Haunted House or Broken Gas Boiler?

The last thing anyone wants during a New England winter is for their gas boiler to stop working. If you can catch a problem before it turns into an even bigger problem, you may be able to save yourself the hassle of replacing the gas boiler altogether. Ideally, you will want to get a professional’s help and a thorough inspection whenever you notice one or more of the below warning signs.


You may think your house is haunted, or it could just be your gas boiler acting up. Most people describe the noise coming from a broken boiler as being similar to that of a hot tea kettle whistling (kettling). However, the sound could also be a loud banging noise, which is also widely reported, and actually stems from kettling. The kettling can usually be contributed to air that becomes trapped inside the gas boiler or to a build-up of mineral deposits. As the issue escalates, the sound can grow louder and louder, hence the loud banging noise. A noisy gas boiler needs to be dealt with right away.

Lack of Heat

Lack of heat in your home could manifest as cold temperatures, but you also may notice it when you can’t get access to hot water. It is normal for there to be a delay from when you first start the boiler to when your home feels fully heated, but if that delay grows longer and longer, it may signal an issue.

Unusual Odors

Odors coming from your gas boiler could smell like anything from burning plastic to rotting eggs. A smell of burning metal or plastic indicates that the boiler is overheating while the rotten egg odor suggests a gas leak. No matter which you pick up on, turn off the boiler completely and have us come take a look at the system immediately.


Leaks are relatively common with gas boilers, but you should not attempt to fix the problem yourself. Reasons for a leak are corroded pipes, loose internal parts (such as valves and seals), poor installation, or a boiler pressure that is too high. If you find a leak, turn off the boiler/water supply, your heating system, place towels around the leak, and contact us to come take a look.

Pilot Light Malfunctioning

The pilot light is the tiny flame located near the floor which burns continuously and lights the burners in gas-fired appliances. If you have a newer appliance, you may not have a pilot light. Pilot lights may go out from time to time, but if it becomes a common occurrence, a faulty thermocouple may be to blame. The thermocouple is the metal sensor that the pilot flame touches directly. If the flame goes out, the thermocouple is not properly heated, and the system shuts down. Never try to re-light a pilot light yourself if you smell gas. In fact, you should immediately call us and leave your home if this is the case.

Griffin Heating and Plumbing is Navien Service certified and prepared to tackle any of the above issues you may be having with your gas boiler. With over 30 years of experience in the heating and plumbing world, we provide service for every type of issue, large or small. If your gas boiler is making new, unusual noises, or if your house is no longer heating up like it once did, make sure to give us a call at (781)-520-1212. You can also visit our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/JGriffinHeatingandPlumbing/