Winter is almost here and you might be preparing yourself to turn on the boiler to get some heat during the cold months. Note that, if you do some maintenance earlier in the year, you will save some money when it’s time to use the boiler. If your boiler isn’t maintained properly it will become faulty and end up causing some fatal accidents. If it is maintained properly, it will become more efficient and you can end up saving a lot of money with your fuel. Here’s what you need to know about boiler maintenance.
1. Annual Boiler Service
If you service your boiler every year, it will be in a good working condition. You can hire an expert engineer to make the required adjustments to the boiler to make sure it’s running safely and efficiently. The professional should check the main boiler components to make sure they are working properly and clean all the accessible areas. If you choose to service your boiler as early as September, it will be ready for use in the fall and winter months.
2. Bleed Radiators
Once you turn it on, allow the boiler to run for a bit. Some of the radiators might take a while before they heat up because of the air found in there. You can diagnose this problem if the radiator is hot at the bottom part while it is cold at the top. If you want to resolve this issue, you should follow the steps below.
Get an old piece of cloth and the key to the radiator. Make sure the carpet underneath is protected with plastic in case there is a leak. Put the key into the valve and turn it gently anti clockwise for a quarter turn and make sure the water is underneath the key to catch any pouring water. Some hissing noises will come out of the radiator since the air will be coming out.
The hissing will stop after a while then water will start coming out of the radiator. Use the cloth to catch any excess water so it doesn’t fall to the floor or carpet. You can now close the valve after the hissing sound stops by turning the radiator key in the clockwise position. Recheck the radiator to find out if it has turned hot.
Once you’re done bleeding the radiator, check the pressure gauge found on the boiler. If the pressure has dropped, you need to refill the boiler with the information provided below.
3. Common Issues With Your Radiator
Here are some of the common issues you’re likely going to find with your radiator.
a) Painted Over Valve – If you have freshly painted the radiator, you might have painted over the valve. It might not be easy to free but you can use some pressure and the WD40 to open it up. If nothing barges, you can call an expert to do it for you.
b) Radiator Hot At The Top But Cold At The Bottom – It’s a sign of sludge present in the radiator. If so, it needs to be power flushed. Call the professionals to get the power flushing done immediately and expertly.
c) Heating Failure For The Radiator – Start by checking the valve found on the bottom of the radiator. If it is closed, turn clockwise to open it up. If the radiator is still not heating up, the valve could have some issues. You might be forced to replace the valve in this case and you can opt for the thermostatic radiator valve with the ability to adjust the heat setting to suit your needs.
4. Balancing The Radiators
Once you are done bleeding the radiators, you might notice the difference in heat. You can adjust the radiators so the hot ones have less heat, then the cooler ones should have increased heat. If you have a big house, you should consider hiring the experts who know how to bleed and balance the radiators.
5. Checking The Boiler Pressure
Once your boiler has started working properly, take a look at the pressure gauge to make sure it’s working at the recommended levels by the manufacturer. You can top up the pressure if it low. You should do this very carefully since it’s easy to damage the pressure release valve. If it’s damaged during the process, you need to call an expert to fix it immediately.
6. Dripping From The Boiler Overflow Pipe
The overflow pipe is located outside so if you notice any dripping, there is a problem with the boiler as a whole. It might be because of a faulty pressure release valve. Also, it could be a sign of the boiler overfilling thus becoming faulty with time. It’s time to call an expert to handle the issue.
7. Check The Ventilation
For proper ventilation, boilers need to have enough space around them. There shouldn’t be any clutter near the boiler. Remove any personal items such as bags, shoes or coats from the area to make sure the boiler is properly ventilated. If you have placed your boiler in a box, there should be an access panel to access the boiler for maintenance issues. Read the instructions carefully to find out the ventilation requirements you need to follow.