How Should My Boiler Be Maintained?

Posted on April 12th, 2018 by carrolladmin

The boiler that you rely on to keep the environment nice and warm inside your home or your place of work has been giving you reliable service for several years, but now you are concerned about a decrease in performance. No one wants to see their family or fellow coworkers shivering in the cold because of a malfunctioning boiler.

It’s easy to take our heating systems for granted as long as they are working properly and efficiently. However, failure to do maintenance on a regular basis can lead to problems that will wind up costing much more to take care of than if they had been noticed earlier by a trained professional, who would take care of the issue on the spot.

This means that the total cost of ownership of a boiler will be reduced if you arrange for regular maintenance, cleaning and inspections. Depending on your experience and ability, you may be considering doing maintenance on your own or you are now determining that it’s probably best to instead bring in some professionals.


Basics of Boiler Heating in Richmond, VA

A boiler consists of a large container that stores a supply of water and then heats it up. The resulting steam that is generated pushes through a series of pipes to distribute heat throughout the building, whether it is your home or a commercial establishment here in the greater Richmond, Virginia area.

A nice, warm radiator is a welcoming site when you need to get comfortable while it’s freezing outside. What’s more, water moving through the pipes and into radiant heating loops placed throughout the foundation of the building in modern setups actually delivers heat up through the floor, which is a major benefit for homeowners and commercial establishments alike.

Consider the fact that about half of energy costs in the home go toward cooling and heating. And if your boiler heating system is not working as efficiently as possible, you are basically wasting energy and losing money on your utility bills. Furthermore, if the system has to work harder to produce the same heating results, you are putting more wear and tear on it than is necessary, which can lead to more costly repairs.


Boiler Maintenance in Richmond, VA

With a boiler, which is a dynamic system that relies on a great deal of energy and water that needs to stay heated, you need to conduct maintenance on a regular basis to keep everything running in tip-top shape.

Without a properly maintained boiler, the system is more likely to malfunction or even break down without warning. This could be disastrous for your business if employees find it too uncomfortable to remain on the premises as well as drive out potential vendors or customers. And no homeowner wants to see his or her family shivering because the boiler broke down due to lack of maintenance.

Begin by touring your property, looking for leaks throughout the boiler system’s tubes. If you see any leaks, it’s time to either repair them or to replace any problematic tubes. You should also inspect all the gaskets to see if they are showing signs of wear in case they need to be replaced as well.

A wide range of items needs to be checked during any standard boiler maintenance program, including:

  • Gauges for Temperature and Pressure
  • Gas Burner
  • Pressure Relief Valve
  • Water Relief Valve
  • Drainage Valve
  • Flow Control Valve
  • Circulator Pump
  • Expansion Tank
  • Air Vents

Any or all of these parts may be starting to fail, needing repairs or replacement. This list is by no means comprehensive and is provided here to give you a sense of the many things that must be inspected, preferably by a well-trained heating professional.

Keep an eye out for water on the floor underneath the boiler. A small leak can become a precursor to a devastating accident that harms your property. This is another case when it would pay to bring in a knowledgeable and highly experienced HVAC technician for assistance.

Listen closely as you make your tour. If your boiler is making noises, the problem may be beyond your capability to diagnose, let alone repair. Sounds of gurgling are not uncommon in boilers that are failing or malfunctioning. Banging sounds can be startling, and if you hear this kind of noise, it could be an indication that the pipes were not placed properly, clanging together when water and air start moving through them. They’ll need to be adjusted or refit to prevent any more occurrence of this noise.

If you have noticed that lately heat is not being delivered equally to all parts of your home or facility, this is another sign of a problem that a professional will need to address.

The pilot light flame is another indicator of boiler health and safety. Your boiler’s flame should glow blue. Red flame indicates there is dust, oil or tar in the system. Orange or yellow flame is a marker of fuel inefficiency or carbon monoxide. Call a professional HVAC technician as soon as you notice the flame is not a clear blue.

When a boiler is about to malfunction or is already exhibiting problems, the result can be injury or death if you don’t take care of the equipment. For example, a blockage in the boiler’s gas flue (after gas combustion) can cause dangerous emissions to build up, leading to injury or death from carbon monoxide poisoning. A licensed professional can come out and perform tests to see if the system is safe or not.


Is it Time for an Upgrade?

If your boiler system is old and only uses radiators to transmit heat throughout the home or facility, you may be in the market for an upgrade. You can add radiant heating loops for heating through the floor (which is efficient because heat rises), for example. An older boiler will not be as efficient.

So if you upgrade to a modern boiler, you can count on more efficient heating as well as a break on your energy bills. If you’re a homeowner, you and your family can take pride in doing your part to lower your carbon footprint because you are more energy efficient. And company owners can brag about how they have “gone green” with a more environmentally friendly heating setup.


