How to Troubleshoot Boiler Problems Before Contacting Your HVAC Tech

January 24, 2015
Ross and Witmer

A problem with your boiler doesn’t necessarily mean you’re about to be left without heat in the middle of a chilly Charlotte winter. Often, a little boiler troubleshooting will help you solve the problem quickly.

Boiler Troubleshooting Tips

  • Check the electrical and gas supplies – Check that the boiler’s switch is set to “on.” The unit may have been bumped and accidentally switched off. On most modern boiler systems, an indicator light shines or pulses during normal operation. If you see no light, look in the electrical panel for a tripped breaker or blown fuse. Finally, make sure the gas stopcock is open and allowing gas to flow.
  • Inspect the pilot light – If the pilot light has gone out, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for re-ignition. If the system has no pilot light and has shut down, it may have locked out. Press the de-blocking button to restart it. De-blocking may not work if the gas or water pressure is too low, so check that the central heating pressure is set at the manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • Look over the electrical components – Make sure the thermostat is set to “on” and that its batteries are fresh, then try raising the temperature. Although thermostats can last decades, some fail after as little as five years and require replacement. If the boiler’s LCD display isn’t working, you may need a new programmer. You can buy and plug it in by yourself.
  • Check the other components – Cold, snowy weather can cause a blockage in the condensate pipe, which will shut down the boiler. An error light on the control panel and gurgling noises from the condensate pipe or the boiler suggest a blockage. Defrosting the condensate pipe should help. If the boiler is operating but not supplying enough heat, you may only need to adjust the radiator valve.

If basic boiler troubleshooting doesn’t solve the problem, contact the pros at Ross & Witmer. We serve homeowners throughout Charlotte, Mecklenburg, Gaston and Union.

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