Published onNovember 16th, 2020
Boiler Can’t Keep Up With the Cold? 6 Common Boiler Problems and Solutions
If a boiler in your property is struggling to keep up with the cold, you’ve got major problems, especially if you are a landlord or building manager in New York City. In this post, we review six common boiler problems and solutions. You’ll notice some of these issues overlap. That’s because a boiler is a system, and when one part is malfunctioning, it can affect other parts as well.
Water leaking around your boiler is a sure sign something is amiss. Leaking water is often related to pressure problems, and insufficient pressure can mean a boiler that can’t keep up on those extra chilly days. Water leaks around your tank typically require a service call from a boiler specialist.
You might have a broken pressure relief valve or expansion tank. So, checking those elements first is a good idea. An expansion tank that is overfilled with water (see below) can cause a leaking pressure relief valve. Also, sometimes it can become clogged with sediment.
Your problem could also be caused by a faulty circulator, which requires service. On the other hand, if you have a leaky circulator, the seal will need to be replaced.
Another frequent cause of leaking water is corrosion of the tank over time. While leaks at the seam and joined areas are easier to repair, a leak in the belly of the tank may mean it needs to be replaced.
At Calray Boilers, we often notice blockages causing boiler problems. Usually, this is due to mineral scale building up in the system. It hardens and keeps crusting over until narrowed areas finally become blocked.
If caught early enough, this can be solved by cleaning and removing the mineral deposits caused by hard water. We would recommend filtering water after that to prevent a recurrence. Also, if mineral scale has created blockages in your boiler system, there’s a good chance the same type of buildup is present elsewhere in your building in places that rely on the same water supply.
Immediate heat loss
The absence of insulation can cause significant and immediate heat loss from your boiler. It may try to keep up, but, in order to do this, it may run constantly (see below). You may also have experienced rising fuel costs due to the boiler running so frequently.
The easiest way to uncover missing insulation so you don’t miss any spots is to use a thermal imager. If you don’t have one for your property, we are happy to come out and do the inspection for you. Once you know where exactly you’re losing heat from your system, you can put the proper insulation in place.
System Turns Itself Off
Is your boiler turning itself off all the time? If you have ruled out electrical supply issues, like a loose connection, and have checked the gas supply and thermostat, it’s time to consider safety issues.
Your boiler is equipped with safety features that automatically shut off the system if there is a problem. It could also be a case of a safety control or sensor needing repair. In either instance, do not try to restart the boiler yourself as this could be dangerous. Call your boiler experts, who can do an evaluation to safely determine the problem.
Boiler Running Constantly
A boiler that runs constantly is going to cost you money because it’s going to eat up gas by remaining on instead of cycling properly. As mentioned above, a boiler that doesn’t shut off may be due to missing insulation. Other possible causes include leaking or broken tubes or sensor malfunction.
It could also be due to sediment buildup that makes heating sluggish and inefficient. This can often be solved with a flush and cleaning. If you have sediment or scale building up in the boiler, you may also hear “kettling,” whistling, banging, or other strange noises coming from it.
Another reason boilers can run continuously is if they’re too small for the property they’re trying to heat. Perhaps you purchased a property with a boiler that wasn’t sized right at the start. Or, it’s possible you’ve added square footage or increased the number of radiators, meaning the demand on the boiler is too much. The remedy here is to either replace the boiler with a larger one or add another boiler to take over some of the demand.
Many of the issues above can be avoided by performing routine maintenance on your boiler system. We recommend at least annual servicing of your boiler. Call Calray Boilers at 212-722-5506 or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment today.