Get Assistance for Your Boiler Problems Today

In some cases, the issues that come up when doing boiler maintenance will beyond your knowledge and skills, whether you are a homeowner or a facilities manager at a company in the greater Richmond, Virginia area. This is when you don’t want to risk any more downtime with your heating system, for the sake of family or employees comfort and well being. To learn more about our approach to boiler maintenance, cleaning and repairs or to make an appointment for service, please contact Carroll Plumbing today.


I reached out to Carroll Plumbing & Heating to see what was going on with the A/C unit at my rental property. David returned my call promptly and we scheduled an appointment to investigate the issue. He was very professional, knowledgeable, and able to answer all my questions. The pricing was very fair and reasonable. The install crew was very friendly, both introducing themselves upon entering the home. The system was swapped out quickly and they made sure I understood the new system prior to leaving. I was very happy with the service provided by Carroll Plumbing & Heating. They are easy to work and I highly recommend.
Carroll Plumbing and Heating installed my new gas hot water heater. Their technicians did an exceptional job. They were professional, polite, knowledgeable, and respectful of me and my home. Dave and Zach installed the gas hot water heater. Dave made sure that he answered all of my questions and that I knew how the new hot water heater worked with my Aqua Therm furnace. It was a pleasure working with multiple technicians from Carroll Plumbing and Heating.
Super quick to come tell me that my problem wasn’t a problem. Crew was honest & chill.
I have now used Carroll Plumbing three times (2 crisis times and 1 regular fix) and each time they were knowledgeable, responsive and fit me in on emergency basis. They are wonderful. If you live in an old home, you WILL have some plumbing issue at some point and your reliance on a good plumber who will come figure it out and explain it well is crucial. They are the ONLY people in Richmond I will ever use.
Our hot water heater died and we were able to get a estimator out in the morning and the heater replaced in the afternoon. They were professional, friendly and easy to do business with. Highly recommmend!
I’ve had several occasions to use Carroll Plumbing and they have always been great. Today was no exception. I had an emergency and they were able to stay on top of their schedules to work us in. Problem quickly solved. Thanks for the fast and efficient service!
We have used Carroll’s plumbing after seeing multiple positive reviews on the NextDoor app. Truly a great group of staff. From management who helped to troubleshoot an item, to Albert who specializes in sewer-related items, to Dustin, Phillip and Jamaine. We had the whole crew it seems at one point of another to our 1940’s bungalow to assist with old house issues. Schedulers are also always pleasant and responsive. Knowledgeable employees who consistently deliver great service!
I have used Carroll for everything from installation of a ducted minisplit a/c system to repair work on an aged water boiler heating system and have found them to be excellent on every job. They are 100% transparent on billing, if a job takes less time than what was budgeted the final bill reflects time spent on the job rather than the estimate. Just wonderful folks.
Great job replacing sink faucet.
Best in Richmond by far. I am a Landlord and every single time I have had a problem they have responded immediately, this has been going on for over 10 years, I am absolutely delighted that we have such a fine provider of important community service. Keep it up! Thank you Carroll.
Carroll Plumbing & Heating came through for me in an emergency. I called for help when my home warranty company couldn't send out a plumber right away. I had a busted hot water tank in my attic and was leaking water through my ceiling. I had a real emergency and they came within 30 mins. The Techs got in my attic cut off the gas to the tank and water. Then they drained the water. It was a hard job due to the tight area in my attic. The were very professional and knowledgeable. The also wore their masks. I would recommend them to anyone. I give them an "A" plus. Thanks to them guys at Carroll.
Called over holiday weekend w leaking sewage pipe. They advised cost would be high and suggested temporary water collection. Saved us money and earned our respect for their integrity. Made repair quickly after. Get service and workmanship.
Robert and Mike are great. Arrived on time and went right to work. I had another issue and they took the time to explain what I needed. I have more work to be done and plan to ask for them specifically.
I have been a customer of Carroll Plumbing and Heating for over 30 years and would not go anywhere else.
I will never call anyone else again! They were so nice, super fast, and very efficient!!! Everyone from the receptionist to the dispatcher and the technicians. The manager even checked in on us!! Cannot say enough great things about this company!! Thank you so much!!
The guys from Carroll were prompt, professional, patient & reasonable. They diagnosed my problem, replaced the parts and were in & out within an hour. This was the first time I've use Carroll and I can guarantee there will be a second when the need arises.
Excellent Customer Service
Best plumbing, heating and cooling contractor in the metro area!
Excellent job and workmanship. We had an emergency issue that required a gas line replacement. They were on the spot, courteous, and professional. We never had to go a night without heat or hot water. I'll go back to this place for all of my heating and plumbing needs. Dustin is a great plumber and Bruce runs a tight shop -- personally making sure customers are happy.
Great service! I called them late Monday and they were at my house Tuesday morning the next day. Always have had a great experience with Carroll. Highly recommend them!
