Common Causes Of Boiler Leaks And How To Repair Them

Monday, August 28th, 2017
Common causes for boiler repairs

Boilers are one of the most expensive pieces of machinery on your property. This equipment is responsible for maintaining temperature, which is especially crucial in the winter and during extreme weather changes. The costs of a boiler shutdown usually extend much farther than immediate repair or replacement. This includes the stress of finding a repair company and the impact on your work and personal schedule. It is important to maintain your boiler properly, which includes understanding boiler leaks and how to repair them.

What does a leaky boiler mean?

A leaky boiler indicates that something is wrong in your equipment. The leak could indicate a minor problem that may develop into a serious issue or be indicative of a serious problem that is already present. Regardless, you must address boiler leaks as soon as possible and take steps to identify and prevent them in the future.

Common causes of boiler leaks

Most boiler leaks are caused by corrosion, faulty water pipe connections, a broken seal, or a damaged valve or pump. To save time and money, you can try to identify the cause of a leak before initiating repairs or contacting a repair company. However, if your boiler is gas-operated you should contact a professional to conduct repairs immediately. Natural gas boilers are dangerous and should only be serviced by a certified professional. Additionally, if you notice an issue with your gas boiler, you should shut-off your gas and water supply.

Faulty pressure valves

The standard pressure for a boiler is between 18 and 21 PSI. Some leaks are caused because the boiler is operating at pressures above 21 PSI. The valves on boilers are designed to release pressure to avoid causing an explosion by purposefully leaking water.

Faulty pressure is generally caused by the accumulation of sediment, which prevents the pressure valve from closing and increases pressure on the boiler. You can test to see if there is sediment build-up by following certain steps. First, shut off your boiler and allow it to cool so you can handle it. Once it is cooled, lift the manual pressure relief lever and release the water for three to four seconds. The water will discharge with some force, so beware. The water should come out relatively clean. Next, shut the valve. If water continues to leak, it could mean that sediment is trapped inside. Repeat this process until you can get the relief valve to close. If the relief valve cannot close, shut down the water feed valve and replace the relief valve. Finally, if no water discharges, then that likely means the valve is clogged by sediment and needs to be replaced.

Faulty temperature valves

If the boiler temperature gets too high, other issues can arise. The temperature probe is responsible for regulating temperature in the boiler. If the temperature is too high, you may need to replace this component.

Corrosion in boilers

Corrosion is another issue frequently seen in boilers. Corrosion occurs because the boiler is weakened due to the frequent exposure to water at varying temperatures. Corrosion weakens the pipes and tanks over time, eventually leading to leaks. Usually, corrosion will present itself in a valve or pipe that is easily replaceable. However, failure to address corrosion issues as they happen could lead to extensive damage throughout your boiler.

Incorrectly installed pipe fittings

Pipe fittings are another weak spot in boilers. Unfortunately, pipe fittings are occasionally installed incorrectly, which can cause leaks. A boiler technician can usually reinstall the pipe fittings correctly. However, depending on when leaks are identified, the damage may be too extensive and the pipes may require replacement.

Faulty pumps or seals

Seals are another weak area in boilers that can cause leaks to occur. The seals can corrode or become loose, allowing water to seep out. Fortunately, seals are easily replaceable.

Need to repair a leak in your boiler?

If you are looking for the best local plumbing company to handle your boiler maintenance and repairs, contact the professionals at Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical, Inc. in Amarillo, Texas. We provide industrial, commercial, and residential services throughout the Texas Panhandle and Tri-State area. You can call us at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email for more information about our service. You can also visit us in person at 404 S. Hayden St. in Amarillo to see how we can help you.