Outdoor livable space is a popular trend. You can set up an outdoor seating area, outdoor kitchen or outdoor dining space. This allows you to entertain guests outside or host a larger party than what your home can hold. This trend inspired my wife and I to build our own outdoor livable space. However, one of the biggest decisions we faced was what the base for our space would be. We could use concrete, lay pavers or construct a deck. After doing a lot of research, we decided on a deck. It was a challenging decision, but we are pleased with the outcome. In fact, we are so happy we decided to start this blog and help educate other people on decks and livable spaces. Learn the benefits, learn the downside, learn how to care for your and learn what kinds of wood are best for an outdoor deck.
With their simple designs and no moving parts, boilers are incredibly durable. The biggest culprit of boiler damage is the quality of the feedwater you use. Dissolved solids can cause scale to form on the tubing, and acidic feedwater or dissolved oxygen quickly causes pitting and corrosion. When your boiler tubes are damaged or scaled, you lose a significant amount of energy efficiency and run the risk of damaging your boiler. Here's how poor-quality feedwater negatively affects your boiler tubing and how boiler retubing your boiler restores your boiler's energy efficiency.
Scale Buildup Decreases Thermal Transfer
The feedwater used in your boiler contains dissolved solids such as minerals. Although treating the feedwater before it enters your water tank reduces the amount of dissolved solids contained in the water, it's impossible to fully remove them. When the water tank heats up, the rising steam carries some of these solids up through your boiler tubes. Over time, the solids create a thick layer of scale on the sides of your boiler tubes.
Scale buildup on your boiler tubes acts as a layer of insulation. The heat from the fuel you're burning has difficulty penetrating a thick layer of scale on your boiler tubes. This reduces the energy efficiency of your boiler. It also places additional thermal stress on your boiler's casing, since the boiler relies on the water to absorb most of the heat from the burned fuel – reduced thermal exchange between the water and the hot air in the boiler causes the internal temperature of the boiler to rise, which can cause damage.
A professional can visually inspect your boiler tubes to determine the level of scale present on the sides. In some cases, boiler cleaning products can be added to the feedwater in order to remove scale from your boiler tubes. However, if your boiler tubes are old and your feedwater contains a large amount of dissolved solids, complete boiler retubing may be your only option. This needs to be followed with feedwater treatment to avoid scale building on your boiler tubes.
Pits and Corrosion Allow Steam to Escape
It's common for boiler tubes to degrade due to the presence of oxygen in the feedwater. Oxygen causes your boiler tubes to rust. The presence of steam will prevent rust, making corrosion on your boiler tubes especially likely if your boiler is often turned off. When your boiler tubes rust, it creates small pits in the sides of your boiler tubes. For optimal heat exchange, boiler tubes are made out of very thin metal compared to the boiler casing – this makes it easy for pitting and corrosion to cause a hole in your boiler tube. Once that happens, steam will begin to escape from the tube. Not only does this reduce your boiler's energy efficiency due to the lost steam, but it can also rapidly lower the water level in the boiler. This is important to avoid, as a low water level causes the metal components in the boiler to heat to dangerous levels. To avoid damage to your boiler, it's important to replace your boiler tubes before any holes form.
Professional equipment can use ultrasound to gauge the thickness of your boiler tubes. This is used to determine how corroded the tubes are and whether or not they require replacement. In some cases, a hole can simply be patched. However, extensive pitting and corrosion requires full replacement before multiple holes open in the tubes.
To maintain your boiler's energy efficiency and prevent damage to the unit, it's important to periodically hire a professional to retube your boiler. How often your boiler needs to be retubed depends on the quality of your feedwater and your water treatment protocol. If you find that your boiler needs frequent retubing, contact a boiler service company to install a feedwater treatment system such as as anodes to absorb oxygen or a deaerator to remove it from the feedwater.Share