8 Signs to Know Your Boiler Isn't Working Properly

Daniel Paul
December 29, 2021

Millions of Canadian families rely on boilers for their heating and hot water. A professionally installed and maintained boiler can last for decades, possibly even a century. Boilers have earned a reputation as being safe and reliable, but that doesn't mean it can last forever. Your boiler may break down at some point, and it's crucial you know some warning signs to catch it early on.

Here are the signs to watch out for:

1. Water Leaks

A small leak in a boiler may seem like a minor issue, but it can be a major problem if left unattended. In fact, a slow drip of water could be the first sign of internal corrosion, which could cause a leak to expand and destroy your boiler. 

Moreover, if you live in an area with hard water, then you may get mineral deposits that lead to leakage. Regularly cleaning your boiler may help prevent any leaks.

2. Rusted Valves

Your boiler operates at extreme temperatures, which causes the metal parts to expand and contract as they transfer heat. This may result in valves getting rusty. This is a common issue for old boilers that can be easily fixed with a simple replacement.

3. Bulb Failure

Since the boiler is used to control your home's temperature, it's vital to replace the bulb immediately once it burns out. A dirty or burned-out bulb may lead to overheating and cause the unit to malfunction.

4. Smell

In the event of a gas leak, you'll know it by the strong odour of gas. If you notice a similar smell in your home, then there's a possibility that there's a gas leak. It's recommended you contact a professional to fix the problem as soon as possible.

5. Noisy

A loud boiler may be a sign that something isn't functioning properly. It's crucial to know what to listen for as a sign of a problem. A clunking sound or a rattling sound emanating from your boiler probably means you have an issue with the internals.

6. Flickering Lights

A boiler with flickering lights may indicate that the machine is unable to initiate heating. This is why it's essential you remain vigilant when it comes to your boiler. 

7. System Not Heating Properly

If your boiler doesn't seem to be working to the best of its abilities, then it may be time to get it checked. It's best you call a professional to handle the issues rather than risking anything on your own.

8. Old Age

Boilers generally have an average lifetime of 10-15 years, depending on how much you use and maintain it. If your boiler is getting old, it's probably about to break down. So, don’t wait until noticeable warning signs appear. If it’s within the “old” age already, call a professional to have your boiler checked for problems.


With these signs in mind, you can easily determine when a breakdown would be expected from your boiler. If you notice any of these signs, then it's best you call a professional right away to check your boiler and determine the extent of the damage. Don’t attempt to check your boiler on your own or delay the service; leave the job to the experts.

Do you need a reliable boiler repair service? Northern Oasis Plumbing offers high-quality boiler and plumbing services. Contact us!