Heating boilers definitely have their advantages. They deliver comfortable, consistent, and efficient heat. Unlike furnaces, they do not blow allergens and dust through your home. However, boilers are not without their downfalls. One of those downfalls is the potential for leaks.
How do you know your boiler is leaking?
It's not hard to tell whether your boiler is leaking. You should venture down into your basement, or wherever your boiler is located, and look around the boiler. Do you see any water on the ground? Do you see any water on the platform supporting the boiler? Even if it is a little bit of water, your system is leaking. Even the tiniest of leaks should not be ignored. A tiny boiler leak can turn into a big boiler leak if the pressure inside the boiler causes the hole or crack in the boiler to grow or spread. Plus, even a small amount of water leaking from the boiler can allow for mold and mildew growth.
How do professionals fix a boiler leak?
That depends on where the leak is located. Many boiler leaks actually occur where pipes tie into the boiler. The valve connecting the pipe to the boiler might be damaged. Or, the seal between the valve and the boiler might be broken and leaking. In this case, the HVAC contractor will likely replace the valve, the seal, the pipe, or even all three.
If the water is leaking through a hole in the boiler itself, this issue is a bit harder to fix. The repair technician might be able to weld a patch onto your boiler to stop the leak. However, once a boiler develops a hole, it is usually pretty worn, and additional leaks are likely to form before long. So, it's common for HVAC contractors to recommend replacing a boiler that has an actual hole in it.
How do you prevent your boiler from leaking?
If your boiler is not leaking, or if you recently had a leak repaired, you should take action to prevent future leaks. Have an HVAC contractor come to inspect and maintain the boiler once a year. They'll adjust any valves and lubricate them, which can prevent those valves from cracking. They can also remove mineral buildup from within the boiler which will help slow corrosion of the boiler material itself.
Boilers make excellent heating appliances, but they do have the potential for leaks. Make sure you watch out for leaks and call an HVAC repair contractor as soon as you notice one.