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BOILERS

Professional Calgary Boiler Repair Services

If you live in Calgary you know how cold it can get in the winter.

Ensuring that your boiler is maintained and requires no additional service is key to ensure you don't need any needlessly costly boiler repairs.

We are experts when it comes to boiler repair in Calgary. Some important things you should know about your heating system are:

Northern Oasis provides a wide array of Calgary boiler services. Whether you need boiler repair, installation, or just have questions about your plumbing and heating give us a call.

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Why You Should Repair Your Boiler

We would recommend repairing your boiler system or a replacement boiler for several reasons. Some of the benefits you will see when you perform a boiler service are:

  • Increased safety. It is not safe to have leaking gases or an improperly functioning boiler in your home.
  • High efficiency is the goal. When you perform boiler maintenance the efficiency of your machine increases which saves you money.
  • Simply following your maintenance schedule will help you prevent more frequent repairs from arising.
  • Repairing your boiler increases its future lifespan and saves you money as it prevents unnecessary parts or boiler replacement.

At Northern oasis, we only perform quality work, become a customer today, and chose the best plumbers to get the job done.

If you are looking for a professional trustworthy plumbing company to help with your plumbing needs give us a call at

587-777-5588

How Do Boiler Heating Systems Work?

A boiler heating system will provide heat to your house by heating the water within the system and distributing it evenly throughout your home using radiators, baseboards, or in-floor heating.

Baseboard heaters are generally found around the perimeter of the home. In-floor heating uses concrete to store heat and radiate it slowly into the room.

Since the entire floor is heating the room from the ground up the cooler air is forced to the ceiling.  This allows you to operate the heating system at a lower temperature but still remain comfortable.  With such a large emitter (the entire floor) a lower temperature can be used to heat the home.

This lower temperature is perfect for high-efficiency boilers which use the lower temperatures to condense the flue gases which gives them their higher efficiency.

Boiler systems are different from furnaces because they heat up water instead of air to distribute across your home. Since water stores more energy than air it requires less of it to move the same amount of heat. That is why you need such a large duct to move the heated air around the home and a little pipe to move the hot water to the area then use the hot water to heat the air.  Furnaces will distribute hot air throughout your home using vents.

Most homeowners have a great experience with boilers because they can pump consistent heat into your home throughout the winter season while limiting the drafts, spread of dust/viruses, and noise caused by HVAC equipment.

However just like anything in your plumbing and heating system, it can break down and require repair. Proper maintenance allows you to catch problems before it requires any extensive repairs.

What Are The Signs That Your Calgary Boiler System Needs Repair?

You should keep an eye out for the following to ensure your boiler in Calgary is functioning well. Doing so can help you to avoid any extensive repairs to your boiler systems.

  • If you smell any unusual odours from your boiler you should call us right away. Any strong metallic or gas smell may be caused by a leak in your boiler system. Our Calgary plumbers will be able to help you identify if you have a natural gas leak. If you smell an odour that smells like rotten eggs or natural gas do not use any lights and turn off the gas leading to the appliance. Leave the home immediately and call Atco gas and Northern Oasis Plumbing & Heating Ltd. to come to make repairs.
  • If you begin to notice that your home is not being adequately heated that may mean you need a boiler replacement or repair.  If the boiler is hot but the rest of the house is not being heated that is a sign the pump is not operating. This could be due to faulty electrical or a failed pump. We can come to diagnose and repair this issue to get your house back up to temperature.
  • Any odd noises such as clanging or banging coming from your boiler should be investigated. Sometimes these high-efficiency machines may be causing these noises from mineral buildup which results in unequal water disbursement.
  • If you find water on the floor, it may not be a failed boiler. It could simply be a failed pump, expansion tank, boiler feed, or relief valve. Let us come diagnose and repair the system quickly and professionally.

These are just a few areas we would highly recommend that you monitor when it comes to your residential/commercial boiler.

Common Issues In Boiler Systems

Unfortunately, these systems are not easy to diagnose as they can have many issues. Some of the more common issues that you may find in your high-efficiency boiler are:

Inaccurate Thermostat

Take a look over the thermostat to make sure that it is configured to the right settings and switched on.

If you need help configuring the water heater thermostat settings we recommend speaking to a professional plumbing service in Calgary.

Bad Heat Distribution

This is a big sign that you need a boiler repair. This heating issue is most often caused by broken parts or inaccurate water levels within the system.

Leaks

Similar to bad heat distribution, this issue is probably caused by a broken part in the hot water tank such as a bad seal. A leak may also be caused by corrosion which can lead to boiler replacement.

Noises That Sound Like a Whistle, Gurgle, or Banging

If you hear these noises in your heating systems it could be caused by air within the system. The air is behaving like this most likely because of low water pressure which is caused by part failure.

Noises That Sound Like Rumbling

If you hear a noise that sounds like a rumble or kettling sound this can be caused by inadequate water flow within your system.

