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Diagnose Boiler Problems

How to Diagnose Problems with a HOT WATER HEATING SYSTEM?


A water heating system is undoubtedly one of the most essential appliances in every household. It is unquestionably a nightmare if the water heating system breaks down or starts working funny because we all know taking a shower on a cold day in cold water is a terrifying thought and nearly an impossible feat to execute.

A water heating system comes with its own list of problems that include troubles with setting the water temperature, discoloration, noises, leaking or the outlandish odor.

So before you start taking matters in your own hand, first stop and make sure that the power button is switched off for your safety. Turn off the fuse or circuit breaker connected to the hot water heating system.

Water Temperature Hassles

A number of glitches could make your calgary boiler to go rogue and thus cause problems with the water temperature. These problems may lead to too hot water, no water, inadequate water or cold water at all.

When the water coming from the heating system is too hot it is probably because the thermostat of the heater is set too high. One should check that the temperature of the thermostat is always set between 110 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature range for thermostats and ensures that you enjoy a fulfilling bath.

While when there is no water, it may be because there is no electricity power or maybe a broken down thermostat or a faulty electric heating element. Firstly go ahead and check your house’ electricity and follow it by resetting any tripped MCBs and replacing any blown fuses, sometimes a tripped MCB is the answer to all our problems.  After you have made sure you don’t have any blown fuses or tripped MCB’s test out that the power is being supplied unhindered to the water heating element and thermostat. If the water heater system is getting power and still there is no water, check the element and if it’s faulty or broken down then replace it.

When the water is cold or not getting hot enough, it can be because the heater one using is undersized or that there is a crossed hot and cold connections or just a faulty heating element or thermostat. To ensure you don’t have an undersized heater, test out that the heater has 75 percent of its capacity as hot water. Then to check about crossed connections, turn off all water supply and turn on only the hot water tap, if the tap still runs, then there is a crossed connection. Lastly, check heating elements for power and make sure that both the lower and upper heating elements are receiving continuous power. Substitute the element if it is faulty and check for the ideal thermostat temperature if nothing works out.


Water leaking from a water heating system is one of the worst dilemmas one can find one in. These water leaks can happen due to a majority of reasons such as a defective temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve, too much pressure, overheating, a stuck valve, a leak from an overhead or adjacent plumbing connection, loose heating element bolts, a bad gasket or a leaking water tank.

Place a bucket under the overhead pipe, to verify the temperature and pressure T&P valve open the valve and flush out it clear of its debris; but if the leaking still continues, repair or replace it. Then, to reduce excessive pressure or heat, one should lower the thermostat setting which is mainly the reason behind such leaks. Moving on, check for loose pipe connections, and using a wrench tighten the loose pipe connections if you find any, making sure not to over-tighten any of them. After this, look for the heating element bolts, tightening them if needed. If the heating element is still leaking, remove it and replace the gasket. Finally, test if the storage tank is leaking. Usually, storage tanks leak because of corrosion or other issues such as bad o-rings. Keep some extra o-rings handy from suppliers in case you need to replace an o-ring.

Discoloration or Odor

Sometimes you may receive perfect warm water but the color of the water may make you cringe. Usually because of the corrosion of the glass lined tank or a failing sacrificial anode rod, one may receive rust colored water in their taps. A corroded tank needs to be replaced immediately. But if the anode rod is failing, one should replace it with a magnesium anode rod.

Instead of discolored water sometimes, the heater exudes odor because of a decaying sacrificial anode rod. Such rods release hydrogen that smells like rotten eggs ruining your bath time. To bring the situation under control, one should first flush the water heater system. After this, taking a solution of 2 pints of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to 40 gallons of water, treat the tank and pipes for two hours to get rid of the awful smell. However, if the horrendous smell still doesn’t leave the water heating system, one will have to replace the failing anode rod with a zinc alloy anode rod. Even if after all of this the smell remains persistent, the last resort is to replace the heater with a plastic lined one.


Sometimes one may notice a low, rumbling noise coming from the hot water heating system that can indicate boiling water and is caused by continuous overheating due to sediment build-up. One can handle such noise dilemmas by flushing clean the water heater.

Other times one may detect a high-pitched, whining noise erupting from the water heating system. This is usually due to the build-up of scales on electrical heating elements. To rid the heater of such irritating noises, first, flush the water heater. After that, clean the scales from the water heater tank and the elements. Finally, install low-watt-density heating elements with a larger surface area for greater heat-transfer efficiency. This will ensure that the water heater does its job noiseless.