Boilers hardly get more than a passing thought from their homeowners, until something goes awry. Whether you depend on your boiler to heat your home, provide you with hot water, or warm your radiant floors, it’s an integral part of the home. When it isn’t operating properly – it can be a source of discomfort, especially on cold days.
Below are a few common boiler problems and tips on troubleshooting, how to repair, and when it’s best to consult a professional.
- Lack of Hot Water – If you are not getting hot water, only cold, and don’t hear odd noises coming from the hot water heater, then chances are the issue lies with the heating system. Failing thermostats are often the culprit as they don’t signal the boiler that the water temperature has dropped. Replacing the thermostat typically solves the issue avoiding expensive boiler repair.
- Noisy Boiler – Sometimes called “kettling” as the noise sounds like the whistling noise a boiling tea kettle makes. A properly functioning boiler does’nt make banging or gurgling sounds. When they do, it’s because of lime (hard water deposits), that have accumulated at the bottom of the tank. A boiler repair professional and drain and clean the tank and incorporating a water softening system can alleviate this issue.
- Leaks – Leaks don’t have to be large to cause problems as even minuscule leaks can result in loss of water pressure, increased water bills, and cooler indoor temperatures. Diminished water levels in the boiler are also signs of a leak. Unless the leak is from a pipe inside the wall, it should’nt be difficult to locate. Inspect all joints and connections and tighten or reseal as needed. If the leak is due to broken parts or loose connections within the boiler, these must be addressed by a professional repair service.
- Pilot Light Issues – Pilot lights extinguish due to failed thermocouplers, exposure to drafts, or accumulated carbon on the pilot light. If steps are taken to prevent drafts and clean the pilot light, and the light still fails to operate, then a failed thermocouple is the most probable cause. It is recommended that trained technicians replace thermocouplers.
Other reasons for a boiler not operating might be a lack of power. Be sure to check that the power supply is on and that a switch or breaker hasn’t been tripped. Prevention is the best policy so have your system inspected annually.