Is this how your boiler system looks to you when it’s acting up…a maze of pipes gurgling and banging? Abel Heating and Cooling has over 70 years of boiler repair experience. Pressurized systems need different skills to diagnose and fix, requiring experienced technicians. At Abel, we work with both residential and commercial boiler systems, restoring heat and installing new high efficiency boilers.
When is it Time to Have a Boiler Checked?
There is a lot to be said about regular, scheduled, maintenance check-ups and service.
But if you suddenly find yourself with no heat, or hearing strange sounds from your boiler system, here are some things to consider.
First, be sure the circulator pump is running. Is the motor hot? If not, see if the breaker switch is on. If the motor feels VERY hot, you may have a problem with the run capacitor. The motor or the pump itself could be locked up. Otherwise, if it is cool to the touch, and the breaker is on, the problem may be the thermostat or the circulator relay.
Next, check the temperature/pressure gauge on the boiler. Most of these will have a red line and the temperature/pressure reading will be above zero and less than the red line value. You may find that the temperature and pressure are abnormally low, check to find out if the vent damper is open and/or the inducer fan is running. No? Then you can try shutting off the breaker to the unit, wait a few minutes and turn it back on. If this doesn’t work, you could have a problem with the boiler control or the aquastat.
Here is a List of Possible Boiler Problems
Leaking and dripping – Where is the water coming from? The source may not be visible to the eye if it comes from a broken internal component, such as a pump seal or a pressure valve. Too high boiler pressure can do this. A worn out pump seal can suddenly start to leak and need replacing. If the leak is coming from the pipes or tank, it could indicate corrosion or an improperly fitted system.
No Heat or Hot Water – The failure of motorized valves, broken diaphragm and airlocks can cause loss of heat or hot water. Also, the thermostat or water level may be involved.
Banging, Gurgling or Whistling Sounds – Not only is this terribly annoying, even keeping you awake at night, it could spell serious problems with your boiler system. The most common cause is low water pressure. Called ‘kettling’, it can be a sign of imminent pump failure, or merely built up air inside of the radiators and oven.
Tapping Pipes or Radiators – Maybe a thermostat radiator valve was incorrectly fitted, especially if you’ve had the radiator put in, or moved, recently. The other reason for banging pipes could be a build-up of limescale in the system. As water flows through your central heating system, it causes pipes to expand and contract, which can also be noisy if they are close to floorboards or not positioned well.
Humming boiler – This can point to a problem with the heating elements. They may be set at the wrong time or pressure. If the boiler thermostat is working correctly, the fault might lie with the pump or pressure.
Pilot light keeps going out – A broken thermocouple could be stopping the gas supply.
Loss of pressure – There may be a water leak in the system, the pressure relief valve needs replacing, or the result of recently bled radiators.
Frozen condensate pipe – Condensing boilers have a condensate pipe which usually transports the acidic water, caused by waste gas, through venting into a drain in the boiler room. Condensate neutralizers are a new code item now for high efficiency boilers, and where septic systems are involved, the acidity of condensate water can kill your good septic bacteria. The experience of your technician is important!
Thermostat Problems – If the thermostat is inaccurate, or turning the heating on/off when it’s not supposed to, it might be time to buy a new one.
Use of Anti-freeze – Every once in a while it becomes necessary to use non-toxic antifreeze in a hydronic heating system. The reasons for using non-toxic glycol vary, but often considered if the occupants of a dwelling may be gone for long periods of time. Were the home to lose fuel and power, components such as piping could freeze.
Choosing to Install a New Boiler System
A new boiler installation will improve efficiency and comfort, and reduce heating costs. Many of our customers have changed their boiler to improve efficiency. An old, inefficient system can be very costly for heating your home, office, or church properly. Also, lack of proper maintenance can lessen the expected life-span. You may find yourself turning up the heat, yet still feeling cold. It may be time for a new boiler system.
ABEL Heating and Cooling can Help!
We’ll examine your existing system and offer you an honest appraisal of its current condition. If we can repair it safely, we will. If not, and you need a new boiler installation, you will receive an upfront assessment outlining the best systems for both cost, savings, and heating efficiency.
ABEL Heating and Cooling has served generations of local families, businesses and churches for over seven decades. For boiler installation, service and repair, please call us today at 952-472-COOL (2665).