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hot water boiler maintenance

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  • hot water boiler maintenance

    flushing a domestic hot water boiler on a regular basis removes sediment from the appliance and extends its life. is flushing a hot water boiler also recommended as part of a maintenance program?
    there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

  • #2
    Re: hot water boiler maintenance

    Flushing a boiler is not necessary.
    Here's the reason:
    Hot water tanks have new water run through them day in and day out.
    Every gallon of new water contains minerals. This is a simplistic sounding statement, but I don't have a complete list of the substances found in domestic water. The bottom and center of the tank get very hot as the burner fires to heat the water. This very hot surface causes the minerals come out of solution and deposit in the tank. Flushing a hot water tank every year is a good way to get rid of these deposits and (hopefully) extend the life of the tank.

    Why isn't a home heating boiler the same situation? The answer to that is that the boiler is heating the same water over and over. The minerals will drop out and potentially deposit in the boiler, but only once. In theory, you should have the same water in your boiler for many years. The exception to this comes when you have a leak in the system somewhere. When this happens, the fill valve feeds in new water and new minerals. If you let a boiler run with "just a small leak" at a valve or fitting, it will not take very long to really plug up the heat exchanger with minerals. Some manufacturers will use that as a perfectly justified reason to deny a warranty claim on a failed heat exchanger.

    One other caveat: In a house with large piping and radiators instead of baseboard, the system should be drained shortly after installing the new boiler, then again in a few months or a year. You wouldn't believe the amount of black nastiness that can exist in those systems after 80 years of service. That is stuff that you want to get out of your shiny new boiler.

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    • #3
      Re: hot water boiler maintenance

      I always recommend installing a micron filter as part of a maintenance program, especially in older buildings, or buildings with alot of black iron piping. This is a good way to keep sediment (caused by flaking pipe, etc) out of pumps valves and other trim.
      West Trail Mechanical Ltd
      Service. Commitment. Expertise.

      www.westtrailmechanical.ca

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      • #4
        Re: hot water boiler maintenance

        Originally posted by bigPipe09 View Post
        I always recommend installing a micron filter as part of a maintenance program, especially in older buildings, or buildings with alot of black iron piping. This is a good way to keep sediment (caused by flaking pipe, etc) out of pumps valves and other trim.


        I highly recommend the filter whenever I do a changeout on an old system. Sometimes customers question me about it even though it's not required or even mentioned in most installation manuals. They think I'm trying to sell them something they don't need. When I come back 2 years later and drop the filter out I show them what they paid for. Chunks of rusted metal, a nut from an old radiator valve stem and a few blobs of solder that could have jammed the pump impeller. The screen is a necessity on a high efficiency stainless steel heat exchanger IMO.

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        • #5
          Re: hot water boiler maintenance

          yes i would believe the amount of blac nastiness that accumulates in 86 year old black pipes. any ideas on "rinsing" that out of the system would be appreciated. when i replaced the 50 year old boiler, none of my research addressed the residue in the black pipe risers that were not replaced. and does anyone have a hyperlink to a source for micron filters. and where in the system would it/they be placed? again, info is much appreciated.
          there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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          • #6
            Re: hot water boiler maintenance

            PC,

            Do you ever recommend water testing/chemical treatment? I have the same problem as you when recommending the micron to customers, also when I talk about water treatment It gets received with alot of skepticism. I'm speaking in terms of larger systems when I talk about chemicals.
            West Trail Mechanical Ltd
            Service. Commitment. Expertise.

            www.westtrailmechanical.ca

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: hot water boiler maintenance

              I use a product called Boiler Colloid http://www.utilitychemicals.com/boil-prod2.htm#1 for cleaning and maintaining old systems.

              Usually I only push a chemical cleaning when going from a really old system to a new high effiency system if they want to get the most out of the extra money they spent. A couple extra hours cleaning on a new install can really improve and protect the system. Also when doing steam boiler replacements this is a must.

              I wouldn't worry too much about risers but long oversized horizontal runs will collect tons of gunk. I use these Watts strainers on boiler replacements: http://www.watts.com/pro/_productsFu...&pid=828&ref=2

              BigPipe, I don't do alot of big commercial boiler work but yeah I believe testing and treating fluids in large systems is very important for longevity of the system. Unfortunately, most people think once they buy a new system that nothing has to be done to it for 10 years....if it lasts that long

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