If you have a boiler, you probably don’t give it a second thought—until it starts acting up. As winter comes to a close, you still need heat just as much as when your holidays decorations up. Unfortunately, without regular maintenance, boilers can “suddenly” go on the fritz, leaving you and your family in the cold. However, sometimes sudden issues pop up even if you’re diligent about those bi-annual inspections.
Here are some of the most common boiler complaints, likely causes and what to do. Act fast and depend on a local professional who offers 24/7 urgent servicing. Otherwise, going just a few hours without heat can be dangerous:
1. No heat
This one’s a no brainer, right? One of the most common boiler complaints is that it’s not producing heat or the heat is subpar. The good news is that a routine issue is low water levels. Your boiler’s internal atmosphere might have mineral deposits built up, or the tridicator (the pressure/temperature gauge) could be broken. When water levels are the issue, it’s easy to adjust and with mineral buildup, they’re simple to flush. However, it’s still best to let a pro handle it.
If a seemingly easy fix is done incorrectly, you can permanently damage the boiler.
2. Expansion tank issues
If you’re struggling with lack of air or overflowing water, the expansion tank is probably to blame. Handy men and women can check the tank to make sure air is being routed correctly, or you can check to make sure the temperature at the bottom of the tank is hotter than the top (that’s ideal). Otherwise, call a professional mechanic to ensure you don’t do more harm than good.
3. Problems with the radiator
Radiator issues are most often due to bad zone valves or when there’s air locked in the liner or radiator. When radiator “parts” are involved, such as valves, only a technician can handle it. You might need a replacement piece, and that part and labor is often more affordable than you think.
Finally, there are also thermocouple sensor fails and water leaks. The thermocouple manages gas flow in the boiler and is located in the pilot light. When the pilot light is out, so is the thermocouple. A re-ignition might be all it takes, or you might need to replace it. However, water leaks can be more serious. It leads to lower pressure and your boiler being unable to perform. Big leaks are easy to spot, but evaporation can be a nightmare to pinpoint if you’re not a pro.
Your best bet? Schedule maintenance checks twice per year and call an expert immediately if you suspect anything is amiss. Take care of your boiler early and regularly, and you’ll save big in the long haul.