Well, the first thing you should ask yourself if your boiler isn’t turning on is, “When does it think it’s supposed to turn on?” Go ahead and check! Boilers have a set point at which they begin generating heat for your building, and this set point could be out of whack. The fix here is to ensure that the set point is lower than the room’s temperature. If this is the case and your boiler is not firing still, then you know that the problem may be something… murkier.
If you know how a boiler works, you may be thinking that this all could be a problem with the pilot light. Well, what you may not know is that most modern boilers actually don’t use pilot lights anymore! No, instead, they use electronic ignition.
Hmm… so what in the world could be causing an electronic ignition not to do its job? Yeah, you’ve guessed it: a circuit may have tripped. So now starts your favorite trek way down to the fuse box. If you’ve found the issue, perfect! Reset your boiler’s breakers. If not, don’t despair because there is still more that could be wrong.
By this point, you’ve made very sure that the thermostat and the power are working in proper order, so maybe it’s a problem with the gas supply. A steady flow of gas is required for a boiler to do its job.
This is a reasonably common fix because, during the summertime, many responsible building owners switch the shut-off valve to the closed position. After all, no extra heat is needed, and doing so also ensures no catastrophes will ensue. So go ahead and check your boiler’s shut-off valve; I’ll wait. No dice? The valve was in the open position?
Alright, if all of those things have been checked and are as they should be, then fixing the issue may be more out of your hands. Boilers are made up of many parts that all accumulate wear and tear with use and become dysfunctional over time. This means that a broken part may be why your boiler isn’t turning on. If that’s the case, then you should contact Design Mechanical and have one of our service specialists take a look!
What Else Could Be Wrong?
Now, these have all been problems that have to do with your boiler not turning on, and unfortunately, as you have seen, you may not necessarily be able to fix what ails you. But what if there is obviously something wrong with your boiler, but it’s at least still turning on? Well, we are here for you too! Below we have provided a list of issues that may also occur with your boiler and what you should do if you find that you are in one of these situations.
1. Boiler Leak
The first issue on the list is easily the most overtly… gross-looking. If your boiler is leaking all over itself and the floor, this could mean one of two things. The easier of the two is that if there is a leak, this could simply mean that the internal pressure of your boiler is getting too high, so the extreme build-up is causing fluid to force its way out of the pressure relief valve. If this is the case, bleeding your boiler is an excellent way to reduce this intense pressure.
Alternatively, this could also mean that, yep, there’s a broken part in your boiler. If this is the case, you know the drill. Call a professional.
2. Low Boiler Pressure
This issue is on the exact opposite side of the spectrum as the last. Sometimes boilers stop doing their job because their pressure is too low. Thankfully, the boiler manufacturers made sure to include a built-in pressure gauge! When you check your boiler’s pressure gauge, you want to see that the pressure is at the 1.5 bar. If the pressure is under the 1 bar, your boiler will be unable to function correctly.
Ironically, one of the leading causes of low boiler pressure is leaks, so make sure your boiler doesn’t have any. Also, if you recently bled your boiler, that could result in your pressure being too low, so make sure you don’t over-bleed. If there is no leak and you haven’t bled your boiler recently, we recommend calling an engineer.
3. Frozen Condensate Pipe
I know what you’re thinking at this point. We’ll tell you about a problem, then advise you to call a professional. Ah, but not so! This is quite a common issue that is very prevalent in the colder months of the year. A condensate pipe is in charge of moving the condensate in your boiler to the drain outside your building. When this gets cold, the condensate can freeze, blocking your pipe and gumming up the works.
A simple, DIY solution to this would be to insulate your condensate pipe, which is universally a long-term fix!
4. Strange Sounds
To preface, it is entirely normal for a boiler to make noise while it operates. The problems come when your boiler starts making the wrong kinds of noises. There are three bad sounds to be on the lookout for.
The first is a kettling sound (it’s called this because it is comparable to a whistling kettle) which can indicate that your boiler is either leaking or has limescale build-up. The second is a buzzing sound that indicates the electric components of your boiler need replacing. And the last is a gurgling noise that signifies that you may need to bleed your radiator (sound familiar?) or that you have a frozen condensate pipe (that also sounds familiar!).
Call Design Mechanical Today for All of Your Boiler Needs
If your boiler still won’t turn on or you have any of the four problems listed above, it may be time to contact Design Mechanical to get help from one of our many dedicated technicians.
Design Mechanical provides expert commercial HVAC services to the Kansas City area and surrounding communities. With over 100 certified specialists on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, we’ll make sure your HVAC system performs as expected!