Every household’s boiler system is different, but there are general tips for getting started with boiler repair. While the troubleshooting process varies with each boiler, homeowners can do some basic troubleshooting to determine whether their boiler needs repair.
Homes that use radiant heat rely on a continuous hot water supply to provide comfort and safety when the weather turns frigid. If you’ve noticed a sudden drop in the temperature in your home, there could be a problem with your boiler, and you’ll need to get it fixed as soon as possible.
Boilers are complicated, so knowing where to start can be challenging. Here are a few tips for getting started.
Examine the boiler for leaks
A boiler that regularly leaks will waste energy, driving up your bills and shortening the unit’s lifetime. Leaks also mean your home isn’t getting as much heat as it could. With a smaller boiler, you’ll run your heating more, and a larger boiler doesn’t heat your home the same way it used to, which can decrease your comfort.
Water leaks are easy to spot. If it’s coming from beneath the boiler or from around the boiler, there’s a good chance it’s coming from one of the pipes. First, turn off the boiler, remove the front panel and check the pipes for signs of leaking. Look for puddles on the floor or places around the boiler where water has pooled.
Leaks from inside the boiler are also easy to spot, as a rotten egg smell usually accompanies them. If you smell a sulfurous odor, open the lid and take a look inside the boiler, particularly around the heat exchanger. Look for water pooling or leaking through seams or cracks in metal.
Evaluate the boiler’s efficiency
Many homeowners think their boiler will last 20 years or longer. In reality, the average life expectancy of a boiler is 12 to 15 years. Make sure yours is up to the task.
Check the boiler’s efficiency rating. Most boilers are 90% efficient or better. A 95% rating is considered excellent. A poorly performing boiler can cost more to operate than a newer model.
If you aren’t sure if you have a high-efficiency boiler or if your boiler is more than ten years old, ask a heating contractor to analyze it for you. He or she can let you know if it’s time for a replacement or helps you find the best boiler cover for your home.
Inspect the boiler’s pressure
A boiler can fail due to a boiler pressure issue. The boiler’s pressure should be maintained between 1.5 and 2.0 pounds per square inch. Any pressure below 1.5 pounds per square inch can be dangerous, and anything above 2.0 pounds per square inch will be wasteful and energy-sapping.
A boiler pressure gauge indicates the amount of pressure inside a boiler. The indicator is attached to a dial that shows the boiler’s pressure. The gauge should be between the recommended pressures.
If the boiler pressure is above 2.0 pounds per square inch, the boiler should be turned down. If the pressure is below 1.5 pounds per square inch, the boiler should be turned up.
Boiler pressure gauges are relatively inexpensive and can easily be installed. If you decide to purchase a new boiler, be sure to buy a boiler pressure gauge.
Call a professional
When something goes wrong with your boiler, you might notice water leaking from your unit, a puddle of water on the floor, or steam or warm air leaking out of the system.
Professional plumbers are your best bet when the problem isn’t something you can quickly fix. These repair companies offer 24/7 services, and in most cases, they can come out and fix your boiler the same day you call them.
The best boiler repair companies are equipped with the tools and knowledge to repair your boiler and diagnose the problem, so you can have peace of mind that your system will be running smoothly again.