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Boiler Heating 101: Common Trouble Signs

A boiler heating system provides heat in your home without the worry of dust and particles from forced air. Boiler heating warms your home with radiant heat, so there's no air blowing in the house. However, for those living with a boiler for the first time, the unit and its behavior can be confusing. Here's a look at some things that you should know about your home's boiler and when to call for service or repair.

Circulator Pump Issues

Circulator pumps push the heated water through your heating system's pipes and into the radiators to heat your home. 

You may only have one circulator pump installed at the boiler location, or you may have smaller circulator pumps installed throughout your boiler's plumbing lines as well. Usually, the larger your home, the more circulator pumps will be used to ensure that the heated water flows as it should.

If your boiler is running but you aren't getting heat from the radiators, the circulator pump could be the problem. Check the boiler first to be sure that the water is heated to temperature by checking the temperature gauge on the unit. The circulator pump should engage when the water heats to the system's necessary temperature.

Most circulator pumps are quiet, so you may not hear the pump running. Feel the pipes running to and from the circulator pump to see if heated water is flowing through them. The pump is not circulating if the heated water is flowing to the pump but not away from it.

If water is flowing to and from the pump, check the rest of the boiler plumbing lines for other circulator pumps. Test the lines in the same manner, and ensure that the pipes are warm on both sides of the pump.

If you find a pump that isn't functioning, no matter where it is in the line, call a boiler technician right away to replace the pump and restore your heating system's functionality.

Water Pressure Trouble

The water pressure gauge on your boiler furnace reflects the pressure in the system. It should be consistent because the boiler is a closed system. When the pressure drops while the boiler is heated to temperature, that indicates that there is a leak somewhere within your boiler unit or the pipes.

Low water pressure can affect the efficiency of your boiler system. Less water passing through the pipes to the radiators means less radiant heat in your home. The lower water pressure and reduced heat cause your boiler to run longer and work harder to heat your home to the programmed temperature.

Check the pad under your boiler for signs of moisture. Visible moisture under or immediately around the boiler means that the boiler unit itself is leaking. Shut the system down and call a repair technician right away to protect your home from water damage.

Inspect all of the plumbing lines that run from your boiler to the radiators. The plumbing connections and lines should all be dry and in good condition. Any corrosion or moisture could indicate leaks in those lines. Have the lines replaced right away.

Another common location for boiler system leaks is the connection between the pipe and the circulator pump. Check each pump to be sure that the connections are dry and free of leaks. If the pump itself is dripping, the pump seals may have failed. Have the pump replaced as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about your home's boiler system or its repair needs, contact us today. We will be happy to help with your maintenance and repair needs.