The Boiler Blues: 10 Troubleshooting Tips to Get Your Boiler Working Again
Throughout winter, if you rely on your water boiler for more than heating water for your morning shower, you sure will notice if it conks out!
I’m Your family members will also notice. They will also likely be keenly impatient for you to troubleshoot and get the household boiler working again.
Remember, Bi-Temp in Belleville, Ontario, provides 24/7 emergency repair service for both homeowners and commercial business owners. We provide maintenance servicing for Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation Systems. If these troubleshooting tips don't set things to rights again, pick up the phone and give us a call.
Heating Boiler 101: Mastering the Basics
Every day, somebody somewhere buys a home that has a different type of heating system than what they are used to.
Before you can start to troubleshoot, you have to understand what a boiler is and how it works.
A properly functioning boiler system does two main things:
1. A boiler heats water for your tea, shower, dishwasher and clothes washer.
2. A boiler heats water to warm up your home or workplace.
The ways that a boiler does these two jobs can differ depending on the exact system you happen to have and its power source (electric, natural gas, propane, oil, et al).
10 Common Boiler Problems & Troubleshooting Tips
As with all major appliances, boilers typically don't just stop working all at once.
First, you will start to get warning signs.
If you don't pay attention or simply don't understand what these warning signs are trying to tell you, one day you will wake up to a non-functioning boiler.
This is never a good way to start your day.
We hope these tips will help you identify common boiler problems so you can troubleshoot yourself! Or, give Bi-Temp Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning in Belleville a call to troubleshoot for you!
1. Erratic Heat
While you may think that erratic heat output points to a major repair, sometimes this is actually the easiest issue to troubleshoot and resolve.
Often, the problem actually stems from the thermostat - the small control box that tells the mechanical components of the boiler how hot you want it.
There may be a blown fuse or a dead battery. Sometimes the thermostat just needs recalibration. If that doesn't fix it, however, it is time to move on to other troubleshooting tactics.
2. Strange Noises
Quiet whirrs and low rumbles are considered normal for modern boilers. Sounds that make you imagine that last riveting Netflix episode of "72 Dangerous Animals" are not.
Bangs, pops, screeches, whistles, clangs, gurgles and anything that sounds like elephants on stampede require prompt attention - and likely professional service!
Have you been hearing strange noises from your boiler system? Now is the time to contact our Bi-Temp Heating Technicians in Quinte, Ontario to schedule a maintenance appointment.
3. A Funny Smell
If strange noises are waking you up at night, funny smells may simply keep you up.
The most concerning odours that require immediate attention include burning, rotten eggs or an acrid sharp smell in your home. These smells could be originating from your boiler system and require immediate attention. Call our Bi-Temp team in Belleville for 24/7 Emergency HVAC repair services!
4. Black Stains
Black stains on or around your heating elements or your pilot light point to incomplete combustion.
Not only does incomplete combustion force you to pay for more energy than your boiler actually uses (which means your heating bills will go up without giving you any more heat to show for it), but it can emit dangerous toxic gases into your indoor air.
5. Strange Health Symptoms
Speaking of carbon monoxide, since this gas is odourless and colourless, the only warning sign you are likely to get will come in the form of health symptoms.
Headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, weakness, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision, confusion, fainting - these are all urgent warning signs that may point to toxic levels of carbon monoxide.
6. Pilot Light Changes Colour (or goes out)
Pilot light problems are always considered urgent problems, whether yours happens to be a pilot light that won't stay lit or a flame that can't decide what colour it wants to be when it grows up.
(By the way, you always want your pilot light to burn blue.)
A yellow, green or other colour pilot light is an indication that there is an imbalance in the fuel-to-oxygen ratio required to make maximum use of fuel input.
Like black stains near the heat exchanger or pilot light, changing pilot light colours can point to dangerous carbon monoxide emissions inside your home.
7. Constant Small Repairs
A high maintenance boiler is often trying to tell you that its days are numbered.
Your Bi-Temp service technician will be able to advise you on whether it makes better financial sense to invest in a new energy-efficient boiler or not.
8. Increasing Heating Bills
Steadily increasing heating bills without a corresponding increase in heating output is one warning sign you will only catch if you are watching your bottom line carefully.
Often, the fix is as simple as scheduling your annual preventative maintenance, tune-up and safety inspection.
9. Fuel or Water Leaks
Finding small puddles of water, hydronic fluid or fuel can seem minor at first glance.
Anytime your boiler springs a leak, no matter how small, it is always time to power down and call in the pros.
10. Your boiler just had its 10th birthday.
A high quality, well-maintained boiler can easily last 10 to 15 years.
However, if your boiler is giving you trouble and has just had its 10th (or 15th) birthday, it may be more economical to simply replace it! That’s where your trusted heating services at Bi-Temp in Belleville come in! Our experienced technicians are on-call and ready to replace your boiler system this winter!
Bi-Temp Handles All Your Quinte Heating Boiler Unit Needs
Our friendly, knowledgeable service technicians at Bi-Temp in Quinte are here to serve your boiler, water heater, HVAC and indoor air quality needs.
And don't forget about our popular 24/7 emergency repair services - nights, weekends, major holidays, we are still here for you!