How The Pilot Light Works

Have you ever noticed the blue flame in your boiler – that is the pilot light. The pilot light is a small gas flame that ignites a more powerful gas burner. Typically, that flame lights continuously. Today, only older boiler models, those that use natural gas, or fireplaces that use gas logs, have pilot lights. Other gas appliances that use pilot lights are furnaces, water heaters, hobs and gas ovens. How does the pilot light work? Pilot lights are basically valves that provide the flame needed to light the gas that comes out of the main burner. A small amount of lighted, continuously burning gas passes through it. When the boiler is turned on, another valve releases gas into the burner and the pilot light ignites that gas. Identifying pilot lights If you are not sure whether your boiler operates using one, look at the power switch of your boiler. There is likely a “pilot” position for the switch if the appliance uses a pilot light. You can also check the panel where the gas burner is. When you open the panel, you should see the small blue flame visibly. Pros and Cons of Using Pilot Lights Pilot lights do not require electricity to operate, so most appliances that use pilot lights will operate during a power outage. Because pilot lights are always burning, they offer instant ignition to the main burner. One of the downsides of using pilot lights is the waste of gas. In the US, 20% of gas used annually is for pilot lights alone. Safety  In the event the the pilot light goes out, there is...

Water Gurgling in Boiler

Do you hear the sound of water gurgling from your boiler? This is a clear sign that there is air trapped in the system. Air in the system, in turn, can cause more problems. Heat will have a more difficult time traveling to certain areas in your home, or, if bad luck really strikes, your boiler may not even start. Check your boiler and identify what is causing the water gurgling noise. This noise is made by a mixture of water and air in the system, where water should be the only one present. Another cause of water gurgling is a frozen condensate pipe. Cold weather can cause the pipes or traps to freeze, stopping water from circulating properly. Test your theory before creating a solution, to remove the guessing part and make sure you are doing the right thing. First, find the highest radiator in your system and touch in. If there is air trapped in the system, the highest radiator will feel colder than the other radiators. If you conclude that there is air in the system, you can easily resolve this by bleeding the radiators. This will release trapped air and get the water running smoothly again inside the system. Make sure you take the necessary precautions and that you know how to bleed a radiator properly before starting work. If you suspect that your condensate pipe had froze over the cold weather, find the spot that is  frozen by feeling the pipe with your hands. You can thaw the frozen condensate pipe to get it working again. Remember to take the following safety precautions when providing solution for water...

Radiator Cold Spots

Radiator cold spots are one of the most common boiler problems. If not taken care of right away, they can stop your boiler from working. However, radiator cold spots do not always need a professional to get detected and fixed. Radiator cold spots are caused by… If the cold spot is at the top of the radiator, it is likely caused by air that entered the system or hydrogen in the system from a corrosion. This will likely require frequent venting. Cold spots that are located in the middle or the bottom of the radiator usually come from magentite build up, a black sludge that is iron oxode formed from the corrosion of electrolytes. If the spots are found all over the system, there is probably bacterial contamination. There are several ways to resolve this issue. Bottom radiator cold spots that are caused by rust can be reduced by doing continued maintenance. You can do this by keeping the radiators vented and by using special chemicals on the central heating system. You can also install a Magnaclean to remove rust continuously. A professional engineer with clean the Magnaclean during your annual boiler service. Another solution is power flushing. This is done by using very strong chemicals and adding them to the system. The radiators are then vibrated to loosen the rust. Power flushing is done to each radiator to remove the worst rust. However, if the system is in really bad shape and has been in that state for years, this will not clear all of the radiator cold spots. Take note that doing these – especially a power...

Leaking Boiler

A leaking boiler is not only annoying, it can also be a sign that you will need bigger boiler repair. While a small puddle of water may not initially look like a big problem, leaks can actually indicate that there is a bigger problem inside your boiler, such as a broken valve or seal inside. When a leak is not fixed right away, it can cause corrosion, rust, short circuits, or boiler explosion. This is actually one of the most common boiler problems homeowners experience, and should be fixed right away by a gas safe registered engineer. The first step here is to determine the cause of your leaking boiler. Remember that you must never try to do complex repairs yourself unless you are trained and certified. Here are some of the common causes of a leaking boiler: Boiler pressure – If you see a puddle of water right below you boiler everyday, this can be a sign that there is a need to reduce the pressure inside the tank. Check the pressure gauge to make sure the pressure is set correctly. (more on how to repressurize a boiler) Boiler seals – Damaged boiler seals will allow water to escape, while the boiler pump could be pushing water out of the seals. Check the sides and the bottom of the boiler tank to find out if the seals are broken. If they are, they will need to be replaced. Cracks – As your boiler gets older, the body may eventually develop stress fatigues and damages. Changes in temperature will expand and contract the metal, leading to cracks. Repairing this...

How to Prevent Boiler Explosion

Learn how you can prevent boiler explosion here. Boiler explosion is defined as the “catastrophic failure” of a boiler. Generally, there are two kinds of boiler explosions: ­ the failure of the pressure of steam and water sides and a furnace’s fuel or air explosion. There are typically three things that can cause a boiler explosion: weak shell or other boiler parts over pressure over heating In short, the boiler is either not strong enough to withstand the pressure that it is expected to take, or the pressure is too high. Fire explosions is used to refer to the fuel or air explosion of a furnace. Here, the explosion usually happens after a burner flameout. Build up of oil fumes or fuel such as natural gas, coal or propane in the combustion chamber can cause an explosion. Fuel explosion inside the firebox can result to damage in the boiler tubes and interior shell. This can in turn cause the boiler’s failure, or a boiler leak. Other causes of boiler explosion are a faulty pressure relief valve boiler plate corrosion low water levels How to prevent boiler explosion Making sure that your boiler has the correct settings can help prevent boiler explosion. The pressure relief valve is of the right size to take off excess pressure before it gets too high to cause an explosion. It is important to set the pressure of the pressure relief valve correctly ­ typically at a lower level than the boiler’s pressure specification. Another way to prevent boiler explosion is regular and proper maintenance. A regular annual boiler service conducted by a gas safe...

How to Thaw a Frozen Condensate Pipe

Knowing how to thaw a frozen condensate pipe can save you a few bucks and a visit from your boiler engineer. Your boiler’s condensate pipe carries the condensation or moisture from the boiler to the outside of your home. The pipe is typically made of plastic that is white or gray in color. It usually runs from your boiler and out through your external wall, emitting the condensation outside. A frozen condensate pipe is a common problem during winter. Because the pipe runs outside your home, it risks getting frozen even if its insulated. The exposed parts of the pipe can freeze easily if exposed to extreme weather conditions. When the pipe freezes, it will cause blockage to the boiler, as the moisture is not emitted. In turn, your boiler may shut down and you might experience no heat or hot water. For most models, an error code or an indication warning light may appear on the control panel. How to thaw a frozen condensate pipe Here are some tips on how to thaw a frozen condensate pipe: Start by locating the frozen part or parts of the pipe. This will most likely occur in areas that the pipe is exposed to the weather. Try running your hand over the pipe and feel the temperature. If a part feels colder than the rest of the pipe, chances are, that part is frozen. Thaw the pipe carefully. Pour warm water over the frozen part of the pipe using a water jug or bottle. You can also use a hot water bottle or a heat pack to do this. Repeat the...
*

Like Us on Facebook

*

Follow Us on Twitter