Sunset Air Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Boilers’

Boiler Issues to Watch Out for This Winter

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Boilers are well-known for their longevity, far outlasting heating systems like furnaces on average. This is because boilers have fewer moving parts, which means that they have fewer ways for things to go wrong. Despite this, however, they are not invincible. There are a number of boiler problems that you need to watch out for this winter, as the system will be under much more stress than usual. Let’s take a look at some of those problems now.

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What Is Boiler Kettling, And What Should I Do About It?

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

With heating season in full swing, it is important to keep a close eye on your boiler for any developing problems. For example, have you noticed a deep rumbling coming from your boiler when it’s on? If so, you may have a problem with kettling. Boiler kettling is one of the more serious issues that can affect your system, though if dealt with quickly enough it can be prevented from dealing lasting damage. Read on for an explanation of kettling, and how to deal with it.

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The Advantages of Boiler Heating

Monday, October 26th, 2015

The arrival of heating season means different things to different people. For some, it means that it’s time to get their heaters ready for the cold months of winter. For others, it means that it’s time to install a new system entirely. If you fall into that second group, you should consider installing a boiler heating system. Let’s take a look at how boiler systems work, and the many advantages that they can offer you.

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Why Won’t My Boiler Stay Lit?

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Boiler heating is a great option for heating your home. It’s energy efficient, cost effective, and avoids a lot of the disadvantages that forced air systems possess. Just like any other system, however, your boiler is vulnerable to all sorts of possible problems. One of the most common problems is an inability to stay lit. Read on for an explanation of why this might be happening.

Pilot Light Issues

Most boilers use pilot lights as ignition sources. The pilot light is a flame that burns underneath your boiler 24 hours a day. This flame is used to actually light the burners that power the boiler when the heat is turned on. Pilot lights are notorious for going out seemingly without reason. It’s usually a simple affair to relight them, which often fixes the problem. If the pilot light is not staying lit, however, you likely have a problem with the thermocouple.

The thermocouple is a long metal wire that acts as a heat sensor for the pilot light. One end of this wire is installed close enough to the flame to be heated by it, while the other end is connected to the gas valve. When the thermocouple is heated by the pilot light, it creates an electrical current that travels to the gas valve and keeps it open. When the pilot light goes out, the electrical current stops and the gas valve closes. This is a safety measure to prevent gas from leaking into your home. A faulty thermocouple is one that can no longer keep the gas valve open for whatever reason, cutting off the supply of fuel to the pilot light and smothering it.


Kettling is another factor that may be contributing to your boiler not staying lit. Kettling is what happens when hard water, which contains a lot of minerals, flows through the boiler’s heat exchanger. Over the years, hard water can deposit its minerals in the heat exchanger until they eventually block the flow of water. This causes the boiler to shut itself down as a safety measure, to prevent the buildup of dangerous water pressure levels.

If your boiler is having problems, call Sunset Air. Our heating experts cover all of Olympia.

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Is It Time to Replace Your Boiler?

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Your boiler can develop a few strange behaviors as it gets older. Not all of these necessarily signal a need for replacement. However, there are a few things that can pretty reliably indicate that your boiler is reaching the end of its life. Let’s have a look at the signs that your boiler is ready to be replaced.


The first thing you’ll want to consider is the age of the system. If your boiler is more than 15 years old, chances are it’s declining in a number of ways. This includes efficiency. Boiler systems are improving every year, just like other heating systems. That doesn’t mean you should go out and buy a new one every year, but it does mean that upgrading to a model almost two decades more recent will drastically improve your heating capabilities. Wear and tear is also a factor you should consider, which brings us to our next point.

Frequency of Repairs

Every heating system has the occasional part that needs to be repaired or replaced. The older your system gets, however, the more wear and tear will accumulate on the various parts. Eventually, this wear and tear will get bad enough that multiple parts will begin to fail, either simultaneously or in rapid succession. When you see this start happening, it’s a pretty good sign that your boiler needs to be replaced.


Now, technically this whole post is about deterioration, but for this point we’re going to discuss two specific things: Kettling and rust. Kettling is what happens when minerals in the water of your boiler build up in the heat exchanger over years of use. Eventually, these form mineral deposits that restrict or block the flow of water through the heat exchanger, causing a massive increase in pressure and a distinct rumbling sound. If you hear this rumbling sound from your boiler, call a professional right away.

Rust is often caused by leaks within the boiler itself, rather than water from some external source. As the boiler ages, parts of the water supply system will degrade faster than others. This causes leaks which culminate in rust spots. If rust seems to be spreading on your boiler, you likely have multiple leaks.

If you think your boiler might need replacing, call Sunset Air. We offer heating services throughout Olympia, WA.

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