Most boiler breakdowns can be prevented. In addition to having regular maintenance by a licensed heating repair specialist, recognizing the signs a boiler needs repairs is critical. These are some of the most common symptoms of boiler trouble that mean it’s time to seek repairs.
You’re Not Getting Enough Heat
The heat may not be as strong as usual, or your home may not be heating at all. A lack of hot water is also a sign your boiler isn’t working. A faulty part likely needs replacement, although a thermostat issue may be the culprit. If the drip tube is damaged, heated and unheated water can mix, lowering the water temperature. Sediment blocking the heating unit can affect heating as well. These problems can usually be fixed by a professional.
A water leak is never a good sign. If the boiler is leaking, it could be due to a bad pipe connection, but faulty internal components can be to blame. Damaged pressure valves or pump seals can be easily replaced by a professional. But if you don’t address a water leak right away, a catastrophic failure is possible, requiring boiler replacement. Leakage can also cause mold and major property damage.
Low Water Pressure
Water pressure must be at a minimum threshold for a boiler to operate. A safety cutoff switch in the appliance will turn it off automatically if the pressure goes below that. The causes of low pressure include leaks, expansion tank problems, and air trapped in the system. An issue outside the boiler, such as a plumbing problem, may also cause water pressure to drop.
If the boiler begins to make noise that’s different from the usual start up, operating, and shut off sounds, something is wrong. Kettling, or a whistling or rumbling noise, is caused by mineral build up that traps water in the heat exchanger. Boiling water evaporates and the rapid expansion of vapor puts pressure on boiler pipes. A failsafe feature on most boilers prevents damage, but the issue should be repaired quickly.
Faulty Pilot Light/Electronic Ignition
Call a service technician if the boiler’s pilot light is out. Pilot lights are common on older models so a serious underlying issue may be present. Also call for help if the flame is yellow instead of blue or you see oil stains. Although electronic ignition systems are more reliable, they can develop problems preventing your boiler from running normally. Repairs can keep them going and ensure they remain energy efficient.
Boiler Doesn’t Stay On
If the boiler keeps going off, it’s shutdown feature is likely being triggered. The cause can be overheating due to a thermostat issue, trapped air, a stuck valve, or faulty heat exchanger. Boiler technicians are trained to diagnose the cause and provide the appropriate fix.
Increase in Heating Bills
As a boiler ages and/or declines in performance, it must work harder to provide the same heating. Your heating bill can increase as a result. Regular maintenance can keep your heating costs in check. The bill can increase steadily or rise suddenly. It’s therefore important to keep track of it over time and schedule boiler service if there are any changes.
The smell of burning plastic, metal, or oil generally means circuits or other components are overheating. If there’s a rotten-egg smell, a gas leak is likely. Shut down the system immediately and call for help. However, if you notice a dusty or burning fabric smell when turning the boiler on for the first time of the season, there’s no cause for concern unless it persists or gets worse.
Call The AC Hero for Boiler Repairs
We are trusted in the Austin area to address heating issues. Our technicians are fully licensed and trained as well as equipped to diagnose and fix any problem. Same-day service means The AC Hero can respond to your call and repair your boiler in one visit. To get started, call 817-587-0876 or schedule service online.