When your company’s commercial boiler is not running as smoothly as it should be, you might not notice until it’s too late. These systems are often routine and reliable. But when they begin to break, the consequences can be expensive and dangerous to employees and guests. Fortunately, there are a few telltale signs that your boiler needs attention sooner rather than later. If you ignore these warning signs, you risk putting both your employees and property at serious risk. In this blog post, we cover five red flags that indicate the time has come to take action with your commercial boiler sooner rather than later.
Loss of Hot Water
The first sign that you should follow up on is a loss of hot water. If you’ve noticed that water temperatures are lower than usual, it’s essential to check the system and find out why. You can lose hot water from various boiler or hot water system problems. A clogged or broken feed line, low pressure, or a faulty thermostat are some potential causes. Any of these issues can easily be repaired and are essential to follow up on before they become more serious problems. It’s important to note that some loss of hot water is expected. If you run your system during colder months, you’ll likely notice a significant drop in water temperatures. This is normal, and your system will return to normal once the weather warms up again. However, if you’ve noticed a drop in water temperature during warmer weather, you may have a more significant problem with your hands.
Boiler noise is a sign that something is wrong. Certain noises are normal, but constant or excessive noise is another sign to follow up on. There are two types of excessive noise that you need to pay attention to – vibrational and operational. Vibrational noise comes from the boiler vibrating against the floor or other structural components. This often occurs when the boiler is out of level and needs repositioning or when there is a misalignment in the system that is causing friction against the surrounding material. You can usually correct this problem by moving the boiler or getting the system realigned. Operational noise, however, is less noticeable and may be harder to pinpoint. Things like the fan running longer than usual or an excessively loud blower are all signs that you may have an operational noise issue on your hands. The best way to find out what’s causing the noise is to have a professional come out and take a look.
If you notice a leak of any kind coming from your boiler system, it’s a sign that you need to take action immediately. Most leaks in boiler systems are minor, but they still need to be dealt with quickly. Many leaks are easy to spot, but others are more difficult to detect. If you notice any unusual dripping or wetness coming from your boiler system, you should follow up on it immediately. There are a few common leak locations in boiler systems:
- Drain valves: Drain valves can develop small leaks, particularly when they’re older. Make sure to check your valves periodically for leaks. Drain valves typically need to be replaced when they leak.
- Water feed lines: Feed lines are a common source of leaks. They are often overlooked because they are in a more difficult location to see. If you notice a small amount of wetness coming from your feed line, you should have it inspected by a professional as soon as possible. Feed line leaks can quickly become more severe if they go unnoticed.
- Condensate pipes: Condensate pipes are another common location for leaks. These pipes are usually located above the furnace. Inspect these pipes for wetness or signs of corrosion. If you notice a problem, it should be addressed immediately.
No Pilot Light
The pilot light is a small flame that ignites the main burner when you turn on the boiler. If you notice that your boiler is not lit, it’s a sign that there’s a problem. A clogged pilot module is the most common cause of a failed pilot light. When the pilot module becomes clogged, it can prevent the pilot light from igniting and starting the main burner. If the pilot module becomes blocked and the pilot light stops working, you must have the module cleaned or replaced before the boiler will work again. If you notice that your boiler pilot light is not working, you should follow up on it as soon as possible. If the boiler remains unlit, it can cause the system to overheat. An overheating boiler can cause severe damage and lead to a dangerous situation.
This isn’t an issue you should attempt to rectify yourself. Whether you have noticed this as part of routine maintenance or have noticed problems with your commercial boiler, you should always contact a quality boiler repair company to identify and fix the issue.
Lower Than Usual Pressure
Boiler systems run off pressure, so you want to monitor it closely. If your system’s pressure is lower than normal, it could be a sign that there is a problem. There are a few potential causes of low pressure, including an improperly sized system, debris in the system, or a faulty pressure regulator. Before you make any adjustments or repairs to your system, you should have a professional come out to inspect it. Most low-pressure problems are minor and can be easily repaired. Having a low-pressure issue does not necessarily mean that you need to replace your boiler. Identifying the cause of the low pressure is essential before making any repairs. If you make repairs without specifying the reason, the problem may return in the future.
When your commercial boiler runs smoothly, it’s easy to forget that it’s even there. But when there is a problem, you’ll know about it. Take these five signs seriously and follow up on them as soon as possible. Doing so will help you catch and repair minor problems before they become more serious.