Troubleshooting Your Brooklyn Boiler

Serving Brooklyn Since 1906

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Are you struggling with your Brooklyn boiler? Little problems, like strange noises or inconsistent heating, often go ignored. If problems are small enough, it’s easy to think that they can be put off until next winter, but this can be a bad idea.

Some of the most common problems can be the easiest to fix if they’re diagnosed early enough, but others can be serious and require immediate intervention. If you experienced any of these boiler struggles last winter, you can try some of our troubleshooting tips or call our Brooklyn HVAC team at Petri Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning to help get your boiler in good working order.

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Identify Your Boiler Issue

The first thing you should do is try to narrow down the problem you’re having with your Brooklyn boiler. Some likely culprits are:

1) There’s no hot water

This could be something as simple as a tripped circuit breaker or as advanced as a broken dip tube or a faulty thermostat. Check the circuit breaker first.

2) Your thermostat is acting strangely

Thermostats can drift out of calibration over time or may be knocked off balance. Electronic thermostats are easy to install incorrectly, and crossed wires can lead to erratic boiler behavior.

3) You hear loud, strange noises

Loud banging noises or inconsistent heat could be the result of mineral buildup in your pipes or a boiler that can’t ignite properly. One of these can damage your heating system. The other could damage your home. And both could mean a boiler that goes out in the worst parts of the Brooklyn winter.

4) The pilot light is out

If your pilot light is out, follow your manufacturer’s instructions on how to relight it. If it keeps going out after you’ve relit it, it could be something more involved like a dirty burner assembly or a bad thermocouple.

5) The boiler is kettling

This is usually a result of too much sediment buildup in the tank, and the water boils instead of just being heated. This is a serious issue and should be fixed as soon as possible.

6) You hear hissing noises and see pooling water

If you notice water pooling around your boiler or hear a loud hissing noise when it’s on, that’s a good sign that it has a leak. Not only can this mean varying temperatures from room to room, but it also means things can get worse fast. Water can eat away at the pressure vessel until it erupts, damaging anything nearby and flooding your basement.

7) You smell foul odors

As always, if your boiler uses natural gas and you smell rotten eggs, leave your home and call 911 and the gas company immediately. Once the leak has been repaired and your home has been deemed safe, we can fix your boiler trouble. 

8) Your boiler is leaking

If you notice a leak in your system, you should also call in a professional ASAP for boiler repair in Brooklyn. A leak can damage your home’s walls, floors, and furniture if left unchecked.

Maintain Your Brooklyn Boiler

The best troubleshooting tip by far is to simply maintain your system based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Some Brooklyn boiler maintenance tips include:

  • Cleaning or replacing your filters. Regularly clean the filter or replace it based on both the boiler manufacturer’s recommendations and the filter’s lifespan.
  • Have a regular boiler tune-up. You should have your boiler checked at least once a year. The best time to do this is just before winter so that you’re aware of any issues that could arise or to fix and replace damaged parts.
  • Check your boiler’s settings. Making sure the boiler is set at the right temperature and ensuring the pressure is consistent will help your boiler work most efficiently.
  • For the gas-fired boiler, check the thermostat. Make sure it is set above the actual room temperature.
  • Is the circulator pump running? If the pump is cool, check the breaker. If the motor is hot, the problem may be the capacitor. The motor or pump could also be frozen. If the motor is cool and the breaker is on, the thermostat or the circulator relay may be the culprit.
  • If the circulator is working, check the temperature/pressure gauge. If the gauge reads low, check the vent damper to ensure it is open and the fan is running. If not, shut off the unit’s breaker, wait a couple of minutes and flip it back on. If the damper still doesn’t open or the fan doesn’t start, the problem may be the boiler control or aquastat.
  • If your unit has a standing pilot light, make sure it is lit. If the pilot doesn’t light, there may be a blockage in the vent pipe.
  • If the pilot light keeps going out, the most common causes are damaged seals or a faulty thermocouple. For either of these, call a professional. The assembly or sensor may be dirty, or the control may be bad.
  • If the pilot stays lit, ensure that the main burners come on. If not, the gas valve or control may be bad.

If you’ve been skipping maintenance to save a little money, you could be at risk of boiler failure. By having your boiler inspected and tuned up regularly, little problems can be caught before they turn into big, expensive ones. If you’re having trouble with your boiler, call the experts at Petri Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning.

Get Professional Boiler Repair & Check-Up Up Services

boiler maintenance

Our expert technicians are well-trained in both steam and hot water heating. We have more than 100 years of experience installing and servicing boilers in Brooklyn, so it doesn’t matter what kind of boiler you have; we can work on it.

During our service call, we’ll make sure that the gas burner is igniting and burning properly. If you heat with oil, we’ll inspect the oil burner and the oil nozzle and make sure that the fuel filter isn’t clogged. Safety devices will shut your boiler down if water isn’t circulating properly and your boiler overheats, so we’ll inspect the pumps. We’ll also make sure that the products of combustion are venting safely up the chimney to protect you and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning. A clogged venting system is a dangerous problem.

If it appears that your boiler is working but you’re not getting enough heat, we’ll check out all of the distribution piping and your radiators to make sure that the hot water or steam is getting to them. We’ll check out the circulator pump, inspect the pipes for leaks, make sure hot water is flowing properly through the pipes and all of the radiators are getting hot. Sometimes the problem is as simple as a radiator valve being closed.

Consider a New Boiler Installation

We may be the Brooklyn boiler wizards but sometimes, depending on the age of the unit, replacing your boiler with a newer, more energy efficient model is the best choice. New boilers can be twice as efficient as the boilers they are replacing, which will lower your energy bills. We’re knowledgeable on all of the best brands and we can answer all of your questions.

Get Expert Brooklyn Boiler Help Whenever You Need It!

Your Brooklyn heating experts at Petri Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning are here to help you with your boiler, regardless of what’s going on with it. Call us for Brooklyn boiler help today!

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