Boiler Repair Pt. 1: Common Boiler Problems

Boiler Repair - Leaky Boiler

When it comes to heating it’s all about comfort, reliability and efficiency. For these reasons, boilers remain a popular choice for providing homes with warmth during the cold Minnesota winter months. Although boilers can have many benefits including even heat distribution, limited dust residue, minimal maintenance and long lifespans they still face problems from time to time. A majority of boiler problems occur in the early winter months, when boilers are forced back to life after being inactive for many months. Although most problems will require the expertise of a qualified plumber, it’s still important to familiarize yourself with common boiler repair problems and their causes.

Water Leakage

Water leakage around your boiler can be the result of anything from a faulty boiler pump, water pipe connection, temperature valve, corrosion or pressure release valve. It’s important to note that if a gas boiler is leaking, you should not attempt to repair it yourself; these explanations for boiler leaks are provided solely for informational purposes.

Basic corrosion in boilers is primarily caused by the chemical reaction that occurs when water and oxygen meet. Unfortunately, this is serious enough that it can severely weaken your boiler’s water tank and cause leakage.  An anode rod placed at the top of the water tank is used for corrosion prevention. However, if the rod becomes entirely rusted through than it will not help protect your boiler.  If you attend to the corrosion soon enough, the problem can be lessened. If you wait too long, you may have to replace the entire tank.

Failed Pilot Light
For gas powered burners; too much grime buildup will restrict oxygen flow to the pilot light and eventually eliminate the ability for burners to turn back on. Remember, tampering with the burner or gas line yourself can be a major fire hazard. If your pilot light goes out, it’s best to call a professional to get it turned back on.

Water-Related Problems
These issues are very common for boilers. One major problem known as “carryover” is a process that results in impure steam quality. Corrosion and deposition problems can occur due to dissolved solids contained in the carryover materials. Also, steam produced from the boiler water should not contain any liquid. Unfortunately, common causes of water droplets or impurities being carried into the steam because of misting, priming, foaming and silica carryover.

To extend the life of your boiler you should be aware of the aforementioned common problems and schedule a repair as soon as something seems off. The sooner you can catch the problem, the less damage that will be done to your boiler and the better your chances of not needing a major repair.

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