At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air Blog: Archive for October, 2014

Why Aren’t the Burners Lighting in My Gas Furnace?

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Your gas furnace contains a few key components that must all work together in order to keep your home warm and cozy. Furnaces burn fuel—either natural gas or propane—in order to create heat. Heat generates in a combustion chamber, but this process also produces by-products like water vapor and carbon monoxide which must then vent through a flue or vent pipe. Hot gasses travel through the heat exchanger, and as a blower fan pushes air over the heat exchanger, the air warms up before it moves through the ducts and into your home.

If the burners won’t light up, it’s because natural gas has not been delivered to the burner for some reason or because safety measures won’t allow the burner to become lit. If the ignition process fails, it may be due to the thermocouple or flame sensor, two components with similar functions used in a standing gas pilot or intermittent or hot surface ignition pilot furnace. It could also point to a few other problems as well, so you should always trust heating repair to a trained technician who knows the proper safety procedures and can quickly identify the issue.

Talk to a professional technician about your heating in Salt Lake City by calling At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air.

  • Broken Thermocouple: A thermocouple is a component used in a standing pilot furnace, a model in which the pilot continuously stays lit. The thermocouple is part of the ignition assembly in the furnace, and its purpose is to sense whether it is safe to ignite the gas and send fuel to the burner. This is primarily a safety feature to keep the gas valve closed in case the pilot light goes out. If this component is broken, the gas valve should still remain closed. However, it will need replacement in order to light the burners.
  • Dirty Flame Sensor: Modern furnaces actually use a flame sensor instead of a thermocouple because modern furnaces most often use hot surface ignition to ignite the burners. This eliminates the need for a pilot light, as the flame sensor simply detects when gas has been ignited and shuts off the igniter afterwards. This part is hindered by any dust, and may need an expert to safely clean it from time to time, perhaps during annual heating maintenance.

Call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today to  talk to an expert and learn more about what may go wrong with your heating system or schedule heating repairs in Salt Lake City.

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Common Problems with Burner Assembly

Friday, October 24th, 2014

If you have a combustion heating system in your home, then your furnace or boiler has a burner assembly. The burner assembly consists of several components that ignite the fuel your system uses; it also maintains the flame that helps create the heat that is distributed into your home. With multiple components, it is likely that, at some point, a problem will develop within the burner assembly, requiring repairs to your heating system. The repairs for any heating system should always be handled by a professional. Since 1980, the NATE-certified technicians of At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air have handled every type of heating repair in the Salt Lake City area, so if you are experiencing problems, call us today.

Common Burner Assembly Problems

Here are some of the common problems that can occur with a burner assembly:

  • Dirty nozzle/pilot light – the nozzle in an oil furnace disperses the oil in a fine mist; this nozzle can get dirty, and once dirt lodges inside the nozzle, it can cause problems with ignition. In a gas furnace, some systems have a pilot light that ignites the natural gas. If there is too much dirt in the pilot opening, the flame can go out.
  • Cracked igniter – newer furnaces use electrical igniters to light the fuels they use. Igniters are typically made of porcelain, which can crack. There are two main reasons why an igniter can crack. First, the metal parts in the porcelain can corrode from the condensation that develops from combustion. This condensation is very acidic in nature, and can wear down the metallic elements. The second reason an igniter can crack is due to an overflow of electrical current. The igniter is designed to handle a specific amount of electrical current; if the amount is too much, it cause the igniter to crack.
  • Dirty/rusty burner – when the burner becomes covered in a layer of dust and dirt, or begins to rust, it can’t operate as it should. Sometimes a burner can be cleaned, but if the corrosion is deep enough, it may have to be replaced.

The parts of the burner assembly are very important to the operation of your heating system. This is just one of several reasons why it’s important to always hire a professional for heating repairs. Having problems with your heating system? Call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today and schedule heating repair service in Salt Lake City with one of our trained technicians.

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Common Boiler Repairs in Salt Lake City

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Many people prefer boilers to forced air heating systems that use a furnace or heat pump to deliver cool air through the ducts. This is because boilers, which rely on hot water to heat a home, are efficient and quiet. And because they contain so few moving parts, they are fairly durable. Boilers may go long periods of time without any repairs, but they will still come across problems from time to time, just like any mechanical system.

Annual maintenance with a heating professional, like the technicians with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, can keep repair needs low and restore some efficiency to your boiler. But the following problems necessitate immediate heating repairs.

