How to Perform a Boiler Blowdown
A boiler blowdown should be performed when the water shows sign of dirt or impurities. The process for performing a boiler blowdown is best handled by a professional, but can be done by a do-it-yourselfer looking to save money on the process. In order to properly blowdown the boiler in your home there are a few steps that are needed to accomplish this task.
A blowdown of a boiler is done either automatically or on a manual basis. An automatic blowdown happens on schedule and does not require any intervention by you to accomplish it, so this article will discuss the process for manually blowing down your boiler.
Step 1: Locate the Quick Opening Valve
Locate the valve that controls the release of water, known as the quick opening valve. Locate the manual for the brand of boiler that you have, to view the schematic for the location of this valve.
Step 2: Open the Quick Opening Valve
You should be able to turn the valve easily with your hands. Turn the quick opening valve counterclockwise until the flow line is running warm.
Step 3: Open the Valve at a Steady Rate
Once the line begins running warm, open the valve at a steady rate until the water in the boiler drops to half its level. This can be seen in the spyglass on the boiler. When the water level is half the original level, quickly close the valve as well as any other open valves on the boiler. This will produce the blowdown effect that you're looking for in order to clean the system.
Step 4: Repeat the Process
Repeat Step 2 of this process, after you refill the boiler with water. This second blowdown will clean out the remaining impurities in the system and the water should return to a pure state.
This process should be conducted on a periodic basis in order to make sure that your boiler is working properly. A system that runs with a lot of impurities may not be as effective and may also place harmful particles in the air for occupants of the home to breathe. You can reduce this hazard or potential hazard by performing a boiler blowdown and making sure that the water is running at its purest level.
Create a blowdown maintenance schedule of at least once a quarter or every couple of months. If you don't have the time or don't feel comfortable in accomplishing this task on a regular basis, you should contact a plumbing expert or professional in your community that works with boilers. Set up a blowdown schedule with them in order to keep the boiler working properly.