Busted Boiler? How to Troubleshoot Your Boiler Before Calling in a Technician
Is your boiler emitting bizarre clangs, providing sub-par heat to your living area or just being uncooperative in general? We share some useful insights to get it to work right without relying on professional services. This article also explores how residential boiler repair services in Richmond Hill are your safest bet if the issue is too large to fix on your own.
What is a Residential Boiler?
Before we get into the intricacies of fixing your boiler unit, let’s start with – What does a boiler do? Contemporary boilers are extraordinary systems that are capable of providing heat to warm up a room or to warm up water. As opposed to popular belief, boilers do not really “boil” water. This thinking belongs to the past when antiquated boiler systems used to boil the water to create steam.
The way a boiler operates ultimately relies on the type of gadget you have. If we were drawing broad strokes, this is how we would describe the everyday operational behavior of a residential boiler unit:
- If the thermostat detects a temperature plunge, it will trigger the boiler, thus turning it on
- Your boiler powers up and utilizes oil, gas or electrical energy to create heat
- This heat warms the water that sits inside the boiler system’s storage receptacle
- The conditioned water then travels throughout your house (through a radiator network)
- The heat emanating from the water warms the interiors
- Eventually, as the water gets colder, it reverts to the boiler where it gets heated and sent back out
- This process is repeated until your home reaches the right temperature, in which case your thermostat deactivates the boiler
Is a Boiler the Same as a Water Heater?
Not quite. A boiler can sometimes function as a water heater, at other times it does more. Allow us to clarify.
The primary purpose of a water heater is to serve as a storage container for hot water. This container uses gas or electricity to heat the water and preserve it at that temperature until such time that the water is used for cooking, a shower, a washing machine or for any other hot water requirements. As this conditioned water gets exhausted, freshwater flows into the container to be heated and used.
A boiler can heat the water used for all of the above purposes but it also does something that water heaters do not do. Namely, a boiler heats water and then propels it through the piping system in your home so that the heat shifts from the water to the air. These are versatile and energy-efficient heating systems that accommodate a whole host of heating needs.
Is a Boiler the Same as a Furnace?
No. Although the end result is the same, a boiler functions differently from a furnace. A furnace heats air and uses a blower motor to transfer that air via the pipes or ductwork in your home. A boiler, on the other hand, heats water and then sends that heated water through the pipework in your home. The warm water eventually heats the air making your interiors comfortable and livable.
Moreover, a furnace requires that you change or clean the air filter between once a month to once every four months. With a boiler, the excess air must be released. This is called “bleeding the system”. Based on the unit, you will have to administer this every now and then. If any of the rooms in your home are insufficiently heated, it may be time to bleed the system.
Common Boiler Issues That You’re Most Likely Experiencing Right Now (and How to Fix Them!)
You’re reading this article no doubt because your boiler isn’t operating as promised. Let’s unpack that. Why would a boiler stop working or rather, why does a boiler go on and off?
- Minor electrical issues such as the electricity to the boiler having been inexplicably cut off or the fuse box tripping.
Solution: Switch on the electricity supply and do a soft reset: turn the boiler off and on.
- Gas issues such as the gas supply switching off or a valve getting knocked.
Solution: An indicator of gas supply problems is that other gas-fueled devices will also trip. Inspect the gas supply. It’s always best to call in a technician in such a case because gas-related issues could be life-threatening.
- Plumbing issues such as a frozen pipe.
Solution: Defrost the offending frozen pipe by first turning off the main stop tap. Using a hair dryer or a couple of hot water bottles, melt the ice in the pipe beginning from the tap end.
- Water supply having been unknowingly turned off.
Solution: You might have mistakenly turned off the stopcock. In such a case, your boiler may emit strange bangs or sludge noises owing to the uneven water flow. If so, simply turn it back on.
- Your boiler is low on pressure.
Solution: Repressurize the boiler system. To do so, you may be able to resolve the issue yourself. Check for visible leaks in the pipework and, if you’re handy with plumbing, patch these up. Check to see if the pressure release valve is busted. If the valve leaks or if there are stains around the boiler, you will need a technician to come take a look at the system.
Most boilers do come with guidelines on how to repressurize the system, either by using a tap to refill the water or twisting a screw to recalibrate the boiler.
- A stuck ball float valve in the water cistern.
Solution: Inspect the cistern. If it is empty or near empty, extract the valve and clean it.
If the problem still persists, it’s time to call in the experts. Don’t let the brutal winter put you or your family out. Constant Home Comfort has certified HVAC technicians that work around the clock. Call us at 1-888-829-1875 for reliable, professional and affordable boiler repair and maintenance services.
Which is the Best Boiler System for 2019?
The leading boiler brands and manufacturers in 2019 that offer resilient units for all your heating needs and also accommodate diverse property sizes, fuel ratings, prices, quality of internal elements, capacities and technologies are Navien, NTI, IBC, Smart, Prestige, Viessmann, Allied Engineering.
Constant offers a diverse range of boiler systems to meet all your heating requirements. Some of these include:
- Combi boilers (Combined boiler units that serve as high-grade water heaters and central heat units)
- Indirect tank boilers (Hydronic units that have a heating coil inside the tank to heat water. These usually have a lower operating cost and are highly durable)
- Natural gas boiler (Converts natural gas into heat to warm the water))
Looking for a High-Efficiency and Cost-Effective Boiler System This Winter?
No matter your heating or cooling needs, we’ve got just what you need. If you require a certified HVAC technician to repair a broken boiler unit, contact us today for a great quote!