You can find boilers in numerous offices, cleaning facilities, and hospitals across Texas. Boilers heat approximately one out of four commercial buildings, and they also provide hot water for sinks and appliances. 

This equipment plays a crucial role in buildings with considerable heat or water needs, so it’s vital to perform adequate maintenance to keep things running smoothly. Regular maintenance ensures you’ll catch a minor issue with your boiler before it escalates into a major problem, saving you time, money, and a whole lot of headache later on. 

Be sure to schedule a professional boiler inspection if you notice any of these warning signs:

1. Water Leaks

A leak can cause rust or corrosion to form and eventually inflict severe damage. You might see water on the floor, but it could also remain hidden inside of the boiler, avoiding detection until rust eventually reveals its presence.

Leaks can have many harmful effects, including pressure fluctuations, higher fuel consumption and overheating. The relief valve could rust and become inoperable, which creates a significant safety hazard.

2. Failure to Start

If the boiler shuts down and refuses to run, it might indicate a clogged filter or blocked air supply. Boilers can fail — and pose a serious danger — when they lack sufficient air.

A loose electrical connection, thermostat failure, or fuel shortage could also trigger this problem. Professional inspectors know how to quickly identify and correct the cause.

3) Inadequate Output

When a commercial boiler continues to work but stops generating enough hot water or heat, it may need cleaning or repair. Scale deposits have the potential to decrease efficiency to the point that a system’s capacity declines.

Hidden water leaks may represent the root of the problem. They often result in greater scale accumulations and reduced heat output.

4) Strange Noises

It’s normal for a heating system’s motor and pump to produce various sounds.

However, certain noises may signify major problems. Popping might occur if iron or sediment has accumulated in the hot water tank. Pumps sometimes make buzzing or whining sounds when they need service.

Schedule an inspection immediately if an oil burner generates a loud bang as it starts to operate — this is an indication that an explosion is possible.

5) Rising Expense

Has the fuel bill increased substantially without any changes in temperature or demand? If so, prompt service could cut energy costs and reduce the likelihood of system failure.

A water or fuel leak may bring about greater consumption. If a boiler is leaking existing warm water, it will use more energy to heat cold replacement water.

In the event that a gas or fuel leak is ruled out, the system may need cleaning or a thorough tuneup to resume working at maximum efficiency.

6) Metallic Odor

Boilers sometimes produce a potent metallic smell when fuel leaks occur. It’s important to address the problem before the equipment catches fire or causes severe environmental pollution. This odor may also indicate that the system is leaking carbon monoxide.

If a smell resembles sulfur, the boiler might need a new sacrificial anode. The odor comes from a bacteria that sometimes grows on aluminum or magnesium.

7) Carbon Monoxide

A carbon monoxide detector will sound its alarm if the boiler releases significant amounts of this invisible, odorless gas. Staff members may suffer from nausea, vomiting, headaches or dizziness.

If you suspect your boiler is releasing carbon monoxide, be sure to have a professional check all gas and oil equipment as soon as possible. Various problems can cause a boiler to release CO indoors. For example, it might not have enough air to function properly.

Even when you haven’t noticed any warning signs that your boiler needs a repair, it’s best to schedule a boiler inspection if a technician hasn’t examined your equipment during the past 12 months. 

Manufacturers, HVAC contractors, and various government agencies all recommend annual inspections, and for good reason — by the time you catch any of these warning signs, the problem has likely been escalating for quite some time. 

Countless Texas building owners trust the experienced commercial boiler specialists at Willbanks, Inc. Contact us today to schedule a comprehensive inspection that will prevent breakdowns and maximize efficiency.

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