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.

 

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I called them a few weeks ago for some issues in an newly purchased investment property (sink and shower not draining, water heater not working). Unfortunately the issue with the sink was more extensive than we thought but I appreciated that he cut to the chase and let me know up front. They have been incredibly flexible with scheduling since we have had to coordinate some other things in the process with contractors moving cabinets, etc. They are generally in and out without a trace which has been great, and I felt that the price was reasonable. I am pleased with them overall and plan to use them again for my investments and primary residence.
Justine Zinskie
Justine Zinskie
19:34 11 Feb 20
I have used Carroll’s for about 25 years, at two houses. They are quick to come, and always pleased with their work and service. Highly recommend!M Borton
Maggie Borton
Maggie Borton
17:35 10 Feb 20
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.
Ben Hagen
Ben Hagen
16:12 27 Dec 19
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.
Cat Momma
Cat Momma
16:43 25 Sep 19
Very reliable, knowledgeable, and courteous. We've done business with them for years and wouldn't call anyone else.
Elizabeth Roderick
Elizabeth Roderick
17:34 23 Sep 19
I have been a customer of Carroll Plumbing and Heating for over 30 years and would not go anywhere else.
Bill Fielden
Bill Fielden
23:38 16 Aug 19
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!!
Jill Anderson
Jill Anderson
17:00 03 Jul 19
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.
Patrick Siewert
Patrick Siewert
01:52 27 Mar 19
Excellent Customer Service
Justin Bowman
Justin Bowman
12:08 23 Mar 19
Best plumbing, heating and cooling contractor in the metro area!
Jacob Ray
Jacob Ray
18:32 21 Mar 19
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.
Matt Gardner
Matt Gardner
02:48 23 Feb 19
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!
Randy Sklar
Randy Sklar
15:54 20 Feb 19
I called this morning due to my heat pump not turning on, they fit me into their busy schedule, great service, technician was extremely knowledgeable and friendly, definitely will be using them in the future for some plumbing needs, highly recommend them
Tammy Farmer
Tammy Farmer
20:36 23 Jan 19
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!
TK Babington
TK Babington
04:02 20 Dec 18
Best plumbing company around :)
Brandon C. Adkins
Brandon C. Adkins
15:01 19 Nov 18
Carroll Plumbing & Heating has THE best customer service and response time of anyone I have ever used. I would highly recommend them!!!
Barbara Munsch Bayler
Barbara Munsch Bayler
20:10 12 Jan 18
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!
Kimberly Faith Earles
Kimberly Faith Earles
15:38 05 Jan 18
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!
Kimberly Earles
Kimberly Earles
21:49 29 Dec 17
The best customer service, honest, and fair pricing. I highly recommend them�
Stacie Platt
Stacie Platt
03:09 26 Dec 17
My Wife and I have been using Carroll Plumbing-Heating-Cooling for a variety of home plumbing (water and propane) "jobs" for approximately 4 years. Before describing our most recent experience, we wanted to share a summary of all the projects they have completed.Our first experience with Carroll Plumbing-Heating-Cooling was during the total remodel of our kitchen and laundry room. This was an involved project since we completely changed the footprint of the spaces and therefore had to relocate all the plumbing. We were continually impressed with their professionalism, attention to detail and most of all - the daily communication on the progress/concerns and timeline updates regarding the plumbing related parts of the project. Later, we decided to upgrade our conventional electric water heater to a Rinnai on-demand, propane-fueled water heater (including the installation of the required propane gas lines/connections, required valves). We consulted multiple contractors for bids and were pleased to see that Carroll Plumbing-Heating-Cooling were experienced installers/service providers of Rinnai on-demand water heaters and had competitive pricing for a "turn-key" project including the required Richmond City permits. We decided to go with Carroll based on our previous experience and were delighted again with the quality of their work, commitment to constant communication and competitive cost of the project.Approximately 2 years ago, we again contracted Carroll to perform the plumbing related work; upgrades, etc. regarding the complete renovation of our main, full-bathroom. Their attention to detail in execution and communication with not only us but the other trades (tile, electrical, finish-work etc.) was impressive and refreshing.Our most recent experience occurred during the week prior to Thanksgiving. On 11/19/2017, my Wife contacted Kim at Carroll Plumbing-Heating-Cooling regarding a problem we were experiencing (pipe-knocking/banging noises) after recently installing a new high efficiency washing machine. Kim immediately dispatched a plumber/Rinnai specialist and the identified the problem that day as a condition called "Waterhammering". The part was ordered and installed the next day at a surprisingly low cost. Carroll has always satisfied our plumbing needs - we don't hesitate to call them when an issue or project arises. Give them a call and experience their commitment to customer satisfaction yourself.
Craig Kodak
Craig Kodak
01:37 23 Nov 17
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.
Tara Thomas
Tara Thomas
23:59 15 Nov 17
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!
Christina Garnett
Christina Garnett
17:46 10 Nov 17
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.
Blair Nelsen
Blair Nelsen
22:17 24 Oct 17
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.
George Smallfield
George Smallfield
18:35 31 Aug 17
Great team of guys...patient, pleasant and professional. Many Thanks!
Kennedy Forbes
Kennedy Forbes
23:38 11 Aug 17
Just the best in terms of product, service and follow-through!
Kathy Messick
Kathy Messick
19:06 13 Mar 17
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.
Jackie Blosser
Jackie Blosser
20:41 14 Oct 16
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.
Ryan Norwood
Ryan Norwood
05:07 02 Nov 15
Our bathroom sink was backed up and none of the usual fixes were working, so we called Carroll. They sent Charlie out right away and he had us fixed in under an hour, explaining what the problem was and how we might address it in the future. He was friendly, competent, and professional! We are planning to use Carroll from now on. Great experience. Thanks!
Casey Dokoupil
Casey Dokoupil
16:03 24 Aug 15
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.
Neal Lappe
Neal Lappe
12:16 16 Apr 15
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.
Elizabeth Long
Elizabeth Long
14:48 09 Apr 15
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.
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
00:48 18 Nov 14
We are in the process of renovations on our 1932 home. Bruce, Jeff, and Jim have provided great service and technical expertise on boiler and hot water heater replacement, HVAC, and general plumbing. They and their assistants are on-time, courteous, friendly, patient, responsive, skilled professionals. We couldn't be more pleased!
Camille Harris
Camille Harris
01:05 22 Oct 14
My first encounter with Carroll Plumbing and Heating was in 2006, while working for a competitor of Carroll's. As I recall, I was intimidated and thought, "I would never be able to work for them (Carroll Plumbing and Heating, CH&H)". C.P.& H. does not just rip out and replace. This company specializes in repairs. Finding innovative ways of making difficult situations work in their favor, for the sake of the customer. When I went to apply for a job, I was taken in and assigned to work with Tommy Hall. Tommy taught me so much about plumbing, I now can use his snarky remark of "I forgot more about plumbing than you know" when I talk to other plumbers. Today, I own and operate a sewer and drain company in Massachusetts. Just yesterday, I was given such a complement and was reminded, I learned from the best.
James Leasure
James Leasure
04:21 02 Jun 14