Why Does My Furnace Sound Like Running Water?
Lots of heating systems can produce annoying noise, like gurgling or knocking sounds coming from a boiler or radiator. Old furnaces almost never made running water or gurgling noises, because there was no condensation or liquid involved. Today, the high-efficiency furnaces that are now common do produce condensation. This means that under certain circumstances, your furnace will sound like there’s running water somewhere.
Liquid sounds coming from the furnace do not necessarily mean there’s a major problem at the moment, but there could be massive and expensive damage if you don’t get it checked out by a heating technician as soon as possible.
What to Do About a Furnace with Running Water Sounds
Don’t just put up with strange noises as a fact of life. Your furnace should operate relatively quietly if nothing is wrong. For your quality of life and to make sure you don’t have a major heating problem brewing, ask a heating expert to troubleshoot the water sound. First, though, you can poke around yourself and try to figure out the noise:
- Look for a leak or spilled water. This would be a puddle around the condensate pump, if the drain pan has perhaps been knocked askew and is dumping water onto the ground.
- If possible, try to unclog the drain pipe and re-position the drain pan so that liquid can properly flow (usually to a white pipe).
- For running water sounds that are in the walls throughout the home, you may have a condensation problem in your ducts or other infrastructure. Get a professional inspection soon to prevent moisture damage and detect HVAC problems.
- If you can find no explanation around the furnace, is there anything else that could be making the sound? Do you have baseboard heating or a hot water tank that might be acting up?
Furnace Repairs for Running Water or Other Strange Noises
We understand — you don’t want to make a service appointment if you don’t need to. Be careful, though, because a noisy furnace can turn into a bigger issue than it seems at first. The furnace might be working fine otherwise, but the condensation problem or leak could be slowly ruining parts and leading up to a major breakdown.
If you find a puddle around the condensate drain pan and you can get that straightened out on your own, everything might be all settled. If you find rust or damaged parts, or the noise issues linger, go ahead and make a routine maintenance inspection to be on the safe side.