The Critical Importance Of Water Quality To Your Boiler

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

What kind of water is being fed to your boiler? Usually, the water is untreated and pulled directly from wells, rivers, and ponds. The idea behind this practice is to keep costs low for heating a home or business. The problem is that low quality water can dramatically shorten the life of a boiler, driving up maintenance and repair costs. High quality water can keep your boiler working efficiently and prolong its usable life span. It is important to know the common issues caused by low quality water and how to solve the problems they cause your boiler.

Microscopic dangers in untreated water

Microscopic dangers linger in the depths of low quality water, making it a problem for your boiler. Low quality water contains suspended solids like dirt, silt, vegetation and insoluble organics. This liquid also contains dissolved minerals that cause ionization. All of these issues can lead to severe problems for your equipment.

Buildup inside the boiler

Iron is found in two forms, known as soluble and insoluble. Soluble iron dissolves in water and can cause staining of the interior of the boiler tank. Insoluble iron is the more dangerous of the two, as it clogs strainers and valves. Insoluble iron can also build up deposits in the boiler tubes, causing eventual failure. Over time, the boiler can build up a deep layer of sludge in low lying parts of the system, decreasing water flow and causing pressure changes.

Another source of scale buildup inside boiler parts is a high level of calcium and magnesium. The combination of these two minerals determines the water hardness. The higher the hardness, the higher the chances of scale building up and causing problems. If the water has a high level of silica, it can also build up within the boiler system. Because silica does not transfer heat well, it can interfere with the boiler’s ability to heat your home.

Other boiler issues caused by low quality water

High levels of alkalinity can cause corrosion, foaming, and carryover in your boiler system. Untreated water contains a number of alkaline bases which help battle strong acids to keep the water within a certain pH range. These bases include ammonia, phosphates, silicates, and borates. Unfortunately, when heated, these alkaline bases can break down to form carbon dioxide, which causes corrosion in condensate lines. This process also leads to the formation of foam and carryover.

Solving low quality water issues with your boiler

If you are using untreated water in your boiler, there are a couple of ways to approach the situation. You can replace the feed of untreated water with a treated feed, which will eliminate the source of many of these problems. If you don’t want to do a replacement, you will need professionals to come out at least once a year to clean and maintain your boiler.

Hiring a professional plumber will help keep your boiler in top working condition. Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, can help with all of your plumbing needs. You can reach us at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our residential and commercial services. You can also stop by our office at 404 S. Hayden St. in Amarillo, Texas.