what is boiler kettling and how you fix it

Boiler Kettling: What is it? and How do You Fix it.

Do you live in Dublin? Is your Boiler Kettling? If you’re not sure what that is, there’s absolutely no need to worry, with our Boiler Kettling Blog we’ll give you the full low down on what it is and how you can fix it.

A Kettling boiler is a common occurrence that our plumbers deal with. Many customers are often surprised when they hear a plumber say the term Boiler Kettling. Of course, the reason it’s termed Boiler Kettling is pretty self-explanatory, it sounds a bit like a kettle. Have you heard your Gas boiler or Oil boiler making strange and oddly concerning sounds a bit like a kettle? The familiar sound of water bubbling, popping, and whistling could be therapeutic under other circumstances, but coming from your boiler, it’s perhaps a little alarming or irritating. Let’s be fair no one wants a giant kettle Boiling, that sounds like it’s about to explode, but let’s be fair that’s never going to happen. However, a fully functioning Boiler simply should not be heard.  If you’re constantly hearing your boiler, it can be a little annoying, to say the least. No one needs to listen to an endless torrent of boiler-banging noise. There’s no reason why you need to feel anxious or worried about your boiler Kettling, it can be fixed, and we can help. But you may be wondering what causes Boiler Kettling.

What Causes Boiler Kettling:

Boiler Kettling results from a few different causes, firstly a build-up of limescale inside the boiler. A second potential cause is that the thermostat could also be broken or malfunctioning. Lastly, and perhaps somewhat to be expected, it could result from a boiler leak.  

Limescale Build-Up
Thermostat: Overheating/Malfunctioning
Boiler Leak
This blog will discuss each of these three Kettling Causes in detail commencing with the first common cause Limescale Build-Up.


Boiler Kettling is commonly caused by a build-up of limescale. When your boiler is a little older it’s far more prone and susceptible to suffering from a build-up of limescale.  Limescale is made from a build-up of calcium and magnesium, which is a product of the evaporation of hard water inside the boiler.  It tends to occur in areas that have a supply of hard water. So it isn’t just old boilers that are negatively impacted by limescale build-up. This is a geographical phenomenon and has to do with where the water originates and the minerals that naturally occur on the earth. Limescale commonly occurs inside kettles, and also on taps. Perhaps you have seen it before and are familiar with its appearance, it’s usually a chalky white colour. Limescale isn’t typically bad for your health, however, if it builds up it can block your boiler and limit the flow of water considerably. Ultimately, this can lead to damaging the piping and even cracking pipes if left untreated. This can cause the boiler to make those dreaded Kettling sounds, with that horrendous boiling and popping, that might be needlessly keeping you awake at night.  The Build-Up of Limescale around the heat exchanger can prevent the free flow of water inside the boiler. This is a very common occurrence of boiler Kettling. 

1. Limescale Solutions

Boiler Repair:

A Boiler repair is an efficient solution for Limescale especially if your boiler is relatively new. During the repair your heat exchanger can be removed and cleaned by the plumber and reinstalled. However, if the build-up of limescale is especially bad the most efficient solution is to replace the part. A new heat exchanger is often the fastest way to guarantee no more Boiler Kettling. Keep in mind, that your susceptibility to hard water really depends on where you are based, and the water supply in the region and whether it is hard or soft water. For example, if you live in an area such as Bray, where there is potentially hard water occurring you will need to get a hard water filter. The filter will help prevent limescale build up inside your boiler. This filter will need to be replaced after a number of years, they usually last up to around 5 years so it’s worth bearing in mind, for ensuring your boilers continued efficiency. 


Boiler Replacement: 


However, if your boiler is old and you decide to go with a New Boiler, we would suggest looking at the Ideal range of Gas Boilers. These are highly efficient and resistant to damage and are a clear favourite amongst our seasoned Plumbers. You can get three types a Combi boiler, a System Boiler, and a Heat Only Boiler. It’s the resilience and sheer longevity of the Ideal Boiler components that make it the most-sold boiler brand in Ireland. Naturally, this has clear advantages in preventing and avoiding limescale damage and therefore actively preventing boiler Kettling.


Boiler Service: 


In order to avoid the many issues with limescale including boiler kettling, you can make sure not to forget your annual boiler service. By ensuring all elements of the boiler are working correctly you can prevent the chance of Limescale occurring or of it impacting your boiler.  When you get a service on a Gas Boiler it has to be with a worker who is registered with the RGI. It’s worth remembering that if you don’t get your boiler serviced once a year your warranty will be invalidated. So don’t forget, just think about it, it’s triple the fun, you’ll have your Boiler warranty, and you can prevent that nasty limescale and Boiler Kettling! What’s not to like about it, it’s a win win win for you and your boiler.

Limescale and Boiler Kettling Conclusion: 

As should be clear Boiler Kettling caused as a result of Limescale can be fixed via the above methods of Boiler Repair, Boiler Replacement, and prevented by regular Boiler services. Limescale can also affect other parts of your heating system such as your pipework or radiators. But if you are concerned about your Boiler why not give us a call, our experienced plumbers are a phone call away.


