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3 Things The Burner Flame Can Tell You About Your Boiler's Health

by Tara Pena

When your business's building does not seem to stay warm on cold days, you may start to suspect there is a problem with the boiler. If so, look at the burner flame. There are three things it can tell you about your boiler's health.

Uneven Burning

The first thing to look at when inspecting your boiler's flame is its consistency. When the boiler is operating normally, the flame will create a solid circle of fire around the burner's ring.

However, if you notice empty spaces in the flame or that the top is uneven, there are two possible issues with the burner. First, there may be a clog in the gas line, keeping the fuel from fully igniting inside the burner.

Second, the burner may be rusted and starting to deteriorate. Either way, the lines or burner will need to be repaired.

Flame Burns Too High

While an uneven flame may indicate a blockage in the gas line or burning, a flame that burns too high is an indication that there is too much gas reaching the burner. When this happens, the flame will burn too hot.

A large flame could signify that the thermocouple which regulates the amount of gas to the burner has started to malfunction. When it sends a signal to the gas valve to allow more fuel into the system, the flame starts to burn hotter.

Because the regulator detects the increase in heats, it may then prematurely shut off your building's heater before the rooms warm up. Then, as the unit cools down, the boiler kicks back on what a large burst of gas, creating a cycle of overheating and shutting down. Eventually, the overly heated burner and thermocouple that regulates the flame will burn up. 

Color Has Turned Yellow

Another sign that your burner is receiving and burning too much gas is a yellow flame. When there is more gas than the boiler was designed to burn, the burner is not able to efficiently use the fuel.

When excess gas is released from the burner, carbon monoxide is also released into your building. Because carbon monoxide can have serious health effects, you should see about having the boiler inspected immediately if you see a yellow burner flame.

If you notice that your boiler's flame is no longer burning normally, the unit may need repairing or replacing. You may want to contact a commercial boiler repair service, like Boiler Services, Inc., that offers rentals to temporarily replace your old one to keep your business warm until they are able to resolve the issue with your boiler.