Baseboard heating issues


Old 07-29-13, 10:03 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 180
Question Baseboard heating issues

I have a leak in one place in the baseboard heating system in a room in the basement. I also believe I have air in the system as it was not used for a while until we moved in and it has knocks and pings and the system is very inefficient.

I called a company to service it, they said the guy will need to service the boiler first at $130 and check the system and he can tell me what additional issues there are and estimate fixing them.

Is that how it should go, servicing the boiler first? I don't know when the boiler was last serviced but the house was dormant for more than a year before we moved in and it has been 9 months since we moved in.

And what do fees run into for fixing a leak and bleeding the system?
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Old 07-29-13, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 871
Oil or Gas fired? Make and model of boiler? How do you know it's efficiency rating? Using lots of fuel? How large is the home, and is the DHW provided by the boiler as well?
Old 07-29-13, 04:35 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 2,846
Where did you get the name of the contractor you called? You need to get recommendations from others in the area. First, call a plumber who comes highly recommended, and get the leak fixed. Then, go to Step Two - get the boiler serviced, if required. If it is gas fired, there isn't a whole lot to do - but it should be checked over and a few preventative items performed.

Air in the system often stops flow to one or more heat emitters - but does not often cause knocks or pings. Where is the noise coming from, exactly? The boiler itself? If you want us to comment on the noises, record a video with sound, and link us to it.

Measuring boiler efficiency requires a combustion analysis. You can't just decide, after nine months, that the fuel costs are unexpectedly high. Where do you live?

What does the boiler pressure/temp gauge indicate?

This is primarily a DIY forum. Are you wanting to fix the leak yourself? If so, we need good photos of the leaking component. Otherwise, I'm not sure we can steer you to a good repairman or advise you on costs.
Old 07-30-13, 05:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,542
$130 is about what I paid for my boiler clean out (oil boiler). Was just a hair over $200 with the 10yrs certification we require in Ontario for oil burning heating.

Once you've seen how your boiler is cleaned, you'll see if it is a DIY job for you or not. Watching my service guy (who was almost training me as a new helper as he went along), it is definitely a DIY job for me.

As for the leak... I'm going to take a guess at your pipes being copper. A plumber may be more suitable, but soldering copper isn't difficult and a boiler tech should be able to do the job. Might be more cost effective to have the boiler tech do the work while he is already there.

Efficiency.... I've discovered with my system (in my second year living here now), that it has many layers when it comes to boiler heating. Looking at the entire system/house, you'll have;
- the boiler itself
- zoning and baseboard placement / BTU output (home insulation falls here)
- boiler controls (aquastat)
- Thermistat programming/settings
(Keep in mind, I'm keeping this simple as I'm not a boiler tech).

The boiler is an easy one. Have it cleaned and inspected. If it's oil burning, this should be done every year at the end of heating season to avoid the mad rush along with everyone else getting service. The tech can and or should do a combustion test to see how efficient your boiler is running. Mine was ~1% below the original advertised efficiency based on the tests.

I can go into a bit of info on the other items, but I'll leave them alone unless you have questions about them.

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