How to Clean a Natural Gas Boiler

Cleaning your natural gas boiler becomes a necessary activity after some time has passed since having it installed. Because of its almost non-stop work, dust mixed with the heat condensation may start obstructing your tubes and pipes, making it less efficient with time. Gas boilers are commonly used for water heating, or for heating homes. Turning your heating system to natural gas is probably one of the best decisions you could make, since natural gas boilers will save you plenty money. However, as in most gas fueled appliances, proper maintenance should be performed regularly to ensure a optimum heat delivery, and to prevent fire hazards and personal injury. 

Here are some tips on how to keep good maintenance to you natural gas boiler. For this, you will need:

  • A vacuum cleaner
  • A couple of cleaning brushes
  • A screw driver set
  • Digital camera (optional)

Step 1 – Setting Up

Before even touching your natural gas boiler, look for the main switch and shut it off. Then, wait for the heater to cool off and empty it. Be careful when doing this, to avoid bad burns. It is advised for you to let the heater stand for two to three hours. Once the boiler is cool enough, use your screwdriver to disassemble and remove the front cover of the unit. Also, remove the vent stack, and the top cover. Make sure to remember where all the little pieces go, since everything has to get back in place in order to work again. A good idea is to take pictures of the part you're working on the natural gas boiler, prior to disassembling it. That way, you'll have a visual reference of where each part goes, and how.

Step 2 – Cleaning the Tubes

By removing all mentioned above, you’ll have access to the heat exchanger. Use your brushes to start cleaning the insides, taking the dust off the tubes all the way down to the base of the heater. After the dust if off, wash the burner tubes with clean water and let dry.

Step 3 - Cleaning the Complete Unit

Once you are done cleaning the tubes, start cleaning the bottom of the unit and its surroundings with the vacuum cleaner. This way, you’ll be sure that the area where the gas boiler is located is clean as well. For the natural gas boiler to work properly, everything around it should be unobstructed.

Step 4 – Putting it All Back Together

Having cleaned all the separate parts and surrounding areas, it’s time to put it all back together. Use the pictures in your digital camera as a reference. Place the burner tubes back first, then the vent sack and unit covers. Make sure to also clean the vent sack with your brushes, or wash with water if necessary. The vent sack of your natural gas boiler should be obstruction-free.

Step 5 – Testing and Restarting

After putting everything back together, turn your power back on and let the thermostat go all the way up to start the boiling cycle. You should be seeing a regular blue flame, with a slight orange color.

Remember to have your natural gas boiler checked at least once a year by a professional maintenance service provider, especially if you have had if for more than 2 years running. Usually, newer models are safer to operate. Still, you must be careful when working with natural gas appliances. If you suspect any problems, get in contact with professional assistance right away.