A good Boiler Maintenance Program isn’t a stagnate checklist. A good Boiler Maintenance Program doesn’t start and stop with the boiler. A good Boiler Maintenance Program encompasses the entire heating system. Since the boiler is the heart of the heating system, it is a great place to start with maintenance. Like the human body, each part of the heating system needs specialized care to keep the overall system operating optimally. Like any system, a problem in one area will start to have a negative compounding effect on other areas.
Boiler Water Chemistry
If your boiler water chemistry isn’t maintained or you’re adding excessive freshwater, the boiler will form scale and accumulate sludge on the waterside. Before this leads to corrosion and leaks, the boiler efficiency will decrease, requiring the burner to burn more fuel to meet the demand. In turn, soot will accumulate on the fireside more quickly. The soot, acting as an insulator, will increasingly lower the boiler efficiency by sending the boiler’s heat through the chimney instead of being absorbed by the boiler. The decreased efficiency will require the burner to consume more fuel and fire for more extended periods to meet the same demand. The burner’s motors, valves, electrical and mechanical components will experience more wear and tear and fail prematurely. Eventually, the scale formations on the boiler’s waterside will lead to pitting, corrosion, and cause water leaks. As the boiler loses water through leaks, it will take on more freshwater, further compounding the problem. If the leak is coming from boiler tubes on a scotch marine boiler, some water gets absorbed by the cement refractory. When the boiler operates, the water in the cement refractory expands into steam and breaks apart the cement refractory. The broken cement refractory can no longer insulate the boiler’s heat from its steel surfaces. The excessive heat exposure will cause the steel to weaken and fail prematurely.
The Domino Effect
This domino effect is one of many examples of why a comprehensive boiler maintenance program is vital to the cost-effective, efficient, reliable, and safe operation of your boiler. Although many boilers have essential standard maintenance needs, a Comprehensive Boiler Maintenance Program is not one size fits all. The type of boiler, its frequency of use, fuel type, and type of heating system all influence the boiler’s maintenance needs.
At CC Controlled Combustion Co. Inc, we analyze our customers’ expenditures on repairs after each heating season. We categorize their aggregate spending by equipment type and repair type. We look at the top repair cost categories and ask whether adequate maintenance would have made a difference. If the answer is yes and we can offer a cost-effective maintenance solution, we offer it as an option in our Comprehensive Boiler Maintenance Program.