6 Clear Signs You Need Boiler Repair
Professional boiler repair in Cincinnati is generally called for whenever you notice changes in the system’s heating performance or energy efficiency, or see visual signs of component failure like leakage. Do you know who to call for boiler repair? Boiler heating involves high temperatures, pressure and flammable natural gas. For safety reasons, options for do-it-yourself diagnosis are very limited. Making sure the system is turned on at the thermostat, set to the proper temperature and bleeding air out at individual radiators when needed is generally the only recommended recourse for the average homeowner. If boiler heating problems persist, call for professional boiler repair in Cincinnati.
Signs You Need Boiler RepairHere’s a rundown of typical boiler symptoms that require the expertise of a qualified boiler technician so you can determine when and who to call for repairs:
- No heat at all
- Signs of water leakage
- Unusual noises
- Pilot won’t stay lit
- Low water pressure
- Radiators not fully heating
No heat at allThis could be caused by air in the system, failures of valves or circulation pump, loss of water level or thermostat issues.
Signs of water leakageThere are numerous potential sources of water leaking in a boiler system. Some are inexpensively resolved; others may mean major component failure.
Unusual noisesGenerally speaking, a boiler system should operate silently. Rumbling, banging, whistling and gurgling sounds usually mean a problem somewhere, but it takes a trained boiler technician to determine exactly what and how serious it is. For example, build-up of mineral deposits in the boiler or air getting into the system are common causes of noisy operation.
Pilot light won’t stay litThis could be a defective thermocouple shutting off the gas supply. It’s a safety issue that should only be addressed by a qualified professional, so find out who to call for boiler repair and take care of this problem right away.
Low water pressureAll boilers require a certain minimum water pressure. If pressure drops below that level, a safety cutoff switch will automatically turn off the boiler. Potential issues that cause low pressure range from leaks to air in the system to problems in the expansion tank.
Radiators not fully heatingAir in the system due to a number of possible causes and/or sludge build-up could be responsible. A full system bleed, as well as chemical flushing, may be required.
DIY Boiler Troubleshooting TipsBefore you decide who to call for boiler repair, there are some quick and easy troubleshooting steps to try first. These steps help correct simple issues that you don’t want to pay a technician to solve for you if you are able to avoid it.
It’s a No-Brainer, But…Check the thermostat first. Make sure the heating system is turned on and the desired temperature setting is at least five degrees above current room temperature.
Any Signs of Life?If your boiler has a controller and an LCD display screen, check to see that the screen is lit and receiving power. If it’s not, you may have an electrical failure or a defective circuit board in the controller. If the screen is lit, check for any fault codes or error messages that may be displayed. Write them down and pass them on to the HVAC contractor when you call. If the display screen and other indicator lights are dark, go to the electrical panel and look for any tripped circuit breakers. If you find one, reset it and check the boiler again.
Check the Gas and Pilot LightAt the boiler, the main gas valve should be in the “open” position. If it’s not, call your HVAC contractor and inquire why. If work was recently performed, it may have been inadvertently left closed. Verify the reason before you turn on the gas. If the system incorporates a standing pilot light, see if it’s lit. If not, follow manufacturer’s re-lighting instructions. Frequently, a defective thermocouple will extinguish the pilot and prevent re-lighting. In that case, you’ll need professional help. Newer boilers utilize electronic hot surface ignitors instead of standing pilot lights. Usually, there’s a conspicuous reset button you can try to revive an electronic ignitor. If you have no luck resetting, your HVAC contractor can handle it. If these tips are unable to resolve your system issues, know who to call for boiler repair to restore heat in your home fast.
Should I Retrofit My Boiler?If your old boiler isn’t keeping your home warm, experiencing frequent breakdowns, or resulting in higher energy bills, retrofitting may be an option for you. A retrofit allows for improvements in performance, energy efficiency, and safety for your current boiler system without a full replacement. As you consider who to call for boiler repair, be sure to ask about retrofit options. Common retrofits that improve existing boiler systems include:
- Programmable or smart thermostat installation
- Zoning system installation
- New high efficiency burners
- Modulating aquastats
- Time-delay relay
Ready to Replace Your Boiler?If you are ready to trade your underperforming boiler for a new, high efficiency system, who to call for boiler repair is also an option for boiler replacement! Especially in older homes, aging boilers may be patched up over the years with retrofits and repairs, but they just don’t deliver the efficiency and performance that an entirely new boiler system does. When you evaluate the decision to replace your boiler, consider the following:
- How old is your boiler? Newer modulating boilers last on average 15 years or more, while older cast iron models last 20-30 years. These estimates are often improved with good maintenance, but if your boiler is near or at that age, it’s time to look into replacement options.
- How high are your energy bills? Boilers lose efficiency as time goes on which raises your energy bills. With an older boiler in place, you are likely paying significantly more than you would with a new system.
- How often do you need repairs? More repairs mean more expenses. Consider if those funds would be better invested into a new system that helps you save money rather than for patching up your old unit.