Before forced-air heaters like furnaces and heat pumps became as advanced as they are today, the nation heated itself with a different kind of system: the boiler.
To this day, many would say that the boiler is still unmatched in its comfort and heating abilities. Not only that, but these systems do have less moving parts, making them less prone to needing repairs.
With that being said, boilers are not invincible. They will unfortunately need repairs from time to time. At the very least, we can let you in on what those symptoms are and explain what they mean.
We mention leaking first because it’s one of the most serious problems your boiler could encounter. In the worst-case scenario, it could mean having to get your system replaced. Some of the reasons why your boiler may be leaking come down to:
- Faulty temperature or pressure valve: These valves prevent your boiler from getting too hot and too pressurized. These valves will discharge a little bit of water as part of their normal functions, but it’s also possible that they can become faulty and expel too much water.
- Corrosion: Corrosion can form on valves, pipes, or the boiler’s tank itself. If the corroded part can be swapped out it won’t be a problem, but a corroded tank will most likely mean replacement of the boiler.
If you suddenly start heating strange noises from your boiler, know that it’s not normal. But at the same time, don’t immediately assume the worst. Most causes of noise in boilers can be easily fixed with a maintenance check.
- Kettling: When limescale builds up on the heat exchanger, it can create noises like clunking and banging. It’s often compared to the sound that a kettle makes while boiling, hence the name “kettling.” Limescale should be flushed from the system annually, and it’s harmless as long as it isn’t allowed to build up.
- Pump failure: A noisy system can also be linked back to a faulty circulator pump. They’re normally silent, so if they begin making noise, it could be due to excess air inside the pump. However, it can also be due to a part in the pump that has become loose.
Is your boiler refusing to do the one thing it was meant to do? There can be many reasons for this, so it’s best to have a professional come take a look.
- Burner refuses to ignite: If the burner doesn’t ignite, the fuel won’t burn. This is one of the most common but simplest reasons that a boiler doesn’t heat. There are many components that help the boiler startup, but a pro can help find what’s causing the issue.
- Broken circulator pump: This is the part responsible for sending heated water to the radiators. If it stops functioning, the home will never heat.
- Thermostat malfunction: Sometimes, fixing the issue could be as simple as double-checking the programming on the thermostat. If that doesn’t fix it, you’ll need the opinion of an expert.