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Common Problems With Boilers

img_0064With so many advances over the years, boilers are much more safe and reliable than those of previous generations. Though problems do still arise, and many times, you don’t learn about them until you need your boiler in cold weather.

Which boiler do you have?
Do you have a hot water boiler or a steam boiler? If you have a clear glass tube on one side of your boiler, then that’s an indication that you have a steam boiler.

Pilot Light
One of the most common issues is the pilot light going out – it could have been caused by something as simple as a draft blowing it out, debris or a bad thermocouple. The best thing to do in this situation is call a professional to diagnose and repair the problem.

Excess Pressure or Pressure Loss
A build up or loss of pressure from hot water could be caused by either a water leak somewhere in your system or due to a faulty pressure relief valve. Again, a professional can diagnose and repair this issue more quickly than you can.

Kettling
Kettling is a noise that occurs in boilers, that sounds similar to a kettle on your stove boiling. Over time, there is build-up of lime scale deposits, especially in areas of hard water. Hard water has a higher proportion of calcium salts (lime) than soft water so as the water heats, the salts become insoluble in water and settle at the bottom of the container. Another cause could be a faulty boiler thermostat causing the boiler to overheat or something else installed inappropriately. Boilers have numerous safety controls that should kick in and lock out the boiler (shut it off) if there is excess pressure – it’s important to have a professional determine the cause of the boiler malfunctioning.

Frozen Condensate Pipe
If you have a PVC pipe that runs out of the home to remove excess, condensed water, it can sometimes freeze as it goes outside – if that pipe freezes, the water builds up in the boiler and can drip or flood if too much is collected. It is recommended to contact a professional to resolve this.

These are just some of the more common issues with boilers but if you continue to have trouble, please contact a professional to assist.

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2 COMMENTS

  • Afton Jackson
    July 7, 2022, 1:29 am REPLY

    We’ve heard a lot of kettle-like noises recently as we started using our boiler more often, and I started to wonder if this was something that needed urgent attention. Reading your article made me realize that this is indeed a problem worth looking into, and that a professional might be needed to prevent damage. I’ll go and call over a boiler repair expert so we can avoid any bad things from happening to both the unit and my family.

  • Anna Collins
    November 19, 2022, 5:28 am REPLY

    I tried checking my boiler in preparation for the upcoming winter season, and I noticed that there seems to be a pressure loss in the system. Thank you for explaining to us that the loss of pressure is usually caused by either water leaks somewhere in the system or a broken pressure relief valve, so it’s best to get a professional to look into it immediately. I’ll be sure to contact an HVAC contractor and get gas heater repairs done as soon as possible.

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