It used to be that boilers were relegated to the basements of large apartment buildings, office towers and the front end of a steam locomotive. But boilers have benefited from advances in technology and they are becoming more popular – and versatile – than ever.
Boiler Maintenance and Repair
Boiler repair services are strictly regulated and must be undertaken by certified professionals, such as those from K.C.’s Plumbing & Heating. We service boilers for both commercial and residential use and provide boiler maintenance packages as well.
Maintenance requirements for boilers vary, making it crucial to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. The manufacturer’s service manual, along with the boiler’s start-up and inspection files, must always be kept on hand.
In addition to being extremely efficient, modern boilers are compact and quiet and can use natural gas, oil, propane or electricity. 21st century features, such as electronic ignition, which eliminates the need for a constantly-burning pilot light, and condensing combustion technology that extracts more heat from the same amount of fuel make today’s residential boilers a very attractive alternative to other forms of heating.
Newer condensing boilers have an overall energy efficiency rating of 90 to 96 percent. Non-condensing boilers operate at 70 to 85 percent and units that are 20 or more years old operate below 70 percent.
Lennox boilers and Bradford White boilers are well-known brands that produce popular models for residential use, though less-well-known Canadian manufacturers, such as Thermolec or British Columbia’s Gasmaster and IBC, have gained global recognition for their cutting-edge products.
Hydronic heating refers to any system that uses a pump and pipes to circulate hot water to heating units such as baseboard heaters or radiators. Radiant floor heating is another form of hydronic heating and it is becoming very popular due to its low cost of operation, comfortable heat, quietness and long-term reliability.
These boilers – which can be merely big or absolutely huge –power machinery and heat large buildings. Typically they are fired by gas, though other fuels can be used. Older boiler systems are far from optimally efficient and lose significant heat energy, especially through flue gases. Also, older boilers must adhere to very strict maintenance schedules in order to be safe and to operate efficiently.
New boilers are flushed when installed and this is logged in the start-up files. Flushing is rarely required after installation, though it can de-scale the boiler and remove sludge to improve water flow and reduce energy consumption. Flushing can also make a boiler quieter and extend its life.
Boiler servicing begins with checking for leaks and moving on to the boiler’s diagnostic menu to look for error codes. The boiler is then tested for proper pressure and temperature. Relief valves and condensate drainage systems are also inspected, cleaned and tested. As you may have guessed, there is a lot of highly-specialized work involved in servicing boilers, which is why it is important – and legally mandatory – that boiler servicing be carried out only by certified professionals like those at K.C.’s Plumbing & Heating.
What Is A Boiler?
A boiler is simply a tank in which a liquid – most often water – is heated – and not always to the boiling point. In the case of a steam locomotive, water is indeed boiled to generate steam to move the train along the tracks. Boilers have more commonly been used to heat large buildings and for other industrial purposes, but small boilers for residential use are becoming quite popular these days.