Exploring Emergency Plumbing Services

Does Your Boiler Need To Be Repaired? 3 Boiler Troubleshooting Tips

by April Rivera

Do you think you may be in need of boiler repair work, but aren't sure? Maybe your boiler is making strange noises or the water pressure or temperature seems off. It's pretty subtle, though, so you can't tell for sure if it is real or just your imagination. Before you call a boiler repair person to come take a look for you, do some troubleshooting on your own to determine if there really is a problem. You'll save yourself some money on the house call, and get the pride of knowing you were able to diagnose a boiler issue on your own. Here are three boiler troubleshooting tips you can use right now.

1. Start With the Obvious...Check the Thermostat

Sometimes, a seeming problem with a boiler is simply a thermostat that is set at the wrong temperature. Maybe the thermostat got re-set during a power outage or surge during a storm. Perhaps someone accidentally bumped up against it and adjusted the temperature. Or, it could actually be broken. A simple check will let you know.

If you have many different networked thermostats in your house, you will need to check the main one. It should be showing a temperature slightly above the room temperature of your house. If it isn't, try adjusting it manually. That may be all you need to do to fix the problem.

If you aren't able to adjust the thermostat, it may be broken, which will affect your water temperature. You will need to call a professional water heater repair service to come out and replace it to get the boiler working properly again.

2. Make Sure the Pilot Is Working

The pilot on a boiler can go out or go bad for many reasons, even if it's just worn out from age and use. If it isn't working (or working correctly), you won't get good results from your boiler. Check and see if the pilot light is actually on. If it isn't, try re-setting it.

You can do this by turning off the gas or electricity to the pilot (depending on which power source your boiler uses). If your boiler uses gas, let it sit for about 10 minutes before trying to re-light it, to give the old gas a chance to leave the area.

Turn the power source back on again and try re-lighting or re-igniting the pilot (depending on whether your boiler's pilot is activated by a match or by depressing an ignition button). If it comes back on, you're back in business. If not, it's time to cal a boiler repair person to come repair it for you.

3. Pay Attention to the Color and Smell of Your Water

You don't even have to look at your boiler to accomplish some troubleshooting techniques. This is one of them. If your water is consistently dark or rust-colored or smells like rotten eggs, you have a problem in the pipes or tank of your boiler.

The problem needs to be consistent over a few days. Just a one or two time occurrence could be a fluke, such as sediment getting into the boiler after a storm, and will fix itself as the system flushes and renews the water supply.

According to TeresaHamilton.com, water that is consistently the wrong color or smell means either rusty or corroded pipes, or possibly algae growing in the tank. These are problems that a professional will need to fix for you.


You want clean, comfortably heated water in your home, and you depend on your boiler to give it to you. If there is a problem, it is important to get a professional to fix it as soon as possible. Troubleshoot using these tips to see if the boiler truly needs repairs. If it does, call an expert and get the problem rectified safely and correctly, so you can enjoy your water again.