If you’ve recently noticed that your boiler is leaking, your first question is probably, “Why?” Many homeowners find themselves asking this question.
Here’s the bottom line: Why your boiler is leaking depends on where the leak is coming from.
Boiler leaks can be occur in many locations throughout the device, however, the most common boiler leaks occur in the following places:
- Your pipes
- Pressure valve
- Pipe fittings
Below, we’ll go into more detail about why your boiler could be leaking from each of these locations (and what you need to do to fix it).
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Leak Location #1: Pressure Valve
If your boiler is leaking near the pressure valve, the most likely reason is that the pressure of your boiler is too high.
Your boiler has a part called a pressure relief valve, which will leak water if it recognizes that the pressure inside your boiler is too high. This prevents your boiler pressure from getting so high that your system ruptures or blows up.
Okay, so how do I know if my boiler pressure is too high?
More modern systems show boiler pressure in “bars,” and normal pressure is anywhere between 1 and 2 bars. This is typically indicated on your boiler gauge by green and red indicators (between 1 and 2 bars is green, below 1 and above 2 is red).
If you have an older boiler, you may notice that your pressure gauge shows a measurement called PSI instead of bars. Your boiler should stay between 15 and 20 PSI, and if the pressure exceeds 21 PSI, your pressure relief valve will open, causing a leak.
If this is your issue, you’ll need to contact a technician. Unhealthy pressure in your boiler is likely the result of an obstruction or limescale buildup, which a technician will need to remove and then reseal your boiler.
Leak Location #2: Pipes
If you notice that your boiler is leaking from the pipes, the most likely explanation is corrosion.
Since boilers heat your home by circulating hot water through pipes, over time these pipes can corrode, causing a leak.
If corrosion is isolated to one small section, a technician may be able to simply replace that part of the piping. However, if your boiler is older (10+ years), it’s more likely that your boiler has widespread corrosion and you may need to replace your entire system.
Either way, you’ll need a technician to come and assess your boiler and provide recommendations on how best to combat this issue.
Leak Location #4: Body
On average, boilers last 10-15 years. If your boiler is 10+ years old and you notice leaking from the body of your boiler or the pipes, the most likely culprit is simply aging.
As your boiler ages, it can develop stress fatigues or start to rust, which can result in leaks.
If you think this may be your issue, you’ll need to speak with a technician. Unfortunately, if the body of your boiler is leaking, you’ll likely need to replace it. An experienced pro should be able to provide you with recommendations and pricing estimates on installing a new system.
Leak Location #5: Seals
If you’re noticing a leak near the circulator pump, your issue is probably damaged or worn out seals.
As your boiler heats and pumps water through the system (via the circulator pump), the pressure and heat can wear out the seals over time. If your seals are no longer watertight, when your circulator pump starts pumping water through your system, the boiler can leak via the seals. Generally, damaged seals are simply the result of normal wear and tear.
If you think this is what’s happening, contact a technician. They will likely replace the seals and may need to replace or reseal the pump.
Need help with your leaky boiler? Hire Pittsburgh’s best: Calfo
Regardless of the reason that your boiler is leaking, you likely need an experienced technician to fix it. We are Pittsburgh’s #1 trusted HVAC technicians, and we’d be happy to diagnose and repair your boiler.
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