Air Trapped In Boiler Pipes: Why This Happens And How To Fix It

Heat produced from a boiler operates by a process that involves hot water running through pipes and radiators in a home. As the hot water passes through the radiators, heat is emitted, and this heat is enough to warm an entire home. While boilers have plenty of benefits, there can be problems when air gets into these pipes. Here are a few things you should understand about this problem.

Boilers Operate On Closed Systems

The water that circulates through a boiler system is enclosed, and is the entire system is considered a closed system. This means that the water in the pipes is always the same water. As it heats up the radiators in your home, it returns to the boiler at a much cooler temperature and is then heated again. The water will always stay in the system.

As this process occurs, there is a component on your boiler that changes the pressure of the water, and this is called an expansion tank. This is necessary because the pressure of cold water is different than the pressure of hot water. Each time the water passes through the expansion tank, the boiler system tries to purge air from it, and it will also add water to the system if any has somehow escaped.

The problem with this process is that air does not always leave the system, and this causes the air to get trapped inside the pipes. If this happens, you are likely to experience a few effects or symptoms.

The Effects Of Air In The Lines

There are two main effects of having air inside the boiler lines, and you may notice both of these from the sounds these effects have. The first effect is a banging sound. When your boiler is running, do you hear sounds of pipes banging? If so, this is most likely caused by air. When air gets in boiler lines, the banging sound you hear is from the pressure of air moving through your pipes. Banging sounds can also occur if pipes are hitting against other pipes or boards, but the most common cause of this is air in the lines.

The second sound you may hear is gurgling or water rushing through your pipes. The pipes for your boiler system are in the walls of your home. Even though water is constantly moving through these pipes when the system is on, you should not be able to hear it moving. If you can hear the sound of water rushing in your system, the cause is air in the lines.

Ways To Fix This Problem

Luckily, fixing this problem is not hard to do, and you might even be able to do it on your own. The best option to try first is releasing the air through an air-release valve found on the boiler. This valve is designed to allow air to come out of the system; unfortunately, older systems might not have an air valve.

If your system does not have a central air-release valve on the boiler, you could look on the radiators in your home to see if any of them have valves on them. If they do, you can turn the valve to let the air come out. If you do this, make sure you have a small bucket handy, because as the air comes out, water will also come out too.

If you cannot figure out how to let the air out of your system, you could call a company that offers heater repairs. They will know exactly how to do this and will fix your system for you. Once this is fixed, you should no longer hear any sounds coming from your pipes. Contact a company like Custom Comfort for more info.