Troubleshooting Hydronic Heating Systems
Most problems associated with hot-water heating systems involve the heating appliance (boiler, water heater, or hydro-air furnace), the water circulation pump, or the automatic controls. Table 7-1 lists some of the more general problems associated with hydronic heating systems. Specific problems involving boilers, water heaters, and automatic controls are covered in the appropriate chapters of Volumes 1 and 2 of the Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning Library.
Table 7-1 Troubleshooting Hydronic Heating Systems Symptoms and Possible Causes Suggested Remedies
Power may be off. Check fuse or circuit breaker panel for blown fuses or tripped breakers.
Check thermostat (programmable type) for dead batteries.
Check automatic controls.
Gas burner will not operate. Oil burner will not operate.
Replace fuses or reset breakers. If the problem repeats itself, call an electrician or an HVAC technician. Replace batteries and reset thermostat.
Turn the thermostat up or down and wait for the response. If there is no response to the changed thermostat setting after 5 minutes, the controls are malfunctioning. Test, repair, or replace as required. See troubleshooting sections in the appropriate chapters of Volume 2. See troubleshooting sections in Chapter 2, “Gas Burners” of Volume 2.
Restart the oil burner by pressing the red button on the protector relay mounted on the burner. Caution: Press the red button ONLY ONE TIME. Continuing to push the button can cause an explosion. If the oil burner will not restart after the reset button is pushed once, see the troubleshooting section in Chapter 1, “Oil Burners” of Volume 2 or contact the nearest oil burner manufacturer’s representative.
Table 7-1 (continued)
Symptoms and Possible Causes
Coal stoker will not operate.
Circulation pump malfunctioning.
Not enough heat
Check thermostat setting.
Dirty baseboard convector fins. Dirty furnace filters.
Dirty fan coil (hydro-air heating system).
See troubleshooting section in Chapter 3,“Coal Firing Methods” of Volume 2.
Inspect, repair, or replace as necessary.
Thermostat must be set several degrees higher than the desired room temperature.
Clean convector fins.
Clean or replace as required. Clean fan coil according to manufacturer’s recommended