Industrial Boiler in Power Plant

4 Common Issues with Industrial Boilers and How to Resolve Them

Regardless of how well you’ve maintained your industrial boiler, it’s common for these machines to break down over time. Most common boiler breakdowns happen during the colder months as machines that were left inactive for a long period of time are suddenly brought back to life.

To take proper care of your industrial boiler and make sure it’s operating smoothly, you need to know how to identify and troubleshoot common issues so they can be addressed in time. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 4 common problems that come with industrial boilers and how to resolve them.

Common Industrial Boiler Problems and Solutions

Even though not all boiler problems require you to call in a heating engineer, it’s advisable that you seek professional help from a qualified and experienced engineer to avoid causing more damage than repair to your industrial boiler.


Leaking and Dripping


Water leaks are one of the most common problems that occur in boilers. To identify water leaks, you need to look for the sound of dripping around the pipes or the tank. It’s also important to check the air vents and other places away from the tank as well.

It can be much more difficult to identify what’s causing your boiler to malfunction in case of a hidden leak. You can use a water meter to determine if a closed system is leaking water, even if it’s from a hidden location that’s not visible to the eye. Consider installing a gauge on your system if you don’t have one so you can identify any water leakage issues right away.

You should consult a Gas Safe registered engineer to get a leaking gas boiler fixed and avoid taking the matter into your own hands.  Water leaks in closed systems can lead to a significant drop in the level of liquid inside the tank and eventually cause your system to shut down.

The leaks may occur due to a broken internal component, such as a pressure valve or a pump seal. If you find that the pressure valve is what’s causing the water to leak, it could be due to high boiler pressure, but if it’s due to a worn out pump seal, you might need to consider replacing it without further delay.


Low Boiler Pressure


Checking the boiler pressure is incredibly simple. All you need to do is have a look at the built-in pressure gauge. If you notice that the needle on the gauge is pointing below, there could be a problem associated with low boiler pressure that’s causing your central heating system to malfunction.

This could be happening due to the following reasons:

  • There’s a water leak somewhere in the system
  • The pressure relief valve is worn out and needs to be replaced
  • A radiator that’s been recently bled

The first thing you need to do is check if there’s a visible leak in the system. Upon finding it, solicit help from a registered engineer. In case there’s no water leak, you can consider re-pressurizing the system yourself if you have done it before. Make sure you’re following the instructions listed in your heating systems’ manual properly to avoid causing further damage.


Loud Banging Noises


It’s completely normal to hear some sounds coming from your boiler when the central heating system is coming on, but if your boiler has started making loud banging noises, then it’s probably a sign that something’s wrong with your boiler and requires your immediate attention.

This can occur if the boiler pressure is too high. A simple way to fix this and bring the pressure down would be to bleed the radiators. ‘Kettling’ can be another reason behind a noisy boiler. It’s a term that engineers use to refer to limescale build-up. Pieces of limescale can get accumulated in the pipes and result in a blockage. Banging noises ensue when water can no longer flow through the pipes as seamlessly as before.

If you hear a gurgling type of sound, it’s mostly caused by air trapped in the pipes that can be resolved by turning the central heating system off and bleeding the radiators. You need to have a radiator key in order to bleed the radiator. A small screwdriver with a flat head can also do the job for some radiators.

Once all the radiators have been bled effectively, take a look at the pressure gauge to check whether the boiler pressure has returned to normal or not. If it has, you can safely turn the central heater back on.


Pilot Light Keeps Going Out


The tiny blue flame that’s meant to light larger burners is called a pilot light. If the pilot keeps going out, then it could be the result of a broken thermocouple that has stopped the gas supply or due to build-up of deposit in the pilot light.

Before you can try reigniting the pilot light, make sure there aren’t any problems associated with the gas supply. If none of your gas appliances are working or your gas stopcock is turned on but the boiler isn’t getting any gas, it’s recommended that you contact your gas supplier right away.

If there’s nothing wrong with the gas supply, relight the pilot light by following the instructions provided in your boiler’s manual on how to ignite the pilot light. If none of these methods works, get a reputable Gas Safe engineer to diagnose and resolve the problem.

It’s important to note that industrial steam boiler maintenance requires you to conduct in-depth audits regularly and look for ways to improve their effectiveness, energy usage, and efficiency.

Need help uncovering deficiencies and problems in your boiler systems? Contact us so we can connect you to our engineer experts.

Final Words

Your steam boiler’s efficiency is instrumental in the operation of your industrial buildings. Breakdowns can occur even when you’re taking all possible precautions and carrying out regular inspections. In order to identify the most common problems with industrial boilers, you need to have an understanding of how the system works.

You need to know when to call in a professional and when the problem is simple enough for you to take care of it on your own. Even though boiler service and repair can take longer when you’ve hired professional help, they often know what they’re doing and may take care of other problems as well that could’ve escaped your attention.

4 Common Issues with Industrial Boilers and How to Resolve Them