Many of us rely on boilers to keep our homes warm and toasty. Just like any machine, however, they’re prone to breakdowns as well. And once in a while, we’ll come across a boiler problem. Fortunately, you can fix many of these minor issues yourself.
Regular boiler maintenance is essential to keep minor problems from snowballing into a bigger one. Whether you’re repairing a dirt separator for boilers or replacing the entire unit, expect to shell out serious cash. A broken boiler can also endanger you and your family.
Boiler repair or replacement can be avoided if maintenance procedures are followed. Here are five simple pointers for keeping your boiler in working condition.
1. Have it inspected annually
To ensure your boiler is performing at its best, you need to get your boiler serviced by an accredited engineer at least once a year. The engineer will check the operation of the boiler to make sure it runs efficiently and safely and make adjustments as necessary.
They will also inspect and maintain components such as dirt separators for boilers. By having your boiler serviced, the engineer can spot a minor issue before it turns into a more expensive one.
2. Leave repairs to the professionals
While you can do many of the cursory checks yourself, if you do spot a problem, don’t attempt to perform any major repairs or replacements yourself. The unauthorized repair will void your boiler’s warranty, and you can inadvertently damage other parts, making things worse. Leave the servicing to the professionals.
3. Check the pressure
The boiler has to be set at the manufacturer’s recommended pressure settings for it to safely and efficiently circulate hot water in your home. Check the boiler’s pressure gauge to ensure the manufacturer’s recommendations are followed. Consult the user manual for more details.
If you do find the pressure too low or too high, you can make the adjustments yourself. A word of caution: Do this with care because you can damage the pressure release valve. If in doubt, ask the engineer to teach you this procedure during the boiler’s annual examination.
4. Don’t paint over the valve
Many homeowners paint over the radiator to make sure it fits in with the room’s aesthetic. Often, the valve is painted over as well. This poses a problem when you need to adjust it, and you’ll find the paint has hardened around the valve, making it extremely difficult to turn. Applying lubricant and some pressure can help, but if it doesn’t, you have to call a professional.
5. Release air from the radiator
When using a boiler after a repair or prolonged shutdown, allow it to run for a short period. The most common issue that occurs during this stage is uneven heating. You might find that some radiators aren’t heating up as fast as it used to. The culprit is air in the radiator.
Consult the boiler’s user manual for instructions on how to bleed air from the radiator. After releasing the air, you’ll also have to readjust the pressure gauge.
A boiler is a hardy machine, but that doesn’t mean it won’t break down. By following these simple guidelines, you get to avoid the cost and inconvenience associated with boiler repair or replacement.