Had an extremely poor experience with another plumbing company in Richmond and was sick of dealing with trying to get in contact with their "managers." My roommate found Carroll online and I called for an appointment. The receptionist that answered was very nice and seemed to know exactly who to send me to for immediate assistance, rather than have me play phone tag with multiple departments.A kind man named Bruce was over to diagnose the issue, walk me through the repair and how our aged heating system worked, and think of a creative solution that saved me over $500 off the total bill with a fair invoice that detailed the work demands and parts used--all in the same day. They may be a little pricey, but I was incredibly impressed with their speed, customer service, and attentiveness to the intricacies of aged baseboard radiators. I've never worked with any other home service companies who were willing to quote a new and innovative solution for a typically expensive repair. Keep up the great work!
Best plumbing company around :)
I called this company due to an emergency that I had. My pipes burst and I had no heat or hot water and it was 14 degrees outside. Bruce was extremely helpful, kind and quick to solve the problem. They came out quickly, gave a reasonable estimate and stayed until they were assured the problem was fixed. Dave was a great help, along with the other gentleman who helped him. I will definitely use this company in the future and will recommend them to anyone with heating and plumbing needs! They are knowledgeable, have excellent customer service, and helped me out tremendously when I needed them. A+ job!
Carroll is the best HVAC & Plumbing company in town! Two years ago, I had 5 different plumbers take a look at a new water heater where the pilot was not remaining lit. All 5 incompetent plumbers (several whom has fancy commercials that air today) could not figure out the problem. The last plumber actually referred me to Carroll and I so glad he didn't allow pride to keep him from sending me to someone who knew what they were doing. A week before X-mas, Carroll came out, figured out the entire WH needed to be replaced (through warranty), and though they didn't install the old WH they handled the entire warranty process that included removing the old WH and installing the new one. The entire process was completed in 2 days. About 3 days after they installed it, there was slight condensation buildup on one of the pipes that concerned me and after calling, Carroll immediately came out and stopped it. Today, after turning the heat on for the 1st time since last winter, I noticed cooler air blowing. I called Carroll this morning and within a few hours the dispatcher had Jacob come by. Within a few minutes Jacob quickly diagnosed the problem (which was a closed valve that was mistakenly left off when they came out last time). Jacob was a peach and the dispatcher was very kind.
Carroll Plumbing was fantastic! They were able to get me an appointment the very next day after I first called and the technician (Kenny) that they sent out was efficient, friendly and explained everything thoroughly. We will definitely use Carroll for any future plumbing needs! I HIGHLY recommend them!
Carroll Plumbing came to our house within 24 hours of our initial call. Our technician, Dustin, was incredible. He was on time, polite, courteous and friendly. He fixed our shower, installed a new sink in our basement and replaced the main shutoff valve for our water. He was fantastic and we will ask for Dustin by name in the future. We have used Carroll Plumbing for over 15 years and were saddened when our former plumber retired. Fortunately, Dustin is absolutely top notch.
Carroll is always on pointe. They came today to fix a leaky and sticking shower. They had to take off 3 valve controllers to get to the problem and were very careful to keep all the trim and insides in great condition. I was worried about working on our expensive shower fixtures, but perfect job. They have done several fixes for me over the years - all great quality - so I figured it was time to give them the review they deserve.
I manage a business located down the street from Carroll Plumbing. We were having our internet upgraded and the contractor doing the work hit our water line. We were without water to our building at 3PM in the afternoon and were facing the possibility of having to close our business. I called Carroll Plumbing and they were over assessing the issue within 10-15 minutes. By 4:30PM our line was fixed and we were back up and running. I cannot thank Carroll Plumbing enough for turning what could have been a disaster into a tiny bump in our day.
Very thorough and personable, I've used their service for years on my HVAC units and recently had them replace my system, install new thermostats, and expand the ductwork. They are timely, clean up after themselves, always answer all of my questions and are never in a hurry. I will continue to use their services in the future.
Had a problem with a dripping faucet. Aragon from Carroll came out on a Sunday, quickly diagnosed the problem, fixed it, tested it and explained to me clearly what had happened. He was very friendly, on time, worked quickly, and used his boot covers while in the house. It was a great experience.
Great company to deal with if you need plumbing work. This most recent need for Carroll was to replace my 16 year old hot water heater. They called me to let me know they were running behind and then called me to tell me the plumber was on his way. After the hot water heater was installed, the plumber reviewed it operation with me. I will use Carroll again.
We came home from work in early spring to find our furnace not working. Carroll came out the next day to look it over. They performed a quick fix until the part that was needed came in. They were back the very next day (on a weekend), working hard to get it working. Everyone from the folks in the office to the technician who did the work were professional and very helpful.I highly recommend Carroll Plumbing and will surely call them first when I need any heating or plumbing work.