Few emergencies are more serious than boiler problems. The possibility of losing heat or hot water is bad enough, but boiler emergencies can also be an indicator that there are larger problems with your boiler or your heating system as a whole.
It’s important to be able to recognize the signs of a boiler emergency, then take the right initial steps and get the expert help you can find to fix the problem and end the emergency.
That expert help should come from 128 Plumbing. We’ve been fixing boiler emergencies for decades in towns like Melrose, so we know what’s involved. We can help your the necessary steps to recognize an emergency, so let’s start with those.
What is a Boiler Repair Emergency?
There are many different variations of boiler emergencies, but these three tend to be the most serious:
- A gas leak
- A water leak
- No heat or hot water
So what should you do when you have a gas leak? First, it’s important to recognize the problem. While natural gas is usually odorless in its natural state, utility companies treat it with a chemical that gives it a uniquely unpleasant odor—think sulfur or rotten eggs—to make it easier to detect.
If that unpleasant smell is present, it’s important that you act quickly and don’t wait. The first step is to call the gas company to tell them you have a leak.
They should act immediately and send someone out to help you, but it’s usually not a bad idea to contact your local police department, too. If there’s a problem with natural gas lines in your area, they need to know about it.
The next step is to turn off all your gas appliances—immediately. Then extinguish all naked flames—the one in your fireplace, any oven flames you’ve had on, the boiler pilot light if it’s still lit, and so on.
Don’t smoke or strike any matches, and turn off your electrical appliances, too. As an added precaution, don’t turn any switches on or off, as the spark they generate can cause a fire or an explosion.
After that, open all your doors and windows. This may not be a comfortable part of the solution in the winter, but it’s important. You want to get as much fresh air as possible into your house, and you want to do it as quickly as possible.
The final step is to get as many people out of the area as possible. If you have guests, politely inform them that they need to leave, without panicking them, of course.
If you live in a congested area, you may want to take whatever small, safe steps you can to get other people out of the area, but beyond that you should leave any necessary steps to the gas company reps, the police and emergency personnel.
What to Do If You Have a Water Leak
While a water leak isn’t as serious as a gas leak, it’s not trivial, either. Some people panic and end up with a flooded basement or an overflowing sink, neither of which is necessary if you take one important step—shut your water off.
This step is simple if you know where your water shutoff valve is. This is something you should know as a part of many basic home procedures, but if you don’t it’s usually easy enough to find.
In many homes it’s under the sink, or somewhere along the water pipes in your basement. Keep in mind that there may be multiple shutoff valves for all the rooms and sinks where you have water—bathroom, kitchen, etc.—but there’s always one main shutoff valve that’s often larger than the others you’ll see when you start looking.
Also, be aware that you may have an outdoor water shutoff valve, too, especially if you have a sprinkler system or hookups for hoses.
This valve should already be off if the weather is cold enough to freeze your pipes, so make sure you take care of that if you haven’t already.
One important tip for the future is to put a list of boiler emergency procedures on your phone, and post it on your refrigerator, too.
That way you’ll be covered if you ever have another emergency, but our goal at 128 Plumbing is to solve your current problem and prevent any subsequent emergencies from happening.
The Most Important Service Step: Call 128 Plumbing
Once you’ve taken all the emergency steps, it’s time to get your problem fixed, and that means calling 128 Plumbing.
We’ll get to you right away, especially if you’ve been smart enough to sign on for one of our boiler maintenance and repair programs.
Even if you don’t, though, you should still call us first. Why? Because 128 Plumbing has resources that most mom-and-pop HVAC operations don’t.
We’ve worked with every brand of boiler you can think of, so we have extensive knowledge about why yours may have failed. We also stock a wide array of boiler parts, which means we can fix your problem faster than those other companies.
Another reason you should choose us is that we work as a team. We have HVAC techs and experts the problem is isolated to your heating system, but if it’s not we have qualified electricians and plumbers who can help fix any related issues.
We may ask you some questions on the phone before we arrive, and we’ll also make sure you’ve taken any necessary emergency steps.
After that we’ll examine your system and tell you the exact nature of the problem, along with a time and cost estimate for the fix. We’ll respect your schedule and your home, and we’ll always treat you with the utmost courtesy and professionalism.
Once your problem is fixed, we’ll likely recommend a maintenance and service program for your boiler, and we may recommend replacement if we think your boiler is going to continue to be a problem.
Get the Repair You Need
To get your boiler emergency solved, call us at (888) 419-4233 or (781) 670-3261. We’ll answer your questions, ask a few of our own, and get to you quickly and get your boiler operating again.
You can also go to 128Plumbing.com and start a live chat, and we have some great blogs and articles there to help educate you about your boiler, how it works, and what you need to do to keep from having another emergency down the line.