  • Sealing Water Leaks: One of the most common repairs for heating technician is sealing water leaks. There may be a leak at the pump, boiler tank, at the joints and seals, or in the expansion tank. A technician can seal some leaks, while others may require new components. In some cases, however, leaks result from corrosion and may require a new unit instead.
  • Removing Lime scale: Hard water (high concentrations of magnesium and calcium) is a common problem to many homes in Salt Lake City. When this affects your boiler, lime scale deposits can build up and restrict the flow of water. This problem is known as “kettling.” Water becomes trapped and steam rises, causing too much pressure in the boiler. This can lead noisy operation and water leaks. A technician can descale the affected areas to get your boiler back to its normal condition.
  • Replacing the Thermocouple: Many people experience problems with the pilot light at some point. If the pilot light won’t stay lit, it could be due to a broken thermocouple. This is a safety device that, when working properly, should shut off the gas when it senses that the pilot light is out. When it’s not working correctly, it will continue to shut off the gas when the light is on. Usually this part will need to be replaced.

For fast, reliable heating repairs in Salt Lake City, call the NATE-certified technicians at At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air. We’ve been meeting the comfort needs of our customers for over 30 years.

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Don’t Wait for a Breakdown before Scheduling Heating Repairs

Friday, October 10th, 2014

With all the other demands on your time and attention, it may be tempting to ignore things like heating maintenance until something goes wrong with your system. However, this is just about the worst thing you could do. Your heating system requires regular maintenance to keep it as healthy and long lived as possible. Below are some of the reasons that you shouldn’t wait to schedule maintenance until something breaks.

Preventative Maintenance

It is recommended that you have a heating maintenance appointment done at least once a year. When an HVAC technician examines your heating system, it isn’t just to make sure that nothing is broken. Parts that are beginning to show signs of wear are swapped out, and areas that would otherwise give no warning before causing problems are dealt with. Preventative maintenance fixes problems when they are only minor issues, rather than massive malfunctions that can bring the whole system crashing down.


As a heating system gets older, the wear and tear on its individual parts cause the system as a whole to operate less efficiently. You maintenance can’t completely halt this process, but it can slow it down considerably. The more regular maintenance your heating system receives, the longer it will operate and the better it will perform.

Cost Savings

The combination of the above two factors can add up to considerable savings on both your maintenance and monthly utility bills. Preventative maintenance is almost always cheaper than replacing a broken part. It’s especially cheaper than replacing the entire unit if the heating system breaks down. The increase in efficiency from regular maintenance relieves your heating system from working as hard to reach the thermostat’s target temperature. This causes it to consume less energy, which saves you money.

As you can see, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by waiting to call a professional until your heating system breaks down. If you haven’t scheduled your annual heating maintenance yet this year, call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air. No matter where you are in Salt Lake City, we can take care of your heating repairs.

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What Does High Pressure Have to Do With Boiler Repair?

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Boilers are part of a hydronic heating system. A hydronic system uses either hot water or steam to heat your home. Your boiler needs to operate with a certain level of pressure in the system, but too much pressure can cause problems. We’ll explain more in detail below, but when it comes to heating repairs, there’s only one company to call: At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air. We have been helping customers with heating repair since 1980, and our NATE-certified technicians are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

High and Low Pressure Boilers

When it comes to pressure, there are two types of boilers: high and low. Low pressure boilers are the ones used to heat buildings; high pressure boilers are used to generate steam for power. Examples of where a high pressure boiler is used would be Laundromats, dry cleaners and power plants. As such, the issues we’ll be discussing here pertain to low pressure boilers.

Reasons the Pressure May Rise

The normal pressure range for a boiler shouldn’t exceed 15 psi (pounds per square inch). If it does, it’s best to call for a technician. Here are some reasons why high pressure can develop in a boiler:

  • Problems with the expansion vessel – the expansion vessel helps regulate the pressure in your system. If it malfunctions, it can cause the pressure in your system to rise.
  • Problems with the expansion tank – the expansion tank is needed to accommodate for the expanding water levels in your system as the water is heated. Problems with the expansion tank, such as a clogged water pipe, the combination of too much water/too little air in the tank, or a defective tank, can all cause pressure to rise.
  • Trapped air in the system – pockets of air in your system, sometimes referred to as “air lock”, can sometimes cause the pressure to rise in your system.

The balance of correct pressurization in your boiler is critical to proper operation. As such, only a trained professional should work on any pressure problem with your heating system. Experiencing heating problems? Call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air and schedule heating repair service in Salt Lake City with us today.


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