None of us really give much thought to our boiler until it wants to be heard. Most heating boilers simply supply hot water during the colder seasons without making its presence known. Once they get a little older, however, their joints start to crack and you may hear some whistling and banging noises when they operate. Deer Valley Plumbing is here to give you some tips for letting your boiler “age gracefully”.
What’s causing the boiler noise?
1. Mineral Deposits
This is one of the most common causes of boiler noise. A typical boiler usually works at 180 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just below the boiling point of water. Over time, this may cause the boiler tubes to collect deposits of hard water. The calcium salts within hard water tend to form lime scale on the tubes. This layer increases the temperature needed to heat up water therefore leading to bubbles in the boiler water. The rise of bubbles to the top of the surface causes them to make popping sounds when they rise.
2. Size Mismatch
When an incorrectly rated burner is installed with a boiler that is too large, it may cause extra boiler noise to occur. This is because the burner will overheat the boiler and cause localized boiling. The circulating pump, being too small for the job will cause the water to flow at a slower rate. Being unable to effectively dissipate the heat, this pump creates noises.
3. System Flaws
Often, the problem might just be with the boiler or the thermostat. Excessive operation of the boiler may cause overheating and boiling. Incorrect pipe size and malfunction leads to increased temperatures which allow contaminants. Contaminants typically cause foaming in the water reducing the amount of contact between the water and the boiler tubes. This trapped air tends to make noise as the boiler functions.
What can you do to fix your boiler?
The very first thing you should do is shut the system down to allow it to cool and only then troubleshoot the problems. One thing you need to understand is that fixing a boiler is no easy task and should only be attempted if you know what you’re doing. In most cases,it’s best to call a licensed and registered professional to handle the job for you.
1. Build Up of Deposits
Scale or mineral deposits may often accumulate within boilers as time progresses. This leads to the creation of hot spots where bubbles rise and then pop as they exit the surface. These loud bangs can typically be corrected with a chemical descaler.
Before a chemical scaler is implemented, you will need to shut down the boiler and wait for it to cool down. Once cooled, the chemical will be applied to the feed and expansion tank. The entire system will then have to be drained, flushed, and refilled.
2. High Temperature on Thermostat
Overheating of water may also cause noises in the boiler. A simple fix such as turning down the temperature of the boiler may often lower the noise of the boiler. This however isn’t a permanent solution since it also brings the functioning of your boiler below optimum level. In this case, the thermostat will have to be replaced which should only be done by a licensed professional.
3. Insufficient Flow of Water
When there isn’t enough water reaching the boiler, it may often lead to noise. In this case, you need to troubleshoot why the water isn’t reaching its destination.
Most commonly the problem is with the water flow rate. This is most commonly experienced in boilers of a more modern nature that are mounted on the wall. First check the mains water and ensure that it is on. Then check the feed and expansion tank. Adjusting these areas typically ensures that enough water then reaches the boiler.
A stuck float valve may also obstruct the flow of water to the boiler. The first thing you will need to do is completely shut down the boiler. Once this is done, locate the tanks and move the metal arm of the valve to release it. Ensure that the safety vent pipe is accurately installed. Incorrect installation may lead to trapped air which causes noises in the boiler. Ironically, a frozen water supply pipe is also a common problem of boiler noises!
Call Deer Valley Plumbing and shut that boiler up!
Ultimately, it is important to get in touch with a professional simply because of the hazards associated with the job. Before you take the decision of completely replacing the boiler, get in touch with a heat technician at Deer Valley Plumbing so they can effectively guide you! 602.832.8418