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Electric Boiler Problems

What is an electric boiler?

An electric boiler, as found in homes and businesses, is a boiler that uses electricity instead of oil or gas to heat the water which is then supplied to bathrooms, kitchen and HVAC systems. Electric boilers are a clean and efficient way to meet the hot water needs of a home or business, but at times can be complex pieces of engineering and problems do arise. Read below where Experts have answered electric boiler installation questions.

I have a water heating system with an oil boiler of 200,000 BTU. I want to switch to an electric boiler with the option of using oil when the ambient temperature is less than minus 12 degrees, what is the most economical method?

One option to consider would be to buy 2 inexpensive boilers, one electric water boiler and a oil fired; each of 100,000 BTU. Use the electric boiler as the primary and the oil boiler to supplement when it gets really cold. This will usually reduce electric bills significantly as using the electric boiler to its full capacity offers the maximum efficiency.

Would there be any issue to why a person could not buy a bigger BTU electric boiler than what would be recommended per 5,000 sq ft house?

In most situations, oversizing the boiler will or could ruin the efficiency at which the electric boiler works/operates and can also cause control problems. A person could have a professional heat loss analysis done and size the new boiler accordingly.

I’m thinking of an electric boiler installation to replace my very old oil fired one. Can you tell me if the electric boiler will take longer to increase the temperature in my home as compared to the oil fired one?

Electric boiler are slower to recover than oil fired ones so raising the temperature in your house will take longer than the time the oil fired option. Another problem you may face is that you will not be able to use a programmable thermostat because of the time taken for the heat to recover.

My electric boiler water tank that is made of copper is leaking at the bottom element, how can this be fixed?

If the leak is where the heating element is fitted, turn off the power to the boiler, let it cool completely and unscrew the element. Apply pipe dope/ pipe sealer and refit the element. If the leak is coming from a hole at the bottom of the tank body, drain it and use a high temperature sliver braze to plug the leak. Since not many plumbers use this type of brazing rod, you may have to call in an HVAC service technician as this is something they commonly use and is not always available to the general public.

I have a Thermolec electric boiler that seems to lose pressure every heating season. I have to call in a plumber each time to add water. Why does this happen and how can I save on the plumber charges?

There are many reasons for a drop in pressure. Water can be lost through pressure relief valves and fittings with tiny leaks which can be very difficult to detect. Having to add water once in a while is not uncommon. The best thing to do would be to call the plumber once again, ask him to show you how to add water and then do it yourself.

Because it is a complex piece of equipment and involves the use of both electricity and hot water, care must be taken when trying to resolve electric boiler problems. Follow the instructions provided in the trouble shooting guide in the owner’s manual. If this does not help or if the problem is not covered, it is advisable to get help from an Expert, both for reasons of safety and to prevent damage to the boiler.

Ask a HVAC Technician

gotoman for ac
gotoman for ac, HVAC Technician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 4766
Experience:  51 years of experience install design and repair of all makes and models of AC
19613070
Type Your HVAC Question Here...
characters left:
5 HVAC Technicians are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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  • Get a Professional Answer
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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

HVAC Technicians are online & ready to help you now

gotoman for ac
HVAC Technician
Satisfied Customers: 4657
51 years of experience install design and repair of all makes and models of AC
Phil
Mechanical Engineer
Satisfied Customers: 3888
Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
Rick Mather
HVAC Technician
Satisfied Customers: 3132
35 years experience, HVAC

Recent Boiler Questions

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    My laars multi therm boiler will only heat the water to 140 degrees and it doesn't matter what temperature I have the thermostat it will turn on and run untill the boiler reaches 140 degrees and shuts down I don't under stand whats wrong its plenty big enough to heat my house I thought it was the thermostat but if you connect the thermostat wires to make it think that its calling for heat constantly it still only heats two 140 degrees and shuts off
  • We have a 34 year old Hydrotherm gas-fired furnace. Over the

    We have a 34 year old Hydrotherm gas-fired furnace. Over the past two years, this furnace periodically stops turning itself on. When this happens, we are able to get it functioning again simply by turning the nearby electric switch to the furnace "off", then "on". The furnace then will function normally for days or weeks until the next time we notice the house getting cold.
    We have had about a half dozen servicemen out to fix this. Twice they have replaced the switch relay. Another said he replaced a cracked wire he found running from the furnace to the gas valve. Another said he thought the water pump was shorting the system, and he replaced the water pump. The latest unsuccessful attempt replaced the electric switch. None of these fixes have worked, and the shutdowns are occurring more frequently.
    Any thoughts on what the underlying problem might be?
    Jerry L
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