How Do I Know If My Boiler Needs Repair?
A properly functioning boiler system is critical for Milwaukee-area homes and business, but many people are left asking themselves: How do I know if my boiler needs to be repaired? Identifying and addressing common boiler problems promptly will prevent more significant problems down the line, saving you time and money in the longrun.
Here are a few common boiler problems:
Common Boiler Problem #1 - Irregular Heating:
If you notice inconsistent heating throughout your property – i.e., some rooms are too hot while others remain cold – it could be a sign of a malfunctioning boiler. The issue may result from faulty valves, airlocks, or pump problems that need professional attention.
Common Boiler Problem #2 - Strange Noises:
Unusual noises emanating from your boiler, like banging, clanking, or gurgling sounds, are indicators of potential issues. These noises could be caused by trapped air, limescale buildup, or worn-out components, all of which require immediate professional investigation.
Common Boiler Problem #3 - Frequent Pilot Light Outages:
A pilot light that frequently goes out may indicate a problem with the thermocouple or a gas supply issue. A continuously extinguished pilot light should never be ignored, as it can lead to dangerous gas leaks.
Common Boiler Problem #4 - Leaks and Drips:
Visible leaks or drips around your boiler should not be ignored. Leakage could be caused by a faulty pressure valve, pump, or corrosion within the system. Ignoring leaks can lead to water damage and pose safety hazards.
Common Boiler Problem #5 - Sudden Increase in Energy Bills:
If your energy bills have unexpectedly increased, it could be a sign that your boiler is operating inefficiently. Inefficient boilers consume more energy to achieve the desired temperature, inevitably leading to higher energy costs.
Common Boiler Problem #6 - Yellow Flame Instead of Blue:
A yellow or flickering flame instead of a steady blue flame on your gas boiler could indicate the presence of carbon monoxide. This gas is highly dangerous and requires immediate attention from a qualified technician.
Common Boiler Problem #7 - Delayed Hot Water or Heating:
Delays in receiving hot water or heating is a clear sign that your boiler needs to be repaired. It could be due to issues with the thermostat, pump, or a malfunctioning component that affects the boiler's proper performance.
Common Boiler Problem #8 - Boiler Age:
Consider the age of your boiler: If it's more than 10-15 years old, it may start showing signs of wear and tear. Older boilers are more susceptible to breakdowns and inefficiencies, and upgrading to a newer model might be a wise decision.
Common Boiler Problems
Boilers are extremely durable and reliable. Yet even with regular boiler maintenance, equipment age and wear-and-tear will lead to problems eventually. The most frequent reasons for boiler repair include:
Kettling is the term used to refer to a boiler banging, bubbling, rumbling or making other troublesome noises. Kettling can be caused by a leak, overheating (usually from a faulty thermostat), or from buildup of limescale and other mineral deposits.
Milwaukee has hard water which means it has a lot of mineral content. Over time, minerals build up in the boiler which can change the pressure level, making a leak more likely. If you hear your boiler kittling, call for professional repair as soon as you notice it.
Leaks and Drips
This is another warning sign you’ll want to call a professional for – especially if the leak is coming from the boiler tank itself, which could mean it’s corroded to the point of needing replacement. Leaks can also spring from pumps and pressure relief valves, which can be repaired.
Drips can indicate loose pipe or tube fittings, damaged seals, or a damaged valve. A lot of times drips are caused by wear and tear or a pressure issue. An occasional small drip from the pressure outlet pipe is normal, but check your pressure gauge anyway – if it’s in the red, call Prompt.
Pilot Light Problems
If your boiler’s pilot light won’t ignite or stay lit, you’re better off calling a professional rather than attempting to fix it yourself. Sometimes pilot lights just go out and relighting is straightforward – but when it’s a struggle or happens repeatedly it can indicate a serious problem.
Often the cause involves the thermocouple, a long wire that acts as a heat sensor. When it malfunctions the gas valve closes (as a safety feature) which means the pilot light goes out. Another common cause of pilot light trouble is the pilot tube that supplies gas to the pilot light. If it’s dirty and clogged the pilot light can’t get fuel.
Boiler Turns On and Off Again
Also known as short cycling, there are many reasons why a boiler might fire up only to keep shutting off again. It can be caused by low water pressure, a broken pump, a faulty thermostat, issues with a heat exchanger, a closed or broken valve, or other issues.
If you’re experiencing any type of problem with your boiler, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Give us a call to speak to a technician, and if we can help you troubleshoot over the phone, we will. If we need to come take a look you’ll get a firm price quote for any and all work ahead of time.
Fix Common Boiler Problems Before They Get Worse
Prompt Heating & Air Conditioning is always on-hand to diagnose and repair any common boiler problems you might be facing. Contact us today to schedule an inspection or learn more about our boiler services!
Remember, safety should always be your priority when dealing with boilers. Even common boiler problems can cause big issues. If you suspect any gas leaks or carbon monoxide issues, evacuate your property immediately and call emergency services before contacting our team for professional assistance.