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Boiler Blues Afflict You Last Winter? Troubleshoot With These Pointers

Posted on November 13, 2014

When you approach your Wichita-area home’s boiler to troubleshoot a problem, remember the physician’s motto: first do no harm. If you are at all uncomfortable about trying to temporarily repair or diagnose your home’s boiler, you will do better to contact your professional HVAC contractor than to risk damaging your home’s primary heat source. 

No Hot Water?

Likely causes of your home’s heat plant not providing enough hot water:

  • Undersized water heater
  • The entire boiler system is improperly sized
  • The boiler’s operating temperature is wrong—it should be 200 degrees
  • Air is in the system’s pipe
  • The system’s flow control devices could be flawed
  • The system needs cleaning

Water is Too Hot!

This may seem like a fortunate problem to have, but a water heater running too hot is just as bad as a cool-running system. Look for these issues:

  • The recirculation loop may be wrongly sized—turn to a professional HVAC technician for a remedy
  • Reduce the system’s operating temperature to around 160 degrees (this helps prevent stacking—layering of water by temperature inside the tank—and minimizes burn risks)

Water on the Floor

No Wichita homeowner wants to step into the room with the home heating plant and see water on the floor. Do not panic. Look for these possible causes:

  • Perhaps it is not the HVAC system or water heater—look for other sources
  • Put a bucket under the temperature and pressure relief valve’s discharge piping to see if water comes out; report your findings to your HVAC contractor for repair solutions
  • Loose piping connections—clean your hands and feel the pipe joints for very small traces of water

Water Atop the Water Heater

You may not have a leaking water heater just because water appears on top of the hot water tank fed by your home’s boiler.

  • Look above the water heater’s tank to see if water could be dripping down from another source, such as house plumbing
  • Loose pipe connections from the heating system to the water heater

For expert help in diagnosing and repairing your Wichita home’s boiler and boiler-supplied hot water heater, contact us at Comfort Systems.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about boilers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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