8 Signs You Need a Boiler Repair and What to Do About It

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Boilers are considered one of the most dependable forms of heating systems in homes because they require fewer moving parts to work. This makes them less susceptible to wear and tear and gives them a longer lifespan. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t get damaged. When that happens, they won’t work as effectively as they should, increasing your utility bills. Keep reading to see signs that you need boiler repair and find out what your next steps should be.


Signs You Need Boiler Repair


1. Leaks


Most people notice their boilers when they leak but assume it’s normal and nothing to worry about. However, there are many reasons to check it out. According to Plumbing Manufacturers International, about 13.7% of home water use comes from leaks. That means your water bill is likely to be higher than it should be if you have a leaking boiler. In addition, a boiler is a closed-looped system. At no point should water come out of it.


Water leaks also lead to property damage. Once that water starts spreading to your floor and walls, you’ll be dealing with water damage in your home. Therefore, if you notice a puddle near the boiler, don’t ignore it. Call a professional to find the source of the leak and repair it immediately to prevent further damage.


2. Strange Noises


Is your boiler producing a rambling or rattling sound? Don’t worry; that doesn’t mean it’s about to explode. Still, an efficient boiler is fairly quiet. The moment it starts producing sounds, something is wrong. Banging, whirring, and clunking sounds could mean that the circulating pump is worn out and needs replacing. The pump is one of the major mechanical components of your boiler. It needs regular monitoring.


On the other hand, gurgling or whistling sounds could indicate the water pressure is too low, or the boiler is kettling. With home maintenance, kettling happens when debris and salts build up in the heat exchanger, and water starts to boil and steam. Kettling prevents the boiler from working efficiently and can lead to premature breakdown. Request boiler repair and have it fixed immediately.


3. Odd Smells


A boiler producing a strange smell is a bad sign. If the smell resembles burning metal or plastics, something is wrong with the circuits. If you sense a rotten egg smell, you probably have a gas leak. A gas leak doesn’t just affect the boiler’s functionality but also the health of the people living on that property.

You can tell your boiler is leaking carbon monoxide if it produces a yellow flame. A well-functioning boiler burns with a blue flame. Carbon monoxide leaks cause nausea, headaches, and breathing problems. If you suspect that’s the issue, evacuate everyone from the building and call the gas company and the boiler specialists.


4. Slow Heat Up


After you’ve had your boiler for a few months or a year, you get to know how long it takes to heat up your home. Once it starts taking longer than usual, call a professional to check what’s wrong. Most homeowners ignore this sign because, eventually, the boiler will heat the house. However, you shouldn’t have to settle for a faulty boiler.

It’s better to have the boiler serviced than to wait for the issue to become worse. Also, note that older boilers are likely to take longer to heat up your home. In our experience, if you’ve had your boiler for 10 to 15 years, it may be time to upgrade to a new one instead of repairing it.


5. Higher Than Usual Utility Bills


Even if your boiler is not giving out any apparent signs, you could still need repair services. Another common indicator is increased energy bills. Are you paying the same amount you were paying last year, or has the bill gone up? If you haven’t added another electricity-consuming device, it’s worth checking out if the boiler is the issue. With energy costs rising yearly, it pays to have an efficient boiler that won’t contribute to even higher bills. In addition, older boilers aren’t that efficient. If boiler repair isn’t an option, get a more energy-efficient boiler to reduce your monthly utility bills.


6. Lack of Hot Water


If you aren’t getting hot water, the problem could be the boiler. The boiler’s valve, diaphragm, or thermostat could be experiencing issues. Schedule boiler repair immediately. A specialist will find which part is faulty and replace it.


Another issue of concern is when the water comes out much hotter or colder than it should. This often happens when you’re having issues with your boiler’s circulation. Have a specialist check why the boiler isn’t warming water evenly.


7. Regular Boiler Shutdowns


Your boiler turning off regularly can be annoying. More than that, it’s a sign that something is wrong with your system. Most boilers come with a built-in temperature sensor. When the temperature hits a certain point, the sensor causes the boiler to shut down. This feature is there to ensure your boulder won’t overheat. A few things can cause the boiler to keep going off. Some of the reasons include:

  • Thermostat issues
  • Low pressure
  • Poor water flow caused by the pump not working effectively or closed valves
  • Sludge build-up


Whatever the reason is, call a well-trained specialist to check the issue and perform boiler repair.


8. Color Changes in the Pilot Light


If you’re using an older boiler model, it probably uses pilot lights to light the burner when necessary. The pilot light can let you know whether the boiler needs servicing. If the light color has changed, it means incomplete combustion. Your pilot may also cut out suddenly. Contact a specialist immediately to keep your home safe.


Common Questions


How Often Should You Schedule Boiler Servicing Services?


In our experience, you should schedule boiler servicing once a year. This is an opportunity for a qualified specialist to check the unit and ensure it’s running well. After the service, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your system is working safely and efficiently. While electric boilers don’t require the same level of service as oil and gas boilers, they still need servicing for some peace of mind.



What to Do if Your Boiler Breaks Down Unexpectedly?


Never attempt to fix a damaged boiler on your own. Because of the lack of experience, you’ll be putting your life and system in danger. If the boiler breaks down, turn off the power and gas immediately to prevent an accident. Contact the boiler company and inform them of the issue. They’ll inform you of the steps to take and know how to help you.



What Does Boiler Servicing Entail?


While a boiler service may vary from one company to the next, there are basics that every specialist will do. Some of those activities include the following:

  • Visual inspection: This involves checking for any signs of distress and whether the boiler is clean.
  • Flue and combustion release: This is to ensure that obstructions in the pipes are clear and that the fittings are still secure.
  • Operation control: Testing out the safety and control devices to see if they’re still operational.
  • Cleaning components: This entails inspecting and cleaning the boiler’s main components, such as the heat exchanger, main burner, ignition pins, and flue ways.

Who Should Conduct Boiler Repair and Maintenance?


A boiler is an important home feature. You can’t just call anyone to check it. Find a licensed and certified boiler specialist with experience. This is the only way to ensure you have called the right person for the job.


Is your boiler exhibiting any of the signs mentioned above? Then you need boiler repair services. Call Martel Plumbing & Heating today, and our specialists will be there as soon as possible to fix your boiler.

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