Installing a boiler can be a very expensive process, and it is no wonder that many people are reluctant to consider having to fit a replacement when their current boiler dies. There are many things which can damage the life expectancy of a boiler, including creating a vacuum in the boiler which can damage the inside, impacting and denting tubes and connective pipes, and overfiring. However, there are also many things which you can do to help maintain your boiler's life, and following a few simple steps can make this task easily done in your spare time.
Step 1: Treat Your Water
One of the biggest problems which cause damage to your boiler is contaminated water. This can lead to corrosion and pitting, sediment build-up, bacteria, and the eventual failure of the hot water system due to this poor water being run through pipes, tanks and faucets. Sole the problem of contaminated water by treating. Water treatment chemicals have a range of purposes, from oxygen scavengers which remove extra oxygen from the water, preventing pitting. They also prevent bacteria from breeding on still water areas, preventing legionaries disease, amongst other unpleasant illnesses. Buy a water treatment mixture in one pack for convenience, and remember to perform blow downs regularly in order to release sediment from the bottom of the boiler.
Step 2: Check Your Wiring
A big danger can be boiler fuel explosions, which can totally destroy your boiler. There are a number of problems which can cause this, including unburned fuel build-up in the tank, the poor release of oil, and an improper purge after burning. Check the wiring on your boiler's components regularly to make sure that they are all working properly, preventing the dangers of fuel build-up. You should also regularly look at the boiler flame, otherwise known as the pilot light, to make sure that it is burning correctly. Any signs of a different color flame, or evidence of burning or staining above the flame, should be reported immediately to your supplier.
Step 3: Keep Your Level Up
Another problem which can seriously limit the longevity of your boiler is a low water level. Lower water levels prevent the circulation of the water which the boiler was designed for, and can involve loss of control in the boiler drum, and overheating of the hot water system. To prevent this happening, monitor the water level gauge, known as a sight glass, on the side of the boiler. If it falls, you may need to top up the levels inside your boiler.
Step 4: Warm Your Boiler Gradually
Another problem that you can avoid with maintenance is improper warm up. A repeated cycle of poor warm-ups will lead to stresses on the metal and components which will cause fatigue and eventual failure. Warm up your boiler slowly by not allowing it to increase the water temperature by more than 100 degrees an hour. Avoid continuous minimum fire which can exceed this rate, and try intermittent firing in order to prevent improper warm-up.