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Troubleshooting Common Boiler Problems

What you can do when your boiler doesn’t work

These days, many of us know how to troubleshoot certain devices and electronics that we use in our everyday lives. If our Internet stops working, we unplug and re-plug in our cable boxes or modems. If the TV suddenly doesn’t turn on you change the batteries in the remote. When your cell phone is acting funky you turn it off and then back on again.

But what can you do if you suddenly find yourself with boiler problems?

Common boiler problems

Just like with many things in our homes, boilers sometimes encounter issues and don’t always work perfectly. Common boiler problems include:

  • Strange noises such as gurgling, whistling or banging coming from your boiler
  • A leak
  • Your boiler’s pilot light continuously going out
  • Frozen pipes
  • Your boiler continuously switching off
  • A lack of heat or hot water in your home
  • Your boiler being unresponsive to your home’s thermostat

Troubleshooting tips for your boiler

Yes, calling in a professional is definitely an option (and sometimes highly recommended) if you find yourself with boiler problems. But before you do so there are actually some things you can do on your own to see if you can fix the issue. Below are some troubleshooting tips that can potentially help get your boiler back on track:

  • For a boiler that uses oil, reset the red burner switch. You can do this by pressing it and holding it down for three seconds. Do not reset the switch more than once as this can potentially flood your heating system with oil.
  • Check on your heating oil or propane supply to make sure it isn’t running too low. If your tank is less than 1/8th full, schedule a heating oil delivery ASAP.
  • Clear away anything – furniture, curtains or dust – that may be blocking your home’s vents (if your home has vents) and keeping air from flowing freely out of the vents.
  • Make sure your heating equipment’s power switches are turned to “start” or “on”. Also double check that your system is in “heat” mode.
  • Take a look inside your circuit breaker box to ensure all the circuit breakers are in the correct place.
  • With your heating system on, make sure the pilot light is turning on.
  • Lower the temperature on your thermostat so that it is at least five degrees higher than whatever the room temperature is.

When all else fails, call in the service technicians at W.H. Riley for boiler repair services.

Boiler maintenance

Waiting until you notice issues to schedule maintenance on your boiler is not a good idea, especially during a southeastern Massachusetts winter. A professional should be performing maintenance on your boiler every year. Doing so helps:

  • Keep you safe: Annual boiler maintenance can detect early warning signs of a carbon monoxide problem (as well as other issues), which helps keep you, your family and your home safe.
  • Decrease your bills: Your boiler will lose about 5% of its efficiency every year on average without routine maintenance and a system that isn’t working efficiently is going to make your energy bills more expensive.
  • Keep your system dependable: Wondering if you can count on your boiler to get you through a winter season? A professional servicing appointment can help you answer this question.

W.H. Riley & Son’s boiler services

Consider W.H. Riley & Son your one-stop shop for all your boiler needs. Our licensed and certified technicians can help you select the right boiler for your home, install that boiler, repair your boiler when necessary, perform annual maintenance and deliver the fuel your boiler needs.

Let W.H. Riley & Son help keep your southeastern Massachusetts home’s boiler running all year long. Contact us today for all your heating system needs!