Boiler corrosion affects the integrity of the equipment and can cause lasting damages to your Wakefield home. With a reduction in the boiler’s ability to transfer heat, your heating costs can increase while the temperature of your hot water decreases. Various issues can cause corrosion in water heaters, but with preventative maintenance, you can reduce the effects of corrosion that even the hardest Wakefield water causes. The following is information about how regular maintenance from 128 Plumbing can extend the life of your boiler, reduce corrosion, and keep your showers toasty hot this winter.
Common Reasons Boilers Have Corrosion
The local HVAC technicians at 128 Plumbing understand the concerns that Wakefield residents have when it comes to the condition of their boilers. Emergency breakdowns can be very unpleasant and expensive, so reducing corrosion is key to ensuring your equipment lasts for years. A regular inspection can help to find small problems before your boiler develops a large complication and becomes a major hindrance.
Energy efficiency is why many people opt for boilers in their Wakefield homes. With a lifespan of about 15 years, boilers are made to be durable and long-lasting, but problems can often go undetected. Corrosion can cause sudden shutdowns, which can be a nightmare during a cold Massachusetts night.
Over time, most metals undergo oxidation to some extent, even though the materials used in household boilers are designed to withstand many of the corrosive elements in your local water system. The pipes leading to and from the boiler should have a life expectancy close to that of the equipment itself. Poor water quality or low pH, however, can damage the materials that make up your boiler and pipes, increasing the rate of corrosion.
In boilers, the corrosion cycle is natural — the interaction of water, oxygen, and the boiler metal itself results in rust (ferrous oxide), which is the primary cause of corrosion. The more oxygen that’s allowed to get into the tank, the faster your boiler will corrode.
Holes in the Surface of the Boiler
Once corrosion in your boiler starts, there’s no real way to stop it or make it go away. The corrosion will spread, eating away at the metal until it thins and holes appear. Boilers have corrosion from the inside out, so you may not even notice that there’s damage until there are visible holes. Occasionally, corrosion can form outside the tank, which can lead to leaks causing serious damage inside your home.
Preventative boiler maintenance can help find areas of corrosion before they become holes, which can’t be patched up, and these inspections can find problems in time for you to replace the boiler before it conks out. Preventative maintenance packages are common services from 128 Plumbing in Wakefield, and, done twice a year, can help you catch small problems and corrosion before they become emergencies.
Pitting of the Boiler’s Pipes
The pipes going to and from the boiler are affected by the same type of corrosive water and oxygen imbalance as your boiler. Pitting inside the pipes is the formation of small holes, typically on the pipes leading out of the boiler, but the intake pipes can be affected, too. Pitted corrosion can go unnoticed for a long time, and these small leaks can cause water to accumulate in the walls of your home. Our inspectors at 128 Plumbing check not just the boiler but the pipes as well, helping you find leaks before mold begins growing in your house.
Effects of Boiler Corrosion
Beyond the corrosive damage to your home, leaks and holes in the boiler have other negative side effects. The equipment itself can fail due to corrosion, creating an emergency situation. Boiler corrosion and deterioration can also make your heating less effective.
Loss of heating Efficiency
As your boiler slowly corrodes, the ability of it effectively transferring heat to the rest of your home is reduced. This means that your boiler has to work harder and for a longer time, just to maintain the levels of heating you desire, increasing your energy bills. In addition, the harder your boiler works, the faster it can wear out. Corrosion can even happen on small parts, which is why you need one of our trusted experts at 128 Plumbing to inspect them regularly.
Parts such as the water feeder may accumulate rust, as well, which can inhibit the mechanical working of the part. The water feeder can experience stalling and overworking the motor, which may make it wear out. Corrosion in the thermocouple can lead to leaks. These leaks can cause the pilot burner to go out.
Reduced Lifespan of Your Boiler
Once your boiler beings corroding, there is no way to reverse it. Heavier corroding can make your boiler fail faster, and you’ll need to replace it more often. Boilers can be pricey, so booking regular inspections for advice on preventative maintenance can help you reduce the expense of frequent boiler replacement.
Emergency Boiler Malfunction
Cracking of the boiler’s metal from corrosion can lead to serious problems. You may notice that you no longer have hot water or heat coming from your radiators. A potential emergency situation is one in which your boiler is overheating. Corrosion in the boiler’s thermoregulation system can cause it to gauge the temperature of the water incorrectly. When boilers overheat, they can explode, which can be dangerous to you and very damaging to your home.
Top Ways to Prevent Corrosion
There are several things that you can do, initially, to mitigate the effects of corrosive elements that can affect your boiler. Preventative maintenance is key, and if you’re building a new home in Middlesex County, then you may be able to head off corrosion problems right from the start.
Proper System Installation
Installing a new or replacement boiler correctly in the first place can help reduce the effects of corrosion. Making sure that the pipes fit tightly can decrease the amount of oxygen that the boiler takes in. Snug insulation can minimize any effects of leaks as well as prevent moisture collection on the outside of the boiler that leads to damage within the home.
Feedwater Cycle and Treatment
The water that comes into your Wakefield home for drinking, washing, and cooking may be just fine for your consumption and causes little issues with your pipes. However, the water that your boiler uses undergoes a complicated set of chemical changes.
The feedwater typically comes from a feed pump and moves into the steam drum. Once the feedwater moves into the steam drum, the water becomes steam, which produces the heat. The steam is then dumped into the main condenser of your boiler and then heads into the condenser. From there, the water travels into the deaerated feed tank; the feed tank is where your boiler most likely experiences corrosion. From the feed tank, the hot water goes into the steam drum to complete the cycle.
Treating the feedwater either before it enters or once it’s in the tank can help if you live in an area with low-pH water. It may also help change the chemical make up of the water to make it more alkaline and thus reducing the corrosive elements in the feedwater.
Regular Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance of your boiler is the best way to reduce corrosion and lengthen the life of your equipment. Having your boiler inspected by our team of professionals at 128 Plumbing regularly can help alert you to thinning metal, so you can better budget for a replacement.
Additionally, treating the water and having our highly skilled technicians inspect the boiler can help maintain the right chemical balance of the water and thus minimize corrosion. Contact 128 Plumbing today to recieve preventative maintenance for your boiler!