A boiler is a home’s heating system that like other heating systems, can fail unexpectedly. Boilers can suddenly fail due to a number of different reasons. One reason may simply be due to old age, or it may be due to neglect. To avoid a boiler catching you off guard this winter season, Hal Mechanical will share some of the common reasons why a boiler will fail and what you can do to prevent or repair these common problems.
How Old Boiler Is
A good boiler can easily last between 15 to 20 years and possibly longer with proper care. Aging components can bring on a wide range of problems. Often major components will begin to wear down and need to be replaced. Unfortunately, nothing can last forever, especially under the condition and pressure a boiler must withstand. If you have a boiler that is 10 years or older, you may want to have the boiler system inspected and evaluated. An inspection will help see if this may be the year you have your boiler system replaced or see to major repairs to help extend the life of the boiler.
Bad Igniter or Pilot Light
Gas and oiled-fired boilers use either an electronic igniter or a pilot light to fire up the burners. When the igniter or pilot light lite fails, the boiler will not be able to heat the home. In most cases the pilot light or igniter may need something as simple as cleaning or replacing which is not a major repair. However, it is common for the igniter or pilot light to require repair and if neglected will prevent the entire heating system from starting up. If the boiler will not even start up a cycle or starts one and quickly shuts down, most likely you need to repair or clean your pilot light or the igniter.
Circulator Pump Fails
The circulator pump supplies the hot water to the radiator and baseboard heaters that is located throughout the home. When the circulator pump fails, the boiler will not be able to push the hot water to the radiator and throughout the home. The circulator pump is designed to last 10 to 15 years, but neglect or a defect can reduce the life of the circulator pump. When a circulator pump fails, often there will be a leak around the joint and flanges and you may also hear a strange noise while the boiler is running. The circulator pump can be replaced but it is a major component and may be expensive. It is highly recommended to maintain your boiler to prevent expensive repairs, including the circulator pump.
Limescale Buildup on Boiler
Boilers are no stranger to lime scale or mineral deposits building up inside the boiler system. Both lime scale or mineral deposits can lead to clogs or restriction which can lead to much bigger problems. When lime scale or minerals build up inside the boiler, you will often hear them bouncing around which in known as “kettling”. To prevent major failure or damages to the boiler, the boiler system will need to be flushed out.