Smelly or loud radiator

As the weather was cold this past week, you may have finally turned on your heat to warm up your chilly home or flat. Having not used your heating since last year you may be hearing some strange noises and there may be a new odour. What causes a smelly or loud radiator?

The smell

Do you hear any squeaking? There maybe a leak on the vent as radiators are sealed units, so any smell probably comes from dust, paint, or mold located near the radiator. When the radiator is cool, make sure to wipe it clean. If the smell doesn’t dissipate after a couple uses, consider cleaning the general area near the unit, including the floor and walls. Typically all unpleasant smells will fade as the residual particulate gets burned off.

The noise

There are normally 3 sounds that can be heard.


This is caused by a water flow rate through the radiator that’s too high. Solve it by turning the radiator valve fully on by turning the taps anticlockwise.


A ticking radiator is completely normal – it’s just the radiator warming up or cooling down. If the noise is coming from under the floor, it’s probably due to pipes expanding and rubbing on the flooring or joists – again, usually nothing to worry about.


This can be caused by an incorrectly fitted thermostatic radiator valve. If you’ve recently had to move a radiator or had a new radiator installed, the problem may be that the valves may have been mistakenly swapped over.

If you are having issues with your radiators and live in Southwest London, call 020 7350 2511 and schedule one of our heating engineers to come diagnose the problem.

1 Here’s why your radiator is so smelly and loud in the winter Accessed online 22 January 2016 http://www.techinsider.io/why-your-radiator-is-smelly-and-loud-in-the-winter-2015-12

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