How to Tell if Your Boiler Needs to Be Replaced

When do I have to replace my boiler? It’s probably not a question that came across your mind recently, but it is definitely something you should start thinking about in the future. Do you know when your boiler was last replaced? When was the last time you got maintenance done? If it’s been longer than you remember, or if you have no clue what the answers to those questions are, it might be time to replace your boiler. Let’s look at a few signs that tell you your boiler needs to be replaced. 

Your Boiler is Old

If you aren’t sure how old your boiler is, or if you know you’ve had your house for a while and haven’t done any work on it, it’s probably time to get a replacement. Electric boilers commonly last around 15-20 years and can go as high as 25 if appropriately maintained. However, if yours is over 20 years old, it’s probably outdated and lacks the energy efficiency that modern systems provide. It might not be worth paying such extreme prices for the maintenance it needs when you can save money with a fresh new appliance to heat your home.

Strange Sounds 

Your boiler is sort of like your car. We all know that our car makes many different noises, but there’s always a different sound when something is going wrong. Boilers aren’t meant to be silent machines, but there’s a consistency with the sounds they make. When you notice a loud whistling or banging noise, it’s probably time to replace your boiler. Don’t take your gut for granted. Being around your system for so many years means you’ve heard every noise it can make. If there’s something strange going on, be sure not to ignore it.

Strange Smells and Colors

A much easier way to tell is through smell or visually detecting a yellow flame. Nasty smells are just like strange sounds. You know the odors that come from your boiler, so don’t be hesitant to address a scent that you know isn’t all that common. Overheating creates a smell similar to metal or plastic burning, while a scent similar to rotten eggs means there may be a gas leak.

Seeing a yellow flame is cause for immediate concern, as this could mean there is a presence of carbon monoxide in your home. Carbon monoxide is odorless and extremely fatal, so you must get it checked out to protect you and your family from its effects. Consider purchasing a carbon monoxide detector as an additional safety precaution.


A leaky boiler means that you probably aren’t getting the best bang for your buck, as it’s likely increasing your heating bill. If you notice black soot around the air ducts and furnace, you might have a leaking heat exchanger. Leaks commonly occur around valves and other joints, so it’s crucial to inspect your boiler and get them addressed. In addition, if there is a leak, you run the risk of unexpected breakdowns that can leave your home without heat for days.

Uneven Heating

If the kids’ rooms are cold, but you happen to be burning up in your room right next door, you should consider the state of your heating system. Uneven room heating might mean a malfunctioning pump, a leak somewhere in your system, or a boiler that’s so old it cannot stay on long enough to evenly distribute the heat. 

Things Take Longer to Heat Up

When your boiler is not working properly, it takes MUCH longer for things to heat up. One of the tell-tale signs of a failing boiler system is if your water takes a while to run before warming up or if it takes several minutes for your system to blow hot air through your home. Not only is this frustrating, but it also means higher energy bills as your system tries to compensate for its deficiencies. 

Boiler Repairs Are Made EASY With Economy Drain Cleaning & Plumbing

If your boiler is struggling to reach its peak performance, or if you’re in need of a new gas water heater installation, Economy Drain Cleaning & Plumbing has the right tools to fix the problem. Everyone deserves an efficient boiler, so contact us today and schedule an appointment with the professionals who know precisely how to keep your home flowing with heat and hot water.

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