Because of the combustion and high temperatures involved, most hot water boiler troubles aren’t suited to DIY repair. However, the average homeowner can perform general troubleshooting to eliminate the more basic causes of malfunction or poor performance. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of adjustment or a power loss you can easily remedy. In more complex cases, you’ll at least be better prepared to communicate the problem to the qualified repair technician who arrives to service the unit.
Here are 5 things to check for boiler troubles before you call in professional help:
- Verify thermostat setting. In a zoned system, make sure the central thermostat setting is above actual room temperature. If it’s a non-digital mechanical thermostat, verify that it’s mounted level.
- Check the circulation pump. You can tell a thing or two by feeling the pump housing. If it’s cold, suspect an electrical problem. Reset the circuit breaker that controls power to the boiler. If the pump is hot, the run capacitor may no longer provide sufficient power to start the pump or the pump mechanism may have seized internally—both are matters for a professional technician.
- Check the temperature/pressure gauge readings. The boiler temp/pressure gauge should read somewhere approximately midway between zero and the red line that indicates overheating. If the reading is normal, air in the system may be preventing circulation. If the reading is abnormally low, the inducer fan may not be getting power or the vent damper may be stuck in the closed position.
- Look for pilot light and burner issues. Watch the pilot light and see if it lights and remains lit. If not, you have a malfunction in a sensor. If the pilot lights, verify that the main burners also ignite. If they don’t, a gas control valve or boiler control may be defective.
- Look for leaks. Note any water leakage on the boiler unit itself or puddling on the floor. These may indicate a faulty seal in a circulation pump, a defective pressure relief valve or a leaky pipe connection.
For professional solutions to boiler troubles in the Harvey area, contact Bryans United Air Conditioning.
Written by Zach Mouton
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