Although boiler systems are less common in new homes these days, they are one of the most efficient types of heating systems available. Boilers offer a host of benefits for the user which include lengthened lifespan, virtually silent operation, zoning capabilities, optimal air quality and enhanced comfort. If that’s not enough, boiler systems don’t have nearly as many moving parts when compared to other types of HVAC equipment. This means they see fewer repairs and far less wear and tear.
However, as with any type of system, boilers do experience some repair issues. Because boiler systems are pressurized water vessels that require water circulation to work properly, leaks are unfortunately common. Newer boiler systems may experience less leaking, but regardless of age, it all depends on how the unit was installed and if it’s well-maintained.
Possible Causes for A Boiler Leak
Corrosion: In any system where water meets metal corrosion is a possibility. Rusted pipes and tanks weaken and allow water to leak out. If only a single component, such as a valve, is rusted, it can be replaced. Small patches of corrosion are repairable, but if rust spreads throughout the vessel, the entire tank may need to be replaced. Maintenance prevents corrosion by ensuring balanced pH levels, controlling oxygen and other deposits.
Excessive pressure: Boilers must maintain steady pressure to operate efficiently. If lime scale, calcite and other deposits build up inside the vessel or along pipes it causes an increase in pressure. It can also clog the pressure release valve. This increase in pressure triggers leaks from multiple places. When this happens the buildup must be removed and pipes resealed.
Temperature and pressure relief valve settings: Leaks originating from the temperature pressure relief valve don’t necessarily indicate a damaged or malfunctioning part. Although sometimes an internal part is defective, like the temperature probe, other times the boilers pressure or temperature is simply set too high and needs readjusting.
Damaged seals and joints: Boilers contain fewer moving parts than furnaces and heat pumps, but there are still places where damage can occur. Seals and joints are areas commonly subjected to damage. Loose connections, weakened joints and damaged boiler seals all create leaks. Carefully inspect the outside of the tank, as well as fittings, pipes and tubes for damage or loose connections.
Improper installation: Many properties containing boiler systems were purchased or inherited with the equipment already in place. Installation was probably completed long ago by a previous installer. Unfortunately, poor installation is a common problem with boiler systems. If the job was incorrectly done, you may find leaks along the copper pipe fittings. Sometimes repairs are successful at getting the system back up to standard, but a replacement may be necessary if installation errors appear excessive.
Boiler Repair Services
Dominion Service Company is experienced in all aspects of boiler systems. Our team can perform boiler repair services on just about any make and model of system including both oil and gas fired boilers. Technicians provide honest recommendations to customers who are faced with potential equipment replacements. In the case your equipment can be repaired, but modifications are necessary to maintain performance and efficiency, we are well-versed in retrofitting.
Boilers are no exception when it comes to heating systems that require routine maintenance. Although recommended service for boiler systems is different than that of a furnace or heat pump, it’s no less important. A poorly maintained boiler is less efficient, more prone to breakdowns and faces a shorter lifespan.
Keeping up with regular maintenance is the best way to ensure your system works when it’s needed most. Boiler maintenance is a small expense when compared to repair and replacement costs. Our goal is to help keep your repair needs as minimal as possible while improving indoor comfort and system efficiency.
To learn more about our boiler repair and maintenance services, contact us today or call us at (800) 832-0758!