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Serving West Michigan Since 2004

Serving West Michigan Since 2004

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The Most Common Boiler Problems

boiler-pressure-gaugeDon’t let that headline mislead you—boilers are still one of the most reliable and efficient heating systems on the market. Since they have far fewer moving parts than forced-air heating systems, they typically don’t need as many repairs.

However, boilers are not impervious to problems. Recognizing the signs of an issue and having it promptly repaired is the key to ensuring a long life for your boiler. Here are some of the most common ones:

No Heat

There are a handful of reasons why a boiler might not be producing hot water. Potential causes include:

  • Blown fuse or tripped circuit
  • The water level is too low
  • The natural gas valve is closed
  • Thermostat malfunction

Since there are so many potential causes for this issue, we suggest saving time and calling in for advice instead of taking it upon yourself to try out dozens of troubleshooting methods.

Boiler Turns Itself Off

If the boiler is shutting itself off continuously, it’s likely trying to protect itself from overheating. Rather than trying to fight it, call for boiler repair in Grand Rapids, MI.

This is another issue with several potential causes.

  • Low water pressure, such as that caused by a leak or a faulty pressure relief valve.
  • A malfunctioning thermostat won’t read the proper temperature, meaning it could be falsely signaling that the proper temperature has been reached.
  • A closed valve can prevent water flow and thus cause it to turn off.

Kettling

Are you familiar with the sounds a kettle makes when you’re boiling water? Those same noises might be heard in your boiler, but unlike with a kettle, this is not normal. It likely means the boiler has collected too much water sediment.

The main cause is hard water. While the “kettling” noise itself isn’t a huge problem, sediment in your boiler is a problem. Too much sediment can lower efficiency and damage the tank.

Frozen Pipes

If your boiler has a condensate waste pipe, you’ll have to keep it in mind during the colder months. Since this pipe runs outdoors, it is susceptible to freezing over. Trying to thaw a frozen pipe can be dangerous if not done properly; don’t be afraid to call an expert.

Low Pressure

If your boiler’s pressure gauge is below 1, you can expect to have heating problems. The heating system will not be able to work properly if the pressure is too low.

A leak is one potential cause of low water pressure. Try turning off all of your water appliances and then checking the water meter. If the meter still spins, then you’ve likely got a leak.

Pilot Light and Thermocouple Troubles

For boilers that use pilot lights, it’s not uncommon for them to go out. Fixing it is usually as easy as relighting it. If it doesn’t stay lit, however, the thermocouple might be to blame.

The thermocouple acts as a heat sensor for the pilot light. If the pilot light goes out, the thermocouple senses this, and the gas valve closes. This prevents gas from leaking into the home. However, a broken thermocouple will keep the gas valve closed, preventing the boiler from operating.

If your boiler is acting up, contact Westshore Mechanical today to schedule service. Serving West Michigan Since 2004.

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