The spring is the time to have your boiler system inspected to have maintenance work done before you mothball it for the summer. An issue many boiler systems have is corrosion building up inside the pipes and tank. The remnants of the corrosion can turn into a sludge that will end up clogging the pipes and cause heating problems next winter. Here is what a contractor will look for to alert them to a corrosion problem and what they'll have to do to mitigate the problem.

Inspection Process

A contractor will open up the drain valve on the tank to test the water. If the water is a murky brown, that signifies to the contractor that the metal pipes and equipment in the system are beginning to rust. The rust will turn into a sludge that will settle at the bottom of the tank and in the pipes. The system has to be flushed out to remove the rust.

Flushing a Boiler System

The contractor will turn off the electrical power and gas to the boiler and wait to make sure the water has cooled down. They will then shut off the water supply and close the valves going to the individual loops going throughout the building to keep it warm in the winter.

Each loop will have its own zone valve to allow hot water to leave the boiler and circulate throughout the system. Each loop will also have its own drain valve on the pipe returning to the boiler. Both valves are located on pipes next to the boiler. The contractor will connect a hose to the drain valve on one of the loops and run the hose line to a floor drain. They will then open the drain valve and empty all the water out of one of that loop.

There is normally a regulator on the boiler system that allows the contractor to send water through one loop at a time. The contractor will open the regulator so water will go into the loop that was drained. The water supply will be restored and allowed to cycle through the loop. The contractor will wait until completely clear water runs out of the loop.

The contractor will flush out each loop one at a time until all the loops in the systems have clear running water going through them.

Add Cleaning Agent

The contractor will fill the boiler back up with water after adding a cleaning agent that will dissolve the buildup of corrosion on the walls of the pipes and equipment. The boiler will be turned on to heat the water to help the cleaning agent work well. The water and cleaning agent will be allowed to circulate through the system for at least a day, but it could be longer if the corrosion buildup is really bad.

After a day or two, the contractor will return to flush out the system again to thoroughly clean out the boiler and pipes. The boiler will then be ready to be shut down for the summer.

For more information, contact Moorhead Machinery & Boiler Co. or a similar company.