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HVAC Education, Maintenance, Boilers, Troubleshooting

Boiler Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Buying or replacing a boiler is an investment in your home comfort. The cost depends on two factors: the size of boiler needed and labor for installation. Installation can range anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000 or more.

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Boiler Troubleshooting

The most common problems with a boiler:

1. Loss of pressure or slow build of pressure.

  • This is usually an indication of a leak in the steam pipe or exterior tank, and requires an expert to shut off the system and check for a hole.
  • Check for dripping around the pipes or the tank, which could indicate a leak.
  • Check for hidden leaks with a water meter to see if the system is losing water.

2. Some radiators not heating.

  • Check that the radiator valve is properly adjusted.
  • Check for a low water level in the tank.
  • Check for buildup of sludge in the pipes by releasing the air out of one of the radiators. If the drained water is dark, that indicates buildup inside your pipes. Contact a professional to have this sludge removed.

Boiler or radiators making a whistling sound, like a steam kettle.

  • Check the boiler thermostat to ensure it is working properly and replace it if it isn’t.
  • If the thermostat is functioning properly, this indicates there could be a buildup of minerals in the pipes or the tank. Contact a professional to shut off the system and repair.

Boiler runs noisily.

  • Whistling sound—bleed the radiators to release the air trapped in the system.
  • Rattling—check for loose connections in the valves that can rattle as air flows through.

When to call an expert

Every homeowner has a different comfort level working with boilers. Many boiler issues require professional help, especially if you’re uncomfortable performing any troubleshooting yourself. Trained experts can help resolve your heating issues quickly and easily.

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