2. Boiler Kettling by Thermostat Overheating/Malfunctioning 

Another possible common reason why you have Boiler Kettling is the Thermostat. Our Plumbers come across this regularly, and there are a few reasons why. It could be that the thermostat is set incorrectly and resetting it or changing the setting can potentially remedy the Kettling.  If the thermostat is set too high it can cause overheating, and this can be a possible cause of a Kettling Boiler. Overheating can ultimately cause leaks and damage your boiler's important components. This can result in your boiler performing at a sub-optimal level. It’s better to avoid overheating if possible and thus ensure the efficacy of your gas boiler or oil boiler. But if resetting your thermostat’s settings doesn’t work, and there is no visible leak it could be that the thermostat is malfunctioning.  This might be a physical problem with the electronics. 


Thermostat Solution: 


Not to worry, at this point, it’s advisable to consult with a plumber to determine if the thermostat is the cause of your Kettling boiler. The plumber will be able to assess it and if it’s broken you will need to replace the thermostat. Our plumbers can do this efficiently and professionally and install your new thermostat and get rid of your Kettling sound. There’s no point waiting around,  fix that thermostat stat, with one of our amazing plumbers. Your thermostat will be back in action before you know it and that dreaded Kettling will be distant memory that’s evaporated into the silence of efficient heating.


3. Boiler Kettling Caused By A Leak:

If your Boiler is popping and bubbling and making Kettling sounds one of the primary causes is a boiler leak. It might be in a place that is concealed from view, or out of sight. For example, it might be behind the boiler, or close to the ground, or near a wall or in the pipes.  The plumber would search the boiler first and eliminate its parts as a source of the leak before inspecting the surrounding pipe work in the home or premises. Leaks aren’t always easily identifiable and may not be immediately visible. If you are experiencing Boiler Kettling there is a significant chance you have a boiler leak. The leak may be caused by high pressure, or it may just be caused by general corrosion which occurs over time. In order to avoid continued Boiler Kettling and the leak potentially getting worse you will need to get your boiler fixed by a professional plumber asap. Our plumbers have years of experience and have resolved numerous boiler leaks.


Boiler Leak: Solution


The solution is simple for a boiler leak, call an experienced plumber or if you have a gas boiler you need an RGI registered plumber. It’s imperative that the work be done by an RGI trained worker, no one else is legally allowed to work with a gas boiler. Using an unregistered plumber can mean the job may not be carried out to the highest possible standard. They will find your boiler leak and advise you on your options. You may need a new boiler and our Plumbers can help you on your journey.  


Leaking Boiler Repair: 


If the leak is small, it may be possible to repair, especially if your boiler isn’t very old. Repairs are usually less financially worthwhile if the boiler is 10 years old or more


Leaking Boiler Replacement: 


However, if the leak is significantly bad enough bear in mind that you may need to replace the boiler. This is especially true if the boiler is really old. If this is the case, then it may not be worth the cost of another dreaded repair. Save yourself some hassle and consult the boiler kings, at Stillorgan Gas, Plumbing and Electrical. Our experienced Dublin Plumbers have worked all over Dublin in different homes and a variety of different boilers. Our plumbers honestly believe that Ideal Gas Boilers are the best.  This is because they simply don’t break down as frequently as other brands and tend to last longer.  This means gas boiler repairs are less likely and so over time you can make a saving. This greatly prolonged lifespan associated with the Ideal Gas Boiler is aided by annual services which diminishes the threat or need for a gas boiler replacement for years.

A Conclusion to Boiler Kettling:

So just to conclude, as is probably clear from this blog, there is far more to the phenomenon of Boiler Kettling than you ever might have initially thought. We have spoken about the causes of Boiler Kettling from Limescale, Thermostats, and Boiler Leaks, and we’ve also gone through a number of viable solutions for each of these causes. By illuminating the common causes and some of the optimum solutions for Boiler Kettling we really hope that this Blog has shed some light on those strange Boiler sounds you might be hearing, and that endless choir of popping and bubbling. 

So, if you’re still hearing the spooky popping and bubbling of a Boiler Kettling, and sick of waking up thinking you in a horror film why not give us a call, we know we can help. If your boiler keeps banging our highly experienced plumbers have dealt with Boiler Kettling on countless occasions. They can make sure you don’t have to listen to a Kettling Boiler anytime soon, and with regular services maybe even never again.  Our Plumbers cover the south Dublin area, and collectively they have decades of experience. Additionally, if you have any other issues with your Gas Boiler, Oil Boiler Plumbing, or Pipework why not give us a call, helping customers is our ultimate passion. In addition to our Gas services at Stillorgan Gas, Plumbing, and Electrical, we also do Plumbing, Electrical, and Drain Work. We’re there for you to help you solve your problem. Pick up the phone and start the journey it’s easy with Stillorgan Gas Plumbing and Electrical.




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