As a homeowner with a boiler furnace, it is important that you understand how to recognize problems with your boiler and what they mean. That way, you know what you can address on your own and what needs the attention of a furnace repair technician. Below are some of the things you should be attentive to in order to keep your boiler furnace working at its best.

The Boiler Won't Light

If the boiler won't ignite, you won't have any heat. There are a few different things that can cause boiler ignition problems. For example, there could be a problem with the internal control system. The boiler will have a safety override for overheating. If the unit has overheated, it will automatically disable the burner. If that override hasn't reset since the burner returned to temperature, you may need to manually reset it.

If the pilot light isn't burning, you'll also want to check the igniter fuse. You should make sure that the fuse hasn't blown and that the fuel supply is reaching the burner. If it's getting fuel and the fuse is in good condition, the problem might be the thermocouple. In that case, you'll need a heating repair technician to replace it.

The Pilot Light Won't Stay Lit

The pilot light is an essential part of the heating system. When the pilot light on your boiler won't stay lit, your boiler won't be able to produce heat. There are a number of reasons why the pilot light may not stay burning, though it may light for you without a problem.

One of the most common reasons for your pilot light to fail is dirt clogging the pilot. You can eliminate this as a possibility by shutting down the boiler, closing off the fuel supply, and cleaning the pilot. Use a wire brush to clean it because it will eliminate any buildup around the pilot assembly.

Another common reason for the pilot light to go out is if the thermocouple is failing. If the boiler is older, that could indicate that the thermocouple is the problem. You'll want to have your furnace repair technician evaluate the condition of the thermocouple and replace it if necessary.

Finally, the gas valve is also a potential source of the problem. First, check to make sure that the gas valve is fully open. If it isn't, open it up. That will ensure that the gas flow is reaching the pilot. If it's fully open, there could be something jamming the valve. If it's stuck, that also means that the valve needs to be replaced.

The Boiler Keeps Overheating

The boiler will shut down automatically if it is overheating. When the boiler system cools down, the overheat switch will disengage and allow the boiler to reset. Unfortunately, if the overheat switch is malfunctioning, it could cause the boiler system to repeatedly overheat.

Another common cause of repetitive overheating is a malfunctioning thermostat in the system. The thermostat is difficult to validate or test on your own, so you'll need to have a furnace repair technician test it and replace it if necessary. He or she should also check the voltage regulators because a malfunctioning voltage regulator could cause the same problems.

Your boiler should be a reliable and consistent source of heat. When it isn't producing the heat that you rely on or it is behaving intermittently, that's an important indication that the unit needs to be inspected and repaired if necessary. Understanding the potential problems and how to deal with them yourself when possible will help you keep the system working. These tips will help you monitor and fix your boiler.

For more information, get in touch with a company such as JM Mechanical Heating & Cooling.