Why is there a ticking or knocking noise coming from my woodburner?

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If you’re relatively new to wood-burning stoves, it can be a bit disconcerting if yours suddenly starts making a funny noise. Perhaps your stove has starting ticking or knocking noise, or maybe a noise that sounds a bit metallic clanging out every now and again.

The good news is this this sort of noise, which can sometimes be quite loud, is not normally an indication of a major problem. Here are some possible causes:

Expanding metal

The very process of using a woodburner means you’re relying on a lump of hot metal to heat your room. When metal gets hot it can expand, and when it expands it can sometimes make a noise. This is the most common reason for a ticking or knocking noise coming from a stove. For peace of mind, invest in a stove pipe thermometer to make sure you’re not asking your stove or flue to expand too much.

Contracting metal

Remember the reverse of the above is also true. If the noise is audible when the stove is out of use or the fire is dying out, it might be because the metal is contracting back having expanded when the appliance was in use.

Windy or exposed property

If you think of how a musical instrument like the flute operates, it is little wonder that a flue pipe can make a noise if it particularly exposed or if its windy outside. Should this become a regular or annoying problem, you might consider a chimney cowl to limit the wind’s interference with your stove system.

Loose parts

If none of those possible explanations sound right, it could be due to a loose part within your stove system. Loose flue joint straps or cowl/cap straps are prime candidates in this case.

Wrong fuel

Burning the wrong sort of fuel in your woodburner can cause mini-explosions within the firebox. These can sometimes be substantial enough to crack the glass or cause damage to internal stove parts. Household fuels like pet coke and household coal should be avoided for this reason.

11 thoughts on “Why is there a ticking or knocking noise coming from my woodburner?

  1. I love the picture of the wood burner above. Is this tiles inside the fireplace/surrounding the wood burner or panels that looks like 3D effect tiles?

  2. Hi got exactly same problem.
    5kw wood burner installed last year anc initially ok but now when it gets up to temperature and starts cooling it clicks for several minutes very loudly and again does same when you add wood and temperature increases.
    Cant work out where sound is coming from or how to stop or minimise it.
    Any ideas out there?

  3. 99 % of time the clicking noise is caused by metal expansion.Every stove that I have had have always done this. Think about it even radiators do this when they are warming up. Nothing to worry about.

  4. Hi,
    I have a gas starting wood/burning fireplace which I haven’t used in a year. All of a sudden clicking sounds are coming from the fireplace. It sounds like a clock ticking. What could it be?
    J. Johnson

    • Hi Joyce

      It’s not clear whether you have started using the stove again and the noises have started or if it remains out of use.

      In any case, best to get a heating engineer to take a look.

      Thanks,

      Gr8Fires

  5. Hello I have a three storey house and when it’s windy I have a very strong down draft and the wind howls down the flute. Would someone be able to tell me the best cowl to put on to minimise the downdraft and hence also the wind noise which yes it does sound like a musical instrument and vibrates through the house. There are so many cowls to choose from and I’m not sure which one to pick. Thanks ever so much. Corinna

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