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Compared to the rest of the world, few households in the United States are heated with boilers. Actually, nine million homeowners in the United States use residential boilers. Still, boiler problems in the United States are enough to keep any heating and AC repair company occupied, especially when winter is approaching.
Over the years, the boilers market in the United States has been growing steadily. This has been mainly due to many factors such as volatile climatic conditions, changing demographics, and increasing disposable income.
With boilers becoming popular in some households in Fort Worth, TX, it’s crucial to ensure they operate efficiently because sudden issues can cause significant inconveniences.
In this blog post, you’ll learn about some of the frequent boiler issues and their potential causes, and how to have them fixed promptly by a licensed heating and AC repair company in Fort Worth, TX.
Boiler Keeps Switching Off
Unlike a computer, which can be turned on and off to fix most of its problems, the same approach can’t work in a boiler. Multiple issues could cause your boiler to cut out, from low pressure to overheating. If the problems are minor, they can resolve themselves, but others will require a gas safe engineer from a licensed heating and AC repair company to fix them.
Folks using a combi boiler may notice that this system turns itself off once and again. No need to panic as this could be the boilers ‘preheat’ function as it is normal for these combi-boilers to turn on to preheat water.
However, if the boiler tends to switch itself off and on again every few minutes, this could be a short-cycling problem. Some homeowners confuse this with usual cycling shorts. Boiler switching off is a common problem, and below are some of the causes.
To ensure homeowners can access hot water on demand, there is a small reserve of water within the boiler that’s constantly heated within the heat exchanger. When the water starts to get cold, the internal thermostat in the boiler will set off at a specific temperature and reheat the water and turn it off once the water is hot.
This process repeats itself every time the water temperatures drop, causing your heat exchanger to overwork and the boiler to consume more fuel. At the end of the month, you’ll not only face high fuel bills but also increased carbon emissions. Considering how expensive it is to replace a cracked heat exchanger, no sane homeowner will consider overworking it.
The most common cause of short cycling is an oversized boiler, which causes more steam to be generated than it can be condensed, leading to boiler lockout. You can consult with a heating and AC repair company to see how you can avoid such issues.
The temperature control valve’s issue could result in extremely high water temperatures because the boiler is not regulated. These temperatures will end up causing leaks within your system when they get too high, thus the boiler will shut off to avoid overheating.
Valves issues are complicated, and it’s advisable to seek the help of a certified heating and AC repair company to inspect and fix the issue.
A faulty water pump will prevent water from efficiently moving around your system, causing the boiler to shut off to avoid overheating. A malfunctioning water pump is not a DIY job, thus you can have an engineer from a heating and AC repair company in Fort Worth, TX, check it.
The function of a thermostat is to monitor the external temperature and switch on when the temperature drops below the level that you’ve set. If there is a problem with your thermostat, it will be unable to give precise temperature measurements and may come on when least expected, hence the boiler will keep turning off and on.
Homeowners with old thermostats are advised to upgrade to smart or wireless thermostats to save money on their heating bills. With intelligent thermostats in the market that can learn your habits and adjust the heating based on your needs, you can save a lot of money.
The Boiler Is Losing Pressure
For your boiler to function correctly, it must have stable water pressure. You should be concerned if your boiler is constantly losing pressure. Failure to have experienced technicians from a heating and AC repair company to investigate and identify the cause of the problem could put your boiler and home at risk of damage.
In most cases, the boiler’s pressure gauge will immediately tell you when you start losing pressure, but identifying the source of the problem could be very hard because of the complex nature of hot water systems and heating within the home.
Loss of pressure is mainly caused either due to escaping water within the system or a malfunctioning expansion valve.
Pressure loss due to water leakage
Modern plumbing is intricate, thus making it difficult to detect a water leak. With most pipework hidden behind cupboards, walls, or panels, it would be impossible to detect a leak by simply conducting a visual examination. If such leaks are not identified promptly, they can cause damage ranging from mold to rotting, leading to costly damage.
Since significant water leaks in your heating system take place at joints or fixtures, then they can be easily identified, primarily if it occurs where the supply pipes are linked to radiators. If the fittings allow the radiator to move, then the risk of leakage increases.
After locating the leaking joint, you can have a heating and AC repair company in Fort Worth, TX, examine and mend or replace it.
Losing pressure due to a boiler fault
If you are using a modern combi-boiler, then the chances are that it could be using a ‘filling loop system to maintain the pressure of cold water from the main supply.
Many boilers in the market make it possible for the end-user to regulate the amount of water flowing in the heating and boiler system by manually changing or adjusting the filling-loop, restoring the pressure in the boiler and heating system.
However, if you’ve doubts about re-pressurizing the boiler yourself, it’s essential to play it safe by having a qualified engineer check it. Also, ensure the person handling your boiler is from a trusted Heating and AC Repair Company to avoid rookie mistakes.
