Can kettling be cured?

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Old 03-20-13, 06:59 AM
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Can kettling be cured?

Recent activity to make my boiler/heat system better has resulted in kettling. I flushed the entire system a couple months ago and put straight water back in. During some plumbing modifications, the system was again recirculated. The clear water that I had put in had turned murky, rusty looking. The serviceman put in 10 gallons of propylene glycol with an inhibitor. Now I hear the popping noises in the boiler while the flame is on that is indicative of kettling (as I understand it). I'm pretty sure sediment has settled in the bottom of the boiler. Can anything be done to fix this? The noise will be insufferable when the heater is running all night next winter.
 
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Old 03-20-13, 10:19 AM
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I recently just went through a Kettling issue and have corrected it!
Started doing it 2 years ago, the system had Glycol in it and I wanted that removed as well. After removing the Glycol the kettling seemed to go away, only to return in a few weeks. Figuring it was sediment build up, I did some research and went with a product called Hydro Solv 9100. Pumped it in and let it circulate for about 6 weeks during the current heating season. The kettling did remain during the time the cleaner was in my system, but seemed to change tone slightly. After I thoroughly flushed the system clean and added a conditioner the kettling has completely gone away. I think my heat transfer actually improved too as the boiler cycle times have changed slightly and my DHW coil seems hotter as well.

PM me if you'd like more details on the products and process I used.
 
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Old 03-21-13, 10:39 AM
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I probably did the PM thing wrong but I would be interested to know what steps you took. I won't be able to run it for 6 weeks from this point but I can follow your steps next fall.
 
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Old 03-21-13, 11:53 AM
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More info....
What boiler.
What pump,
Piping...
You know the drill
 
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Old 03-21-13, 12:10 PM
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I have a Weil-McLain CG boiler about 12 to 13 years old. It has a Taco 007 on it and another 007 for the system supply. The piping to the manifolds is 3/4" Pex and 1/2" Pex in the loops. Here's where I get beat up.... The pex is AquaPex. Feel free to begin the bashing. The brownish liquid in the system when I bought the house has no doubt been in there the full 12 years or so. When I replaced it with domestic water it probably knocked loose all sorts of buildup and let more oxygen into the system. Again, it is a slab so there is nothing I can do about the tubing. There was no knocking noise prior to the recent re-piping. Probably because the boiler wasn't getting hot?
 
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Old 03-21-13, 02:46 PM
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If you have a non-oxygen barrier PEX tubing then you have two choices, either install a heat exchanger with all bronze and stainless steel fittings on the PEX side or else you need to chemically treat the water in that boiler.

I am not familiar with residential boilers but if this were a larger boiler then it would be washed out to remove anything loose and then acid cleaned to remove any remaining scale. In your particular case you may be able to remove any plugs or fittings in both the upper and lower parts of the boiler and use a high pressure hose to blast out the loose crap. It will make a huge mess and you will need a wet/dry shop vacuum for clean-up.

Pictures are always helpful.
 
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