This Is What Your Noisy Radiator Is Really Trying To Tell You

Katherine Ripley Katherine Ripley

This Is What Your Noisy Radiator Is Really Trying To Tell You

You know how it is. You wake up in the middle of the night to a violent banging sound, you fly out of bed, convinced someone is trying to break into your apartment, grab your baseball bat and stand ready to beat the shit out of the intruder, and then realize that you’re alone, and the noise is actually just coming from your radiator.

Right? That’s happened to other people too…right?

Anyway, in case you’re really frustrated that you don’t speak radiator and can’t figure out what the damn thing wants, we wrote up a translation sheet for you:


Banging: “My pipes aren’t sloping properly.”

If the pipes aren’t the correct slope, some of the water might get trapped, unable to drain. When steam comes up, the undrained water causes that banging noise.


Clattering: “There’s a loose pipe somewhere.”

Loose pipes vibrate when water flows through them, and the vibration is not quiet. If you’re hearing a loud clattering noise, there’s probably a loose pipe under the floor or in the wall.


Hissing: “I need to let off some steam.”

Hot air can build up inside a radiator, and when that happens, it needs to be released to make room for more hot water. That’s the hissing sound you’re hearing.


So, now you know what your radiator is trying to tell you. But chances are you have no skills to fix it yourself, and your super probably won’t do anything about it because this is New York City and this is just how life is. Noisy radiators are a part of it. Tough toenails.


Happy winter, everyone!


Cover photo credit: Kristen/Flickr

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