If you’re running a manufacturing or processing plant, you likely have a couple of steam boilers. In 2018, the market share for global steam boiler systems stood at $17.66 billion.
It will probably reach $21.63 billion by the end of 2023. Thus, the applications for boilers are expanding.
Typically, manufacturers use steam boilers to provide a consistent supply of steam for various processes. For instance, boilers can heat large kettles in the breweries to make beers in batches. These systems can also boil enough water for large-scale sanitation or sterilization.
However, a damaged boiler means the opposite. It will likely waste fuel, emit more gases, and probably run you out of operating costs. Moreover, leaks from gas boilers can pose a great danger in residential properties.
The best way to avoid this is by paying attention to anything that may signal damage. This way, you can fix it before the issue gets out of hand.
But how do you tell if your boiler is experiencing damage? What signs require professional attention?
Read on to learn about eight signals that your oil or gas boiler needs a repair.
1. Foul Smell From Steam Boilers
If you’re using a gas boiler, signs of damage can manifest in abnormal smell. Modern gas suppliers usually add sulfur to the gas to make leaks more detectable. Thus, watch out for an egg-like smell if you suspect a damaged boiler.
Besides sulfur, your boiler can also leak carbon monoxide. However, carbon is hard to detect. That’s why it’s imperative to notify a professional as soon as you suspect a gas leak.
2. Unreasonably Higher Energy Costs
Unreasonably high energy costs are not just a fluke. They can signal a serious problem with your steam boilers.
First, higher energy bills may be as a result of using an old steam boiler. Any boiler that is more than 15 years old will likely run inefficiently, consuming more power.
Besides the boiler’s age, high energy costs can also emanate from leaks or a faulty power supply. However, electric boilers can be pretty costly to run. In that case, it will help if you opt for a modern, more energy-efficient model to save heating costs throughout the year.
3. No Hot Water
If your boiler can’t heat water to the set temperature or retain the heat, there is likely a problem. Several parts of the boiler enhance the water heating process. This includes the valve, thermostat, diaphragm, or even the airlock.
Thus, no hot water signals a problem in either of these parts. Some water heating hitches can also emanate from the boiler’s circulation system. Wherever the problem lies, it will help if you call a technician to diagnose it correctly after a professional inspection.
4. The Building Is Cold
Your electric boiler might produce heat but not enough to keep the building warm. Or, the room’s temperature reading may not be consistent with the programmed values in the thermostat.
In that case, your boiler probably has a hitch in circuits. Short circuits when the mains supply doesn’t experience brownouts will generate insufficient heat. Tank buildups can also cause a hitch in the heat delivery system.
5. Watch Out for Any Leaks
Besides damaging the boiler’s parts, leaking water can also cause serious property damage. Moreover, a leaking boiler will use more power to heat or boil water.
So, what signs signal water leakage? Watch out for puddles or moisture around the boiler. If you notice any, notify your technician immediately.
You can also look out for these signs along the walls if you installed the boiler at a higher altitude.
6. Strange Sounds Signal a Problem
You can tell whether your oil boiler is functioning optimally depending on the sound it generates when running. Typically, a functional boiler should produce a kettling sound. Sometimes, you can also hear a whistling sound when the water comes through the boil.
When there is damage, the boiler may produce odd sounds such as whirring or thumping. The whistling can also be excess if the heater pump breaks. Other problems that may cause weird sounds include damaged heat exchangers or general blockages.
7. Faulty Power
If you’re running an electric boiler, you may experience faulty power from time to time. This problem occurs if there is a hitch in the system’s supply. It can cause the system to turn on and off without any warning, even during high-demand applications.
Sometimes, the boil can also fail to run completely after powering it on. As you already know, servicing power systems in the unit can be pretty dangerous, even with the instructions on the user manual. It will help if you hire professional furnace repair services to fix this problem.
8. Heating Delays
Usually, electric boilers should start generating heat immediately after you turn them on. If it takes a lot of time before the boiler heats up, then there is a problem. Unless you have a modern unit with self-diagnostics, it’s prudent to notify a professional to take a look at the system.
Heating delays occur mainly due to circulation issues. Once the professionals inspect the system, they might recommend a single-fix solution. If the circulation sustained serious damage, you might need to purchase a new system altogether.
However, it’s imperative to understand that heating delays may also occur depending on your temperature settings. Always ensure that you program the right temperature in the thermostat.
Repairing Your Boiler Is More Affordable Than Complete Unit Replacement
Steam boilers are just like any other equipment such as conventional heaters or car engines. Early detection of any problem can save you from expensive future repairs. Timely servicing will also ensure that all the system’s parts exhaust their lifespan before replacement.
This is not to forget how much revenue you’ll save as a result of zero downtime and consistent production. Whether you have home or industrial gas boilers, pay close attention to these signs.
Find more resources on how to spot damages on your boiler from other articles on this site.