Published onSeptember 18th, 2023
Signs of Impending Boiler Problems and Solutions to Prevent Heat and Hot Water Disasters
The heating season in New York City is from October 1 through May 31. During this season, landlords must keep their properties at proper minimum temperatures — 62° F to 68° F, depending on the time of day. The boiler is crucial in maintaining building temperatures, especially during the winter.
Building owners must remain aware of the signs of impending boiler problems and solutions to ensure their properties stay within specific temperatures for tenants. Discover warning signs of impending failures and how to prevent them.
Signs of Impending Boiler Problems and Solutions
Boilers are relatively noisy devices. Depending on the size of the system, people may have difficulty hearing conversations when standing in a boiler room. Despite the natural noisiness of the appliance, though, some sounds are still strange, excessive, and unwelcome.
Unwanted noises may include droning, gurgling, humming, or whooshing. Droning is a continuous low-octave sound and typically stems from a faulty pump. Gurgling noises, like boiling water, signal trapped air in the system. Humming is a result of feeder water arriving at too high pressure. Finally, whooshing usually occurs when dust blocks a filter or an air intake pipe has a blockage.
Another common issue that can cause strange noises is boiler kettling — named after the whistling sound accompanying the problem. Kettling occurs when water in the boiler reaches a boiling point too quickly. The boiling causes steam and traps air in the system.
The primary cause of boiler kettling is limescale deposits in the system lines, slowing the flow and allowing excessive heating. Also, a faulty component may cause the appliance to heat improperly.
Noise is among the most apparent signs of impending boiler problems. If your boiler makes unusual sounds, call Calray Boiler to schedule an inspection.
Boilers are essential but dangerous equipment because they operate at high temperatures under pressurized conditions. Modern systems have several built-in safety features to reduce hazards like explosions. When something is not working correctly within the boiler, the system may act erratically, often due to preset safety features.
System safety features include automatic shutoffs. If your system keeps switching off randomly and without meeting temperature presets, something needs repair. If a safety feature trips, causing the shutoff, the problem may result from high boiler pressure. Contact an engineer immediately.
Other less dire situations include a faulty thermostat, trapped air, pipe debris, and sludge. While not as dangerous as high pressure, each issue resulting in poor boiler performance risks the system and a building’s heating capabilities.
Calray Boilers offers annual service contracts to ensure your boiler is never behind in its maintenance and inspections. A contract also makes your property a service priority in emergencies.
Low Boiler Pressure and Leaks
Common signs of boiler problems include low boiler pressure and leaks. Low pressure often causes cold radiators with no hot water. Diagnosing the problem is straightforward because most modern boilers have a display panel registering the pressure in the system. The correct pressure level depends on the make and model of the system but should be in the boiler manual.
Low pressure is often a result of one of two problems: system air or water leak. A bleeding radiator somewhere in the building can cause a pressure reduction. Sometimes maintenance staff will bleed a radiator intentionally to correct heating issues. If done as routine maintenance, the system should repressurize once the staff closes the radiator bleed valve.
Boiler water leaks can cause performance issues and property damage. A leak can stem from corroded pipes, excessive pressure, faulty components, or seal failures. You should always call a professional service like Calray Boilers to repair boiler leaks. Attempting boiler repairs without proper training can result in injury or further damage to the system.
Hot Water Without Heat
If a property has hot water but not heat, it can be a sign of impending boiler problems; however, it is more likely a sign of either air in the system or forgotten maintenance. A steady hot water supply suggests the boiler is working as it should. The likely culprit for cold radiators is trapped air in the pipes. All you need to do to resolve the problem is to bleed the radiators.
Bleeding a radiator is simple. First, using the radiator key, open the radiator valve, typically located on one of the upper sides of the unit. Turn the key counterclockwise. Allow the air to hiss out. Once the hissing stops and water drips out, close the valve. The boiler system may need re-pressurization depending on the number of radiators bled.
If the building uses a combi boiler — a system that allows independent operation of hot water heating and central heating — staff may have forgotten to turn on the central heating. Usually, a combi boiler displays which features are in use, making it easy to rectify the situation.
No Hot Water or Heat
When a system experiences impending boiler problems, built-in safety mechanisms intervene to prevent harm to the system and property. If your property has no heat or hot water, the boiler has probably shut down. Some shutdowns occur because of external issues, such as a disconnection from the gas, power, or water supply. Other shutdowns result from pressure issues that threaten the safety of tenants and staff.
To uncover the cause of a system shutdown, contact Calray Boilers. Do not attempt to repower the system without a thorough inspection. If a safety feature caused the disruption, repowering the appliance may be dangerous and ill-advised.
Many boiler problems and heating interruptions are avoidable. Routine maintenance and inspections help ensure the health of the system. Calray Boilers offers an annual service contract to ensure landlords can maintain a healthy, warm, and safe environment for their tenants. The service focuses on preventative maintenance and minor repairs to avoid significant repairs, heat interruptions, and issues later.
Calray Boilers: Signs of Impending Boiler Problems and Solutions
Don’t Risk Complaints This Heating Season
All property owners should be confident in their boilers. Contact Calray Boilers at 212-722-5506 to schedule a boiler inspection and discuss annual service contracts. Go into the heating season knowing your boiler is in good working order and avoid hot water and heat complaints in cold weather.