Boilers Have Issues Too: 7 Troubleshooting Tips
A lot depends on properly functioning boilers during the heating season. Homes with radiant heat rely on that continuous, 24/7 source of hot water to keep the house comfortable and safe in cold weather. When malfunctions occur, it’s a major inconvenience and can even make the home unlivable until the problem is resolved. Because of the high temperatures and pressure in a typical system, boilers in need of repair usually require the expertise of a professional.
These are signs of seven common boiler breakdowns:
- Cold water – Often an easily diagnosed malfunction, broken diaphragms and failure of motorized valves are common causes, as is a thermostat out of calibration or a low water level.
- Pilot light won’t stay lit – The thermocouple that automatically shuts off the gas to the pilot may have failed. Air from a defective seal close to the pilot could be extinguishing the pilot.
- Low water pressure – Normally the result of a leak, it might also be traced to a pressure relief valve opening because of a failure in the expansion vessel.
- Frozen condensate pipe – An extended period of unusually cold weather may cause ice blockage in the pipe that drains condensate away from the boiler. Thawing a condensate pipe is the job for a plumbing pro.
- Thermostat troubles – Over time, thermostats may lose accuracy or go out of calibration frequently. This may cause the boiler to run when it’s not necessary or not run when it’s needed. Replacing an old-school thermostat with a newer, higher-tech model is usually recommended.
- Kettling – Banging and rumbling sounds may result from the accumulation of limescale on the heat exchanger. Limescale accumulation creates steam bubbles that generate unusual sounds.
- Radiators not producing heat – When the boiler’s hot but the radiators are not, it could be that the system has become restricted due to sludge, probably caused by corroded plumbing. Chemical flushing is usually called for.
Sobieski Services is here for you all winter with 24-hour service for boilers.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: Leo Reynolds