To extend the life of your boiler and reduce the chance of a complete system breakdown on a freezing day, it’s important to invest in regular boiler maintenance. By having your boiler serviced at least once a year, you can stay on top of small problems and fix them before they have a chance to turn into something larger (and potentially more dangerous). When you make a boiler maintenance appointment with Freedom, we’ll dispatch one of our qualified heating experts who will perform a comprehensive check of your boiler system to ensure there is no leaking water, that temperature and pressure readings are in range, that there are no blockages in the drain line, and much more. With proper care, you can expect to get the most from your boiler for many winters to come and prolong the need for a replacement.

How Much Does it Cost to Have a Boiler Serviced?

The answer to this question depends on several factors. How old is your boiler? What brand is it? Is your boiler gas-fired or oil-fired? What’s the extent of the problem you’re experiencing? If your boiler is on the newer side and you’re just having a few minor problems, a lower-cost routine maintenance service may be all you need. If your boiler is more than a decade old and/or has a more serious problem attributable to lack of maintenance, costs may be higher, especially if the damage to your system warrants a complete replacement. To get a more precise estimate for your particular situation, we invite you to give us a call to schedule a service appointment. One of our technicians can run a thorough diagnostic on your boiler to identify the best course of action.

Common Boiler Problems that We Repair

Boilers are reliable pieces of equipment that can last a long time, but it’s normal for them to need repairs from time to time. It’s important to know what you should watch out for so that you can schedule a repair or maintenance service in a timely manner. The longer you wait, the greater the chance for a small, easily fixable issue to turn into something more serious.

Call your local Chicago boiler repair company as soon as possible if you notice:

  1. Leaking & Dripping

Are you noticing any excess water surrounding your boiler tank or the pipes it’s connected to? Leaking and dripping caused by the boiler tank is extremely common. Over time, boilers can retain rust and become old. When this occurs, components of the system can lose their dexterity.

Leaking or dripping can be caused by old parts, an aging seal, the pressure valve is too high, the system is overworking constantly, or even the corrosion of pipes. In order to determine the cause of the leaking or dripping, it’s safest to contact a local heating contractor. They will come in and inspect the boiler tank and pipes to discover where the leaking water is coming from.

It may be something as simple as a loose fitting.

  1. Kettling – Noises Like a Tea Kettle

Have you ever heard the sound of a tea kettle when it comes to a boil? This is a noise that can occur with your boiler and pipes; it’s commonly called “kettling”.

Kettling can also be noted as sounding like a sort of odd rumbling noise. Over time, your boiler’s heat exchanger can have a deposit build-up. This build-up comes from continuous water usage, so it’s a normal occurrence. However, these deposits can clog the flow of water in the heat exchanger, and this leads to intense heating, thus the noises.

When your boiler is kettling, it’s working harder to deliver the heat or hot water you need. This drives up your bills and shortens the boiler’s lifetime.

Kettling is most common in areas of the house with hard water, but can still occur where soft water resides.

  1. Pilot Light Turning Off

Your boiler has a blue flame located underneath it to keep the system lit and running. When the pilot light shuts off, this typically means the thermocouple is having difficulties or is faulty. Your boiler’s thermocouple aids in the supply of gas to the boiler. Your newer boiler system will typically not have this problem, however, it still can occur.

Fixing your pilot light can be as simple as reigniting the flame. But, before you go about just reigniting flames where gas is in use, check to see if your boiler is receiving gas. If there is no gas reaching the boiler, it could be that your gas has turned off in your entire house or that the gas stopcock isn’t on.

After checking these troubleshooting options and ensuring you have gas in your home and the pilot light is still off, it’s best to contact a heating contractor. If you have a gas leak or it’s another problem occurring with the system, the heating contractor has the tools to deal with the issue without injuring themselves or damaging your home.

  1. Condensate Pipe is Frozen

New boilers are condensing boilers. This type of boiler system uses a condensate pipe for the removal of waste gas that the boiler creates. When it’s freezing outside, the risk of your boiler’s condensate pipe freezing is very high. The water freezes and will cause a blockage.

This is resolved by defrosting the condensate pipe. You can thaw the pipe by applying hot water (not boiling) on the pipe, using a warm cloth, or using another warming method on the pipe. If you aren’t going to hire a heating contractor to come out to fix the frozen condensate pipe, we ask that you keep yourself safe by using gloves and protective gear to avoid injury.

  1. Thermostat is Inaccurate

Your boiler’s thermostat is used to retain the appropriate temperature for the heat and hot water in the home. When this is reading the wrong temperature or is shutting the heating on or off, it might need a fix or to be replaced.

Thermostats can become old over time or wires can become loose. A thermostat malfunctioning is typical in older boilers. Sometimes, it may have nothing to do with age or wiring at all. Perhaps the thermostat was bumped or the settings are inaccurate. Check to make sure the thermostat is set to “on” and the settings are as you want them to warm your home.

  1. Irregular Hot Water and Heating

When you start losing heat or your water refuses to warm up, your boiler could have malfunctioning parts. While the boiler may not be in charge of the heating of air, it can still cause rooms to get cold.

Irregular hot water and heating could mean that your thermostat needs resetting or to be replaced, but it could be other failing internal components. The boiler valve, diaphragm, or airlock could need replacing, which shouldn’t be a project performed by someone without heating equipment experience.

Rather than trying to fix the problem yourself and finding out it’s more complicated than you might think (or it could be an entirely different problem), have a heating contractor come out to inspect the problem.

  1. Radiator Stops Heating

A heating system can run on radiators. If these radiators refuse to heat up, you’re not going to get anything hot. You can typically find out if the radiators aren’t running properly when the bottom of the radiator is hot and the top is cool. This might be caused by sludge or grime build-up in the transfer section from the boiler to the radiator or the radiators being off-balance.

In the case of a cool radiator, bleed the system for a full reset or call Freedom!