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Signs Your Boiler is Broken

by Guest on Mar 14, 2013

Homes with radiant heat often have a boiler that is used to heat water. If your boiler is not working as it should, then it may be broken and in need of repair. Many signs will indicate there is some type of problem with your boiler. Review various problems to determine if your boiler is broken or no longer functioning correctly.

Poor Efficiency

Boilers that are not running efficiently can cause energy costs to increase. Many boilers will run on gas or fuel oil. If you see that there is an increase in your utility bill from month to month, then you need to check your boiler for any problems. Increases in the cost of energy often result if the boiler is using more fuel. Efficiency will decrease over time and results in the boiler working harder to provide the desired heat. Boilers that lose efficiency will cost more to operate.

Heating Comfort

Any reduction in heat from the radiators in your home is a sign that the boiler is not creating the proper amount of heat or is taking too long to heat the water. Boilers that begin to get old will no longer be able to produce optimal levels of heat. This will result in less comfort for the residents of a home and a colder home during winter.

Age of the Boiler

Boilers in a home that is 15 years old or older are no longer efficient to operate. You can lower energy costs by installing a new energy-efficient boiler. The cost to keep repairing an older boiler can often be as much or more than installing a replacement. A new boiler will also cost much less to operate and often pays for itself in just a couple of years.

Strange Smells

A strange odor or smell from your boiler when it turns on can be a sign of trouble. The boiler may have a gas leak or fuel oil that has not completely burned. Gas leaks can release carbon monoxide that is only detected if you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. If a carbon monoxide alarm frequently goes off, then turn off the gas and call a repair technician or plumber to replace the boiler.

Water Leakage

Leakage coming from around the boiler can be a sign of problems with the tank or the piping. If boilers are leaking, then there may be many causes. Examine all the valves to see if there are any drips. Check for scaling or rusting on the discharge pipes as this indicates that water is dripping from the pipes. The boiler may also be dripping water if you see signs of rust on the feed-valve. Boilers with any type of leakage need to be replaced before a catastrophic failure occurs.

Odd Noises

Boilers run quietly and should not be making any type of sound. If you hear an odd noise that sounds as if it is coming from the boiler, then there may be a problem. A hissing sound often means that a boiler is overheating. This can be caused by iron deposits and sludge buildup in the unit. Another reason for odd noises is an uneven distribution of water. The inspection of the unit may indicate that it needs a repair or complete replacement.

Additional Information

Contact a licensed plumber to determine the extent of problems with your boiler. You may learn that a new boiler will be the best choice instead of an expensive repair. A complete inspection by a plumber is needed to determine if your boiler is broken and needs to be replaced.

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