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Photograph of a burning-up and possibly dangerous oil-fired heating boilerHeating Boiler Troubleshooting
How to Recognize & Diagnose Heating Boiler Problems

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Heating boiler defects & operating problem troubleshooting:

Here we explain how to recognize & diagnose problems with residential heating boilers, including loss of heat, heating boiler noises, leaks, odors, or smoke, and high heating costs.

We identify different types of building heating systems and outline how to diagnose and repair heating system problems.

This article series answers most questions about central hot water heating system troubleshooting, inspection, diagnosis, and repairs.



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How To Recognize Heating System Defects: the Heating System Inspector Must Know the Equipment

Backpressure Burn at an oil burner (C) Daniel FriedmanIf you have no heat and need help diagnosing the cause,
see HEATING LOSS DIAGNOSIS-BOILERS - forced hot water heating baseboard, radiators, convectors, radiant heat

or HEATING LOSS DIAGNOSIS-FURNACES - forced warm air heat

The photograph at page top shows a heating boiler which is burning through it's steel outer jacket - this condition is a potential fire hazard and requires immediate inspection and repair.

There is probably a combustion gas leak at this heater. Contact us to suggest text changes and additions and, if you wish, to receive online listing and credit for that contribution.

If you don't know whether your heat is provided by a furnace (hot air) or boiler (hot water)
see HEATING SYSTEM TYPES

Article Series Contents:

Types of Defects and Problems with Hot Water Heating Boilers - Hydronic Heating Systems, Loss of Heat, Noises, Leaks

What sort of defects should you look for when inspecting a heating system?

How to Diagnose Loss of Heat With Oil-Fired Hot Water Heating Systems

How to Diagnose Noises during Heating System & Oil Burner Operation

Complete details about all types of heating system noises, causes, cures, are found
at HEATING SYSTEM NOISE DIAGNOSIS.

Noises specific to an oil burner used at heating boilers or water heaters are discussed
at OIL BURNER NOISE SMOKE ODORS. Excerpts below focus on some of the most common heating system noises.

Evaluate Heating Boiler Leaks & Corrosion

When observing evidence of leaks on a heating boiler, keep these points in mind:

See BOILER LEAKS CORROSION STAINS

and LEAKS at BASEBOARD, CONVECTOR, RADIATOR for details.

A Catalog of Common Heating System Leak Points - Where to Watch for Heating System Leaks

How to Recognize & Diagnose Inadequate Combustion Air, Sooting, or Burn Marks at Oil-Fired Heating Systems

Backpressure sooting at an oil fired furnace (C) Daniel Friedman Backpressure Burn at an oil burner (C) Daniel Friedman

Lack of adequate combustion aircan be indicated by or can result in these heating system operating and heating system safety worries: 
See COMBUSTION AIR REQUIREMENTS

Also see Unsafe Air Conditioning or Heating Duct Openings which describes the risks of reduced combustion air on hot air heating systems when certain return air duct defects are present, and also see CARBON MONOXIDE - CO and CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR

A Guide to Heating Equipment Malfunctions & Their Implications

Examples of Heating System Defects with Important Implications

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Continue reading at DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-BOILER or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see

AIR-BOUND HEATING SYSTEMS

BOILER INSPECTION GUIDE

BOILER NOISE SMOKE ODORS

BOILER OPERATING STEPS

CIRCULATOR PUMPS & RELAYS

GAS BURNER FLAME & NOISE DEFECTS

GAS FIRED HEATING BOILER PROBLEMS

HEAT WON'T TURN OFF

HEAT WON'T TURN ON

NO HEAT - BOILER

NOISE, HEATING SYSTEMS

OIL BURNER INSPECTION & REPAIR

PRESSURE & TEMPERATURE SETTINGS, CONTROLS

RADIATORS

RELIEF VALVES, BOILERS

RESET SWITCH, CAD CELL RELAY

STACK RELAY

THERMOSTATS, HEATING / COOLING

WATER FEEDER VALVE, HYDRONIC BOILER

ZONE VALVES, HEATING

Suggested citation for this web page

BOILER OPERATING PROBLEMS at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES: ARTICLE INDEX to ARTICLE INDEX to HEATING BOILERS

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