CommunityFixing a Leaky Boiler: Hire a Pro to Make Repairs and Do Annual Boiler Checkup

Fixing a Leaky Boiler: Hire a Pro to Make Repairs and Do Annual Boiler Checkup

I went to put on the hot water boiler heat for the first time and got no heat from my gas-powered boiler (I have water baseboard heating). What I did get was water dripping from a pipe that is open on the bottom with a bell-shaped valve on top, and now there is water all over the floor. Do you have any troubleshooting tips for a non-home-savvy person?

The Money Pit Answer

Actually, no. I can't advise that you try and fix a leaking boiler yourself. What I can do is speculate about what is happening, though. 

It sounds like the boiler's pressure-relief valve is opening (also known as a temperature pressure or TP valve). This valve is designed to open up if the pressure in the boiler exceeds 30 pounds. Typically, a boiler in a two-story home will operate at about 15 pounds. If your boiler is operating at 30, there is a problem and it could be dangerous.

There are other causes, too, like a waterlogged expansion tank (if you have an older home, these are common). Bottom line, this is NOT a do-it-yourself project and you would be best off calling a service contractor to diagnose and fix the problem. You should be doing this anyway to get the system serviced for all. All gas-, oil- and propane-fueled heating systems should be professionally serviced about now to make sure that they are operating safely and efficiently.

1 Answers
george pettie answered 6 years ago

Tom is correct but here’s some more. The relief valve water discharge can also result from a defective releif valve or a defective reducing valve.Whether one of these or a waterlogged expansion tank, the repair is a simple part replacement – not a major expense. Any suggestion that you need a new boiler because the relief valve leaks would be a reprehensible sales deception.