Hot Water Heaters and Boilers

Service technician performing maintenance service on a tank water heater

Hot Water Heaters – How They Work

A hot water heater is a drum filled with water. The water inside hot water heaters is cooled and heated through the use of a heating element. The water is supplied into the drum through pipes connecting into the house. Household activities such as showering, doing laundry, or washing dishes require the use of a hot water heater. The thermostat is set between 120 and 180 degrees (F). The heating process continues until the water reaches the set temperature. Once this temperature is reached, water is readily available to be used throughout the home.

We can also help you with the installation of a water heater expansion tank.

Hot Water Boilers – How They Work

When a room’s temperature drops below the set point on the thermostat, this triggers the process of the boiler system turning on. A signal is sent from the thermostat control to the boiler system. When this happens, zone valves are opened where applicable and the circulating pump begins to send heated water to various locations. These locations include standing radiators, baseboard radiators, and, in some circumstances, to a hot water coiled, which is located in ducting. If you need help with any type of boiler repair, give us a call 1-877-421-2892.

When water temperatures inside the boiler are below a set point on the aquastat control, this will turn on the burner. The burner will then heat up the boiler water until it reaches the highest limits ranging between 180 to 200 degrees (F). The circulator continues to push heated water from inside the boiler forcing cooler water to return to the boiler to be re-heated. A gauge located on the front of the boiler allows you to see the water temperature and pressure. Temperature should never exceed 200 degrees (F). Pressure should never be more than 30 pounds per square inch (psi).

When water is pushed out of the boiler, it passes through an air scoop, air separator, or air purge. This action is designed to remove the air that is suspended in the hot water, which helps eliminate noisy system operation and stops air-bound radiation that can hinder proper heating. Automatic water feeders will continuously add water when necessary to keep the system full to help eliminate the need for frequent boiler repair. The expansion tank will take out excess water that was generated during the heating process. The presence of a relief value is crucial to relieve excess pressure in case of overheating or containing to much water.

Heated water passes through either a standing or baseboard radiator. This transfers heat to surrounding air by convection and heat radiation. Once the room thermostat senses and achieves desired temperature, the circulator will be shut down. The burner will continue to heat the water inside the boiler to keep it within the range set by limit control.

A qualified UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing boiler repair technician should be contacted if any of the following occurs:

  • Noisy or smoky burner operation
  • Excessive air noises
  • Water dripping at relief valve
  • Water dripping at piping connections
  • Smell of heated oil or natural gas