In Calgary, we are prone to having hard water within our plumbing systems. Hard water can cause mineral build-up within the systems which can cause the water to overheat or boil.

Low Pressure

Your boiler installation may be leaking, or a valve may require a change if you experience low pressure.  Since the boiler system is a closed-loop it should not need fluid added to it unless repaired or if it develops a leak.  Since the boiler feed can sit there for an extended period of time it can sometimes stick closed allowing the pressure to drop.  If manually triggered it will sometimes not reseal requiring replacement.

Under the current code, a boiler feed must be protected by a reduced pressure backflow preventer which stops any fluid from ending up in your drinking water.  This backflow preventer is a testable device and the city requires an annual test by a licensed contractor.  This test costs between $150-$250 dollars, with a fine by the city of $1500 if it is not performed yearly.

Northern Oasis Plumbing and Heating have licensed backflow testers.

An alternative to the backflow preventer is an axiom tank.  An axiom tank uses a tank connected to a pump which maintains the fluid pressure in the system.  This totally disconnects your boiler from your domestic water protecting you from toxic chemicals and legionnaires disease.  Another benefit of an axiom tank is that any makeup water is a premixed glycol solution so there is no concern of your glycol be diluted.  You also have a visual cue by monitoring the level in the tank so you know how much fluid your system is using.  If the level drops you know it is time to check for leaks, while with the old style of fluid replacement you do not know how much water has been added diluting your glycol below the 25% threshold.

Condensate Pipe Plugged

The condensate pipe should never be run outside the home, as cold weather in Calgary may cause it to freeze.

Clearing of the condensate lines should be done annually.  Pouring a small amount of a bleach solution and rinsing through the condensate line will help keep mold and fungus growth from plugging up the line leading to leaks and system lockouts.

Distribution System/Radiator Isn't Getting Hot

If your home is not getting warm due to lack of heat distribution this is likely due to a failed zone valve or pump.  It could also be as simple as changing the batteries in the thermostat.  Buildup within the system can also limit the heat distribution.  The buildup can be caused by sludge, air or mineral build-up.

Boiler Keeps Turning Off

Your boiler may be turning off for several reasons, such as low pressure, thermostat problems, or valve problems.

We highly recommend calling in a professional plumbing company to figure out what is causing your machine to turn off.

How Often Should I Perform Boiler Maintenance?

Our team at Northern Oasis Plumbing tells every customer to make sure that they have their new boiler serviced every year. If your boiler has minimal deposits after the first year you could have it done every second year.

Let us help troubleshoot your boiler system in a timely manner. We have experienced Calgary plumbers that can help with your boiler service.

Maintenance is key to extending system life. Cleaning the boiler on a regular basis allows proper heat transfer through the heat exchanger, proper flow of condensate away from the boiler, and correct combustion, limiting carbon monoxide production.  If a high-efficiency boiler is not cleaned the products of combustion can plug up the passages that eliminate condensate caused by high-efficiency combustion. These products can hold the acidic condensate up against the heat exchanger, increasing the chance of corrosion and flooding of the exhaust. Flame sensors can also become dirty and not sense flame leading to system lockout.

Older mid-efficiency boilers are made of mild steel. This mild steel cannot handle the acidic nature of condensate created by high efficient boilers. When boilers are operated at lower temperatures, this is more efficient because it causes the flue gases to condense on the heat exchanger. The energy recovered by the condensing of the vapor is what gives a high efficient boiler its extra efficiency. The downside is the condensate is acidic which will not only corrode a mid-efficient boiler but also plug it up as it is not designed to eliminate the condensate so the wet surface of the exchanger will catch and hold the products of combustion.  Even a small amount of debris on a mid-efficient boiler can affect combustion causing carbon monoxide production.

It is highly recommended, especially with mid-efficient boilers, that you have working carbon monoxide detectors.

Glycol helps protect your system from freezing and corrosion (inhibitors) when at the correct levels but low glycol concentrations (below 25%) allow the alcohol to be converted into sugars that feed bacterial growth plugging up your boiler piping. Low fluid levels will also allow contaminants to dry and solidify at the high points further plugging your system. When low flow situations happen due to either failed pump or lack of fluid the glycol can boil. When glycol boils the inhibitors fall out of suspension and the fluid can become acidic. This will corrode the boiler and lead to reduced service life.  Make sure your system fluid is checked regularly to maintain the correct glycol/inhibitor concentration and PH.

FAQs About Boiler Systems

Can You Help With My Boiler Installation?

Yes, we can help with your boiler installation or boiler repairs. Our team is experienced when it comes to installing new boilers, so we would highly recommend getting on a call with our team so we can help understand what service you require.

Do you service commercial and residential boilers?

We service both commercial and residential boilers.

If You have a plumbing problem get in touch with our team by calling 587-777-5588 or visit our contact page to reach out!