It happens in every household. One morning you may wake up only to find that the thermostat is not responsive. Hopefully, it’s a minor problem, say, a clogged filter or a tripped circuit breaker that will only require a quick fix. In some instances, however, the repair cost is usually so big that it begs the question: do I need to repair or replace my home boiler? Well, here’s how to find out:
CONSIDER THE LIFESPAN OF THE BOILER
A recent study by the National Association of Home Builders revealed that boilers have an average of 13 to 21 years, depending on the manufacturer. The first step would be to date your boiler system. Most technicians tend to write the year in which the equipment was installed on your unit. Suppose you cannot see a visible sign indicating the year, you could wait until the machine is cool and off. There is a metallic identification plate which is often placed on the inner part of the chamber door. Record the serial number and the model from the metal plate and make a call to the customer service of the manufacturer so as to get the date of your machine. Information regarding how old the system is can enable you to make a decision as to whether you should
repair the boiler or replace it. If it well over past half of its lifespan, it is recommended that you acquire a new boiler.
THINK SAFETY FIRST
If the problem at hand may pose a hazard, then getting a completely new boiler is the best solution. For instance, if the boiler’s heat exchanger has cracked, chances are poisonous carbon monoxide will work its way into your home, something that you probably should not risk. (The heat exchanger is the metal wall that separates the air that is being heated and the burning fuel)
However, most issues such as stuck valves and faulty electronics can be repaired, meaning you will be required to perform a cost benefit analysis.
Generally, older boilers cost more to repair as compared to the newer versions. This is mostly due to the fact that manufacturers are slowly stopping to make repair parts for the older boilers. There is, therefore, lack of enough repair parts in the market and the few that are available are overpriced. Suppose your boiler is relatively new but you still find the repair costs quite high, you should find consolation in the fact that that is most likely the only time you will be spending money to repair said boiler.
FREQUENCY OF BREAKDOWNS
If your boiler breakdowns are becoming all too frequent, perhaps it is high time you replaced it with a new one. The breakdowns can be quite stressful and a hassle especially during the winter. If its warranty has expired, the repair costs can be quite high and so you may want to consider getting a new one. However, if you are just turning on your boiler in the winter after months of dormancy, it may have minor technical issues but this should not be a cause of worry as it is common in most boilers. You may have it inspected and repaired if necessary.
Suppose the fault with your boiler is fixable, you might want to consider the fact that new boilers with advanced technology tend to consume less energy, hence saves you money. Instead of seeking repairs, replace the boiler so as to cut on energy costs. Furthermore, a boiler which is more efficient will heat up the home faster and do a great job at keeping the entire family warm. If the boiler is already a modern version but develops technical problems, have it repaired by a qualified person.
IS THE SYSTEM PERFORMING THE WAY YOU WANT IT TO?
The performance of the boiler is essential in deciding whether you get a new one or repair your current one. For instance, can you smell the natural gas when the boiler is on? This is a sign that you should call the repair man as it can be quite uncomfortable and bring a sense of displeasure. Other signs to look out for include leaks around the floor and irregular sounds produced by the system. The extent of these irregularities should enable you to decide whether or not to get a new boiler.
If you are not sure whether your boiler needs replacement or repair, you should get it inspected by a local plumbing expert. You could further extend the boiler’s life through annual maintenance services.