Home heating boilers should never be repaired by do-it-yourselfers, and even the manufacturer’s recommended annual servicing should be completed by a qualified heating and cooling technician. However, some light maintenance tasks are appropriate for homeowners with moderate DIY skills. Performing these tasks can help you detect early signs of trouble, as well as help you understand repairs or replacements your contractor may suggest.
Here’s an overview of what’s doable for homeowners when they’re maintaining home heating boilers:
- First, check the vent pipe leading to your roof for holes, loose joints between segments and debris, such as leaves or bird’s nests that may clog the vent.
- Look around and under your boiler for dripping or other evidence of water leakage. Any unexplained pooling on the floor should be brought to the attention of a qualified service technician.
- Locate the pressure relief valve on the side of your boiler, as well as the discharge pipe that leads away from the valve. While your boiler is at operating temperature, see if you can feel the warmth of hot water passing through the discharge pipe. Also, listen for the sound of water spurting out of the valve. Either of these may identify a leaky pressure relief valve or a valve opening due to excess pressure or temperature. Report this problem to your HVAC contractor immediately.
- Next, inspect your boiler expansion tank for proper air pressure. Your valve reading should be within manufacturer’s specs—usually between 12 to 15 psi. Readings above this range usually indicate excess water in the expansion tank and should be checked by a heating service person immediately. You can often guess the state of your tank by feeling the side. When your boiler is operating, the tank should feel uniformly warm or hot from top to bottom. If the bottom feels cooler than the top, this usually signifies water accumulation that must be drained by a service professional.
For more information on maintaining home heating boilers and how to get professional help in greater Cleveland, contact Geisel Heating & Air Conditioning.
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