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Why Does Your Boiler Keep Needing To Be Reset?

Resetting a boiler can be frustrating and time-consuming. Occasional resets are normal, but you shouldn’t have to do them too often. If your boiler always needs to be switched, reset, realigned, or turned off, there’s likely a wide range of problems going on. It’s important to handle the issues as soon as possible to prevent them from worsening.

Your boiler keeps needing to be reset for these reasons:

  1. Low air intake
  2. Circuit breaker problems
  3. No boiler ignition
  4. Thermostat issues
  5. Malfunctioning boiler pump

Throughout this article, we’ll show you why your boiler always has to be reset, what you can do about it, and how you can keep your boiler in good condition. Enjoy!

1. Reduced Air Intake

Boilers require an adequate amount of oxygen to ignite the flame that heats the water. Without proper air intake, the boiler will shut off. This common issue is a result of the intake sensor triggering an internal issue that won’t let the fuel burn efficiently. Super Warm explains most air intake concerns are caused by clogs.

How To Fix

Follow these suggestions to improve your boiler’s air intake:

  • Locate air leaks and patch them with duct tape.
  • Hire an expert to find leaks in the pipes and fix them.
  • Remove natural debris (sticks, sand, dirt, etc.) from the air intake valves leading to the outside of the house.
  • Replace cracked air intake valve and pipes.
  • Open the air pressure relief valves to bleed excess air out of the lines to lower the pressure and prevent cracks.
  • Consider opening the valves or vents in your boiler to allow more air (if your boiler has these components).

2. Tripped Circuit Breakers

Most boilers are wired to circuit breakers and surge protectors that prevent electrical overload. These components will trip or shut off if anything electrically malfunctions. Boilers use igniters, thermostats, thermometers, and timers to sense and guide the heat. If any of them are loose, broken, or blocked, the circuit breaker will trip and require a boiler reset.

How To Fix

Here’s how you can fix a tripped breaker:

  1. Check if the breaker is tripped. A tripped breaker will be halfway between off and on.
  2. Test the breaker with a multimeter to ensure it’s getting between 120 to 220 volts, depending on the labeled voltage on the breaker. It should be enough voltage to handle the boiler. For example, the breaker will always trip if the boiler requires 220v, but the breaker is rated for 110v.
  3. If the breaker keeps tripping, doesn’t read the correct voltage on a multimeter, or isn’t the correct voltage rating for the boiler, replace it. Turn off the electricity going to the breaker box, then test it with a multimeter to ensure it’s safe to handle. Remove the old breaker and replace it with a like-for-like breaker or one that’s suitable for the boiler.
  4. Replace all stripped, broken, or loose wires. These poor connections will undoubtedly cause the breaker to trip.

3. Lack of Boiler Ignition

According to Home Serve, difficulty igniting the boiler can cause it to turn off. You’ll have to reset it if you want the air or water to get warm.

Ignition issues are often caused by these problems:

  • Blocked igniters
  • Electrical problems
  • Lack of airflow
  • Not enough fuel or restricted fuel flow
  • Warped parts

How To Fix

If the boiler doesn’t ignite, you first need to diagnose the problem with our list of issues above. A blocked igniter can be fixed by removing debris from the ignition area (usually dust or rust blocks it). Test each component with a multimeter if there’s an electrical problem, as mentioned in the previous section.

Reduced fuel issues occur from one of these two causes:

  1. Less fuel provided by the utility company due to unpaid bills or local restrictions
  2. Gas leaks that need to be diagnosed and patched as soon as possible for health problems and hazard prevention

If the manual ignition switch is locked or won’t work, it should be replaced by unscrewing it and twisting on a new switch. Refer to the user’s manual for the correct part number.

4. Thermostat Heating Problems

Every boiler has a built-in thermostat that shows its temperature and allows you to adjust it. The circuit breaker will trip if the thermostat is broken, or the boiler won’t know the current temperature. The boiler needs to be reset to get the thermostat back on track when this issue occurs. However, you might need to replace the component.

How To Fix

Replace the thermostat with this recommended method:

  1. Turn off the circuit breaker to prevent electrical shocks.
  2. Remove the old thermostat and separate the wires to identify them by color (or label them with tape).
  3. Place the new thermostat’s base over the wires, then attach each wire to the corresponding location (each wire node will be labeled with a letter corresponding to the proper wire coming out of the wall).
  4. Connect the thermostat to the base (also known as the wire housing).
  5. Turn on the circuit breaker and cycle through the thermostat to test your work.

Here’s a helpful YouTube guide for those who prefer video tutorials:

5. Damaged Boiler Pump

Boiler water pumps move the water from the water source to the boiler and through the house. If anything is wrong with the pump, your boiler won’t work properly. Dr. Plumbing and Heating shows a faulty water pump worsens until the gears grind and the pump becomes useless. It’s best to repair or replace the pump as quickly as possible.

How To Fix

If the water pump is leaking, all you usually need to do is replace the gaskets and seals. However, if the motor is damaged, it needs to be replaced.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Get the correct pump as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Turn off the power and water at the circuit breaker and water inlet valve.
  • Loosen the old pump connections and tighten them to the new pump.
  • Wire the old wires to the new pump in their colored-labeled locations.

Note: Some companies off warranties that only work if you hire a professional to install the water pump. Ensure you don’t void the boiler’s warranty before DIYing the installation.

Additional Boiler Resources

If you ever experience different boiler problems, some of our other boiler troubleshooting articles may be able to help:

Author

  • Jonah Ryan

    Jonah has worked for several years in the swimming pool industry installing and repairing equipment, treating pools with chemicals, and fixing damaged liners. He also has plumbing and electrical experience with air conditioning, ceiling fans, boilers, and more. When he's not writing for Temperature Master, he's usually writing for his own websites, LawnCareLessons.com and DIYByHand.com.

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