard a whirring /buzzing noise louder than usual in the airing cupboard where the boiler is. When i opened the door I could smell a faint burnt smell like burnt plastic and the noise was coming not from the actual boiler but the plastic box on the wall (not sure if this is a pump or motor...?? I have no knowledge of heating systems whatsoever!! Have turned it all off at the wall, but just wondering is it safe to switch it on again in the morning and just put up with the noise until i can get it serviced? Think I'll freeze otherwise!!
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it has pipes coming from the boiler, it's fixed on the side wall about a foot below the boiler. I think it's something to do with the ventilation to the outside maybe?
How many pipes? One white plastic pipe, 2 or 3 copper pipes? Ventilation to the boiler will be via the flue, thats at the top. Water and gas connections are at the bottom, so need to try and ascertain what it could be for you.
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one white plastic pipe, one clear plastic pipe.. it sounds like it may have some kind of motor or fan in there, sorry I don't have the knowledge to describe what it is, it's probably something really obvious and basic!
The boiler condenses water, which needs to bet gotten rid of. In your case, is goes into the thing that seems to have burnt out and is subsequently pumped out of the building. It's a condensate pump

If it has broken, then any plumber can replace this (or even a general builder or anyone who has a bit of nouse), so don't go getting British Gas involved, unless you have a load of money that you don't want.
Thanks for the reply, we just got in touch with our installer and he said exactly the same so he is coming to disconnect the pipe later :)
Hi I have the same problem as Tasha, our box thingy is making a whirring buzzing type noise but ours is a lot older! It has copper pipes coming out of it though. Like Tasha its probably something really obvious but I'm clueless and need help please! Its really loud! The central heating and water works fine though, just the noise.
Hi, sorry I was wrong, the pipes aren't coming out of the box but they are copper. There's only one wire I think.

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