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.