Your boiler has been idle for several warm summer months. The first cool Autumn night arrives and…nothing. Your boiler system won’t start. This is actually the time when the majority of boiler breakdowns occur.
Take heart. It could be an easy fix. Some common problems may even be addressed without the need to call in an expert. But other situations will warrant the help of qualified experienced professionals.
Take a Look:
No heat or hot water – potential reasons are from broken diaphragms and airlocks, failure of motorized valves, or issues with your thermostat.
Banging, whistling or gurgling noises – air in the system is a common cause of this, or the water pressure may be too low. This is called kettling. Perhaps pump failure, particularly in older systems, could be the reason for strange banging sounds.
Dripping and leaking – Several things could cause this, and the determination will depend on where the water is leaking from.
Is your pilot light out? – A broken thermocouple that removes the gas supply from the pilot light could be the reason, or a draft is blowing out the flame if you have a continuous flame unit. Maybe a deposit has built up in the pilot light nozzle.
Loss of pressure – Is there a leak in the system? This is the most common reason for a loss of pressure. It could also mean the pressure relief valve needs to be replaced.
More Things to Check
Thermostat problem – It could be losing its accuracy, or can be incorrectly turning the heating on or off. You may want to invest in a new, more efficient one.
A frozen condensate pipe – Don’t try to thaw this yourself, it may cause greater damage. Ideally have it done by a qualified engineer.
No radiating heat? – Corroded pipework can cause a sludge to build up in the system, thus preventing the free flow of hot water to the heating element, radiator, etc. This could call for a chemical flushing of the system.
Does your boiler keep switching off? – This could be caused by low water pressure, a faulty thermostat, or lack of water flow due to a closed valve, or the pump is not circulating the water in the system for some reason.
High Water Temperature or Low Water Temperature – Again, this could be due to the thermostat controls. Another likelihood is the circulation pump is not working. Maybe there is an obstruction in the piping or an air pocket in the line. The system will need to be purged.
Boiler runs continuously – This could be due to a thermostat problem. Maybe there is faulty wiring. Or a control valve is faulty and sticking. This is something you’d need help with also.
Odor or fumes in your boiler room – Can indicate a gas leak. But don’t go testing this yourself. Call Abel or your utility company.
Once you’ve gone through this check-list, you’ll have some idea what the problem is, and be better informed as to how to approach it. Don’t take on something you’re not sure about. Give us a call and explain the situation first.
Is it Time to Replace your Hydronic Radiant Boiler System?
Do your homework, ask the experts and decide what system is best for your home. When shopping for a high-efficiency hydronic radiating system, it usually makes sense to look for the highest efficiency system, especially in cold climates. The extra investment required to go from 56 – 70% efficiency (AFUE) to 90 – 95% will be well worth it in comfort and savings. Check our Blog
Don’t wait till the last minute. If you have any doubts, we will work with you to be sure your boiler is in tip top shape for the coming Minnesota winter. Call us at 952-472-Cool (2665) or contact us.