Why is My Boiler Letting Out Steam? A Pittsburgh Tech Answers

| Posted in:  Help Guides/Heating

The answer to this question really depends on where your boiler is letting out steam from.

If you notice steam coming from your boiler’s pressure relief valve, the most likely reasons are:

1.) The pressure in your boiler is too high

2.) The pressure relief valve is malfunctioning

However, if you notice steam coming from any other part of your boiler, you likely have a leak and you should call a technician ASAP to come and fix it. The pressure relief valve is the only place you should notice steam coming from. 

If you have confirmed that the steam is coming from your pressure relief valve, keep reading below, as we’ll look at the above explanations in more detail.

If you’d rather have a professional take a look at your boiler and determine the cause of steam, we’d be happy to take a look. We have years of experience serving Pittsburgh homeowners and would be happy to assess your boiler and figure out a solution. Learn more about the boiler repair services we offer or…

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Explanation #1: Pressure in your boiler is too high

The simplest explanation for why your boiler is letting out steam is that the pressure in your boiler is too high. 

If the pressure inside your boiler starts to build past a safe level, your boiler has safety measures in place to ensure your boiler doesn’t blow up. This is called the pressure relief valve.

If the pressure inside your boiler reaches 30 psi (pounds per square inch), your pressure relief valve will start to let steam out of your boiler to reduce the pressure.

To determine if this is why your boiler is letting out steam, the easiest thing to do is to check the pressure (psi) of your system. 

To do this, you should:

  1. Find the pressure gauge (most likely on the side of your boiler)
  2. Check out the pressure level (healthy pressure should be anywhere between 15 and 20 psi).

If your boiler pressure is above 20 psi, you should reach out to a technician. Even though the pressure relief valve is doing its job to reduce the pressure, there is likely a reason your boiler pressure is climbing this high and should be evaluated by a professional.

If your boiler pressure is in the normal range (15-20 psi) and you are noticing steam, there is likely an issue with the pressure relief valve itself, which we will discuss below.

Explanation #2: Pressure relief valve is faulty

If you notice steam coming from your pressure relief valve but the psi of your boiler is within normal range (15-20 psi), then the most likely explanation is that the pressure relief valve is faulty. 

Since your boiler is a water-based appliance, over time, sediment from the water can clog the valve and keep it from sealing properly. If it’s not sealed properly, steam can squeeze out of the pressure relief valve, even if the pressure inside the boiler is in a safe range. 

You should contact a technician to come and take a look at your boiler and replace your relief valve. Even though this seems like quick fix, we would caution you not to touch or attempt to replace this part on your own, as hot steam could burn you.

Still having issues with your boiler? Contact Calfo’s team of pros

If you’re unsure why your boiler is letting out steam or you’re concerned with how safe your boiler is, reach out to us. All of our techs are trained with over 10,000 hours of experience, so you can trust us to accurately determine the issue and advise you on the best course of action.

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