Life in San Francisco is pretty great, but it still gets cold here in the Winter. Most buildings incorporate boilers as their central heating source. This classic technology is known to fail from time to time and it is important to understand the common problems they face. Learning to diagnose your heating challenges will help in determining when to call a plumber and what needs to be fixed.
Diagnosing the Boiler
The boiler is located in the basement or lowest room of the property. The boiler is a large water container that turns water into steam and then distributes it throughout the house, using radiators to disperse heat evenly. As you can imagine, this appliance gets very hot and it is important to keep it maintained and in good working order. Most boilers will run on natural gas, although electric heaters are becoming more common.
Let’s take a look at common examples of boiler problems.
- Heat is not working: probably the easiest to diagnose. If your heat is not working, there is a good chance something is wrong with the boiler. If the temperatures inside your home are not increasing, you will need to physically take a look at the boiler.
- Radiators are not warm: radiators not warming up are a sign steam is not making its way from the boiler to the radiator. Check for leaks in the pipes leading to the radiator. Liquid water will be a sign there is a problem.
- Pilot light is out: if your boiler runs on natural gas, a pilot light is needed to keep the fuel burning. When the pilot light goes out, there is no way to light the gas and your heater will not work. If this happens, check your gas line and make sure there is not a larger problem. The pilot light can go out due to wind or even flooding, but if you suspect a larger issue with the gas, do not try to relight it. Call your energy provider and have them bring in a professional immediately.
- Water boiler losing pressure: high pressure is necessary to keep the heat reaching all of the rooms in your house. To check if you are losing pressure, simply check the built in pressure gauge: if it sits below 1, then you have a problem. The most common causes for low pressure involve leaks in the plumbing. Check around the water boiler for water on the ground. If there is a leak, it is best to call a professional.
Because your boiler runs on water, most issues can be fixed by a licensed plumber. It is important to choose a highly qualified business that will make quick work of your heating problems.
Mr. Rooter in San Francisco is your heat and boiler specialists. Our team of highly trained professionals will quickly diagnose the problem and provide the best service in the area. With years of local experience, we are the first choice in making your heat work again. Give us a call today: 415-906-2456