3 Boiler Problems That Should Always Be Left To A Professional

Your boiler has provided your home with comfortable, radiant heat for several years. However, you're now noticing that it just simply isn't providing as much heat as it did when it was new. For this reason, you've decided to perform some do-it-yourself repairs. However, your boiler is a very complex system--and certain repairs are likely to be beyond your level of expertise. Hire a professional boiler service technician if your system has any of these three problems:

Leaking Pipes

Your boiler pipelines deliver hot water from your boiler tank to the various radiators throughout your home. If your pipelines are leaking, then your boiler system is wasting energy and causing water damage throughout your home.

Additionally, leaks throughout your pipelines will lead to more serious problems such as pitting—which occurs when oxygen enters your boiler system. When water isn't being pumped throughout your system, oxygen will flow into your pipelines through the same holes or threads where your pipes leak.

  • Why Can't I Just Replace The Leaking Pipes?

    • Leaking pipes indicate an internal problem. If you were to replace the leaking pipes and call it a day, your system would quickly develop new leaks because you only fixed the symptom—not the problem. For example, your water supply may contain a high volume of corrosive minerals that may need to be neutralized before they enter your boiler system to avoid future leaks.

Little Or No Heat Production

Your boiler system is made of several essential components that can either reduce your boiler's heating performance or prevent it entirely. Your burner assembly, electrical wiring, pump, temperature gauge, water level, and pH levels will all affect your boiler's performance.

Troubleshooting all the potential issues that affect your boiler's efficiency requires electrical experience, water pH testing, and the use of several safety precautions. If you didn't install your boiler system by yourself, then attempting to troubleshoot the cause of your heating problems will likely result in further damage or injury to your system or yourself, respectively.

Burner Assembly Operates Intermittently

Gas boilers use a burner assembly to increase the temperature of the water inside their tanks. A burner assembly consists of a pilot flame, thermocouple, multiple burner tubes, and gas lines. Each of these components can prevent your burners from heating the water in your tank when you activate your system. Here's how:

  • Extinguished Pilot Flame

    • Your pilot flame is designed to ignite the gas that flows through your system's gas lines. Your burner assembly uses a standing or intermittent pilot flame that must receive gas or an electrical current, respectively. If your pilot flame doesn't receive gas or an electrical current, then it means your gas line is dirty or your boiler's electrical system may have sustained a blown fuse, tripped circuit, or wire damage.

  • Faulty Thermocouple

    • Your thermocouple actively measures the temperature of your burner assembly to determine whether or not it's operating within the proper temperature range. When your burner assembly falls below the proper temperature range, your thermocouple will shut off the gas supply to your boiler.

    • If your burner assembly falls below a certain temperature range during operation, then the volume of gas being delivered to your burners isn't being completely ignited.

    • If your thermocouple is faulty, then it can shut off the gas supply to your boiler even though your burner assembly is operating within the proper temperature range. Additionally, a faulty thermocouple may allow gas to continue flowing through your gas lines even if it's not being ignited by your burners—which can allow explosive gas to collect inside your home.

  • Dirty Burner Tubes

    • Over several years of use, your burner tubes will become filled with soot (a natural by-product of gas combustion). When enough soot collects inside your burner tubes, your burners won't be able to ignite all the gas being sent through your gas lines.

Although it may be easy to determine exactly which components are preventing your burner assembly from operating correctly, it's not so easy to replace or repair them. If performed incorrectly, replacing or repairing components of your burner assembly can result in burns, gas explosions, or soot inhalation. For these reasons, burner assembly repairs should always be left to a professional.