In addition, if you note that if your pressure gauge constantly drops overnight, then below are some of the reasons:
- Faulty expansion vessels
- Old joints that have deteriorated or leaking
- Radiators are full of air
- Your pressure relief valve isn’t working accurately
- Broken auto air vent or leaking pressure.
- Leaks in the system
No Heat or Hot Water
Imagine a day in winter without hot water! Unfortunately, this could happen due to a malfunctioning boiler. The boiler in most central heating systems has a motorized control valve, also called a Y-plan valve or a mid-position. Due to many issues, valves are susceptible to fail, hence they get stuck. When you open the taps, and there is no hot water or heating, faulty valves could be the culprit.
In such cases, you have to contact a heating engineer from a reliable heating and AC repair company to ensure the valves are operating smoothly. But before making the call, first, ensure that power is being supplied to the boiler.
If there is power, then some possible issues for your problem could be:
- Fuel not connected to your home in Fort Worth, TX, or insufficient fuel in the storage tank.
- Sometimes the condensate pipe may freeze and may need thawing out.
- Low boiler pressure can also cause no heat or water, hence always ensure the boiler pressure is set according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Older boilers have a pilot light, which may go out, thus the boiler won’t function.
The Boiler Works, But Radiators Won’t Heat Up
Is your boiler firing up? That’s a good sign, but if there is no heat at all at the radiators, then a problem is looming. Most of the time, the issue could be with the pumps, thus you can begin by troubleshooting them. If you have old pumps, then they can be vulnerable to seizing, hence no hot water will be directed to any showers, radiators, or taps.
Although gently tapping the pump could free it up enough and have it working again, it would be best to plan for a replacement since the pump could be caught up with old age.
Before requesting a replacement from a heating and AC repair company, you can first drain all radiators and towel rails because large bags of air in the heating system can stop it from working altogether. If the issue is a heating sludge, then you’ll notice that radiators are hot and cold at the bottom.
Boiler Lockouts and Condensate Issues
If there is an issue with your boiler, a lockout, which is a safety feature, will kick in. A lockout in your boiler will happen if the system detects an issue with a component or something faulty in the system.
If you’re experiencing lockouts, then the PCB display should show a fault code. You can use your user manual to cross-check the fault code. Contractors from heating and AC repair company in Fort Worth, TX, have noted that many boiler lockouts are related to condensate blockages. When the boilers condense, they catch the waste gas and acidic water produced that’s taken to the outside draining system to prevent harmful gases from entering your property.
Problems usually arise because the condensate pipe that removes gases and water from the property is small. During winter, it could freeze, and in other seasons, it might experience minor blockages. If it is a frozen pipe, you can easily unblock it without contacting a heating and AC repair company by pouring warm water over the pipe until it defrosts.
For minor blockages, you can remove the pipe and flush hot water throughout, then reinstall it. When this fails, you can contact an HVAC technician from a reputable heating and AC repair company to come and troubleshoot it, and if possible, replace it.
Other common causes of boiler lockouts include:
- Fan issues
- Power failure
- Ignition problems
- System and heat exchanger blockage
- Pump issues
- Low water pressure
If you keep experiencing lockouts as soon as you fix one problem, then your boiler could have reached the end of its lifespan, and buying a brand new boiler would be the best option to save you frequent trips to a heating and AC repair company.
When your boiler starts having issues, you may experience weird or unexpected noises. Although you may hear some sounds even if your boiler is functioning correctly, you should not ignore a noisy boiler.
Always check your boiler for any fault codes when you hear such problems since modern devices come with digital displays that indicate an error code if something goes wrong.
The fault code displayed on the boiler will help you save valuable time since you’ll know the exact problem by checking the issue online or from the boiler manual. However, some problems might not produce an error code, thus the sounds below will help you know what noise is coming from the boiler and what to do.
- Gurgling Sounds: It should not be a concern since, in most cases, it’s water moving across the system. But if it is frequent or loud enough to draw your attention, it could mean that there is a part that needs to be adjusted.
- Vibration: This could mean a blocked flue, a malfunctioning pump, or high pressure. Don’t hesitate to contact a trained gas-safe qualified engineer from a reputable heating and AC repair company promptly when your boiler starts vibrating.
- Buzzing: This issue may be due to worn pump bearings, faulty burners, or vibrating fans. A competent professional from a trusted heating and AC repair company should diagnose and rectify these issues.
- Whistling: It could be a limescale or rust buildup. You can avoid this issue by having an engineer from a reputable heating and AC repair company conduct routine maintenance if the manual advises you to do so.
Are You Having Boiler Problems?
If you have boiler problems, it is always best to consult an established heating and AC repair company in Fort Worth, TX, like One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth.
Our licensed and experienced HVAC technicians will save money and avoid inconveniences by protecting your boiler with our maintenance and service plan. We are also experts in AC installation and repair, emergency services, and home performance evaluations. Our heating and AC repair company is just a phone call away.