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Boiler Problems and Troubleshooting

An enclosed vessel that is designed to heat and circulate water to produce hot water, steam or superheated steam that is then used to heat, power or generate electricity is known as a boiler. Problems with boilers can be both expensive and dangerous in nature. Many times, these problems arise during the winter when boilers are being operated regularly. That is why it’s important to run periodic checks on boilers throughout the year so that you encounter minimal hassles when operating it.

Listed below are a few questions answered by Experts on the issues related to boilers.

I have lukewarm water coming out of my hot tap connected to my Rheem Stellar boiler. How can I fix this?

In many cases, the burners or the rocker arm that positions the flame to heat the water sticks which accumulates calcium deposits that can cause this problem. To fix it, turn off the gas and clean the unit using water and vinegar. Also switch off the inlet water and get a hose and connect it to the inlet and outlet. Then fill the water and vinegar solution in a bucket and run it through the unit for one hour. Do this every year to avoid facing the same problem.

My boiler goes on and off continuously. After I turned the emergency switch on and off, it seems to be working normally and the pilot is lit. Do I still need to call my plumber?

You reset the system by turning the power on and off so it should be okay. In case the problem recurs, call a plumber to take a look at it. There might be a problem with the flame sensor.

My boiler makes a rumbling noise when I turn on the hot water tap at medium pressure. This starts after 20-30 seconds and the needle on the pressure gauge begins to move up and down. The boiler then stops for 60 seconds which ends up turning the water cold before it restarts. What can I do?

Case details: Gas fired condensing wall hung combination boiler G.C.N: 47-116-51 (24kW), 5 years old

When the inlet filter gets clogged, it can cause a problem of this nature. Clean and flush the system and then replace the filter to fix the problem.

There is a build-up of corrosion in the core of my boiler. How can I run acid through it to clean it up?

To begin with, get a deposit remover that is made for potable water systems. Do not use acid as it may poison you. Then get a circulation pump that will take chemicals from the storage tank, pump it through the system and then back into the storage tank. Finally, disconnect the supply of cold water to the boiler and separate the home heating side of it so that chemicals do not flow into that system. You would need to hook up the return line of the pump to every faucet separately and make sure that the chemicals are circulated through every line. Once you are done, each line will have to be flushed with clean water and every outlet will have to be tested to check if there are any chemicals present. Make sure the filter is cleaned before you do this.

There are several steps that you can take to ensure that your boiler is running satisfactorily throughout the year. For example, when the boiler is in use, check it carefully to ensure that there are no leaks, cracks or strange noises. During its peak time of use, such as winter, monitor the pressure gauge and water level every day. If you see a major change in any of these areas, consult a professional immediately. Another important area to check is the boiler's safety valves. Perform a monthly check based on instructions given by the manufacturer. If the valves get corroded, it can cause malfunctioning and pose a safety risk. Finally, get a certified inspector to complete an annual inspection of the boiler. If there are any problems with it, this should come to light immediately before it causes any serious damage. For more information when dealing with boiler problems contact an Expert.

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