Every hydronic heating system requires annual maintenance. Most boiler warranties require professional maintenance each year. It’s also a good practice for savings. It will lower your month-to-month heating costs, help avoid unexpected repairs and extend the life of your equipment.

Flush the Boiler

You should flush both gas and electric boilers annually. That includes both hot water and steam boilers. This is necessary to clean the tank of sediment and mineral buildup. Failure to do this will eventually compromise the tank and shorten its lifespan. If the boiler has been running, your plumber will need to turn the system off and wait for it to cool down.

Most residential units have an integrated drain valve. Your plumber will clean and inspect this to ensure it’s in proper condition before connecting a drain hose to it. The next step is to drain the water into a container and dispose of it properly. You must then close the drain valve and refill the tank with fresh water. It’s necessary at this point to cycle the system, but your plumber will do that after completing the following steps.

Inspect and Clean the Start and Fuel Mechanisms

The start and power mechanisms are important considerations when it comes to safe operation and long equipment life. These components will vary depending on whether you have an electric or gas unit. Electric boilers have an electric starter and heating element. Fuel-burning boilers have a pilot light mechanism and burner. With electric, the technician will clean and test the components.

With a gas furnace, the maintenance is a bit more involved because the components get much dirtier. Your technician must also inspect and test the exhaust system to ensure that the dangerous gases are properly vented. Finally, it’s necessary to check CO monitors and replace batteries as needed.

Bleed the Radiators

Many hydronic heating systems deliver heat through the home via radiators, such as baseboard and wall radiators. Through use and over the course of a year, air can build up in them. If you’ve ever noticed a cold spot in your radiator, that is an air pocket.

With the system still off, your plumber will begin at the radiator closest to the boiler. The plumber will go from radiator to radiator, completing each floor, and then moving up to the next if applicable. Bleeding is relatively simple as radiators have an integrated valve. Once the valve is open, water will sputter out. Collect it in a container. Once the flow of water is steady, the radiator no longer has air.

Check the Water Softener if Applicable

Experts recommend a water softening system with most boilers and certainly in cases where the water is significantly hard. Otherwise, the limescale will wreak havoc and seriously reduce boiler life. Maintenance typically involves cleaning the water softener and checking the control board. In some cases, proactive repairs may be necessary, such as replacing the resin beads.

Check Temperature and Pressure

The final step requires turning the boiler on and allowing it to cycle. In the meantime, your technician will clean and then inspect your thermostat to ensure proper operation. It’s necessary to check the thermostat setting of the boiler and ensure that it’s correct. Optimal temperature ranges from 120 degrees F to 200 degrees F and depends on your home and climate. The plumber will ensure that the actual water temperature matches the setting.

Finally, you must test boiler pressure. When running and at temperature, pressure will usually be around 20 psi. Most modern boilers are fine up to around 30 psi. Above that point, you risk damage to the boiler, such as failed seals. Modern boilers aren’t really dangerous in terms of explosions due to high pressure. That said, high pressure can result in repairs that are very expensive.

Boiler Maintenance in Stroudsburg

R.J. Groner Inc. has provided boiler services throughout Stroudsburg and the surrounding areas for more than 90 years. Our plumbers also clean drains, detect and fix leaks, repipe water and gas lines and repair sewer lines. We install fixtures, sump pumps, tank and tankless water heaters and water filtration systems as well. Our HVAC technicians install, maintain and repair all manner of heating and cooling technologies. That includes ducted and ductless, zoned HVAC and geothermal. We also have indoor air quality experts that clean ducts and install air purifiers, dehumidifiers and humidifiers. Call us today or contact us online for an appointment or to learn more about the services.

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