The importance of a boiler can most often be underestimated. Boilers come in various shapes and sizes and for multiple uses in many types of facilities, but what people sometimes miss is that all the hot running water in your house, for instance, or all the heat coming out of your radiator or central heating system, is because of this one appliance – the boiler. Which ultimately means, it does the work of providing you with warmth and comfort and it is only fair to repay the favour.
Because boilers work overtime, especially during the winter months, it should be one of the most essential items of regular maintenance on your to-do list.Before the winter months come around, getting around to cleaning it and checking that all is working well, will make you and your family sleep better at night.
Some people choose to go the DIY route and some people choose to hire professionals. Whatever decision you make, there is a lot more at stake then you think. Read more here.
So, you ask yourself, why is it so important to do this regular maintenance on the boiler?
Ever heard of the term ‘Boiler Sludge’? If not, read on.
Tap water is never 100% clean, and especially tap water that runs through your boiler tubes carries with it various minerals and grit i.e. impure particles.
When all these pollutants stick to the inside of the hot water tubes, it gets deposited more and more every couple of months until it forms a thick layer inside the tubes, similar to the white/grey lime scale you find in your kettles after using it for a few months or years. Read a discussion about this here: https://forums.digitalspy.com/discussion/1952438/boiler-sludge
Now imagine, this ‘sludge’ builds up, it spreads into your radiators, the water becomes more and more murky, one thing leads to another and the boiler starts to work even harder to be able to boil that water or spread that heat fast enough. But if it is obstructed, all that energy, gas and electricity keeps getting pumped out but with minimal effect. It basically goes to waste.
Eventually, if you don’t catch this in its early stages, and the boiler stops working, guess what? You will need a new one.
Let’s Do the Math
We have all heard the saying – prevention is better than cure.
Is it better to keep your boiler clean and maintain it every couple of months to get it cleaned out from the inside or is it better to leave it alone, and never look at it, as long as it provides you with hot water and heat you don’t need to worry about it, until it breaks and then have to install a new one… which one do you think will cost more?
What Are My Options?
If your boiler has not packed up yet, there is still hope!
Industrial boilers are the types that need the most maintenance within the shortest period of times. However, there are tools that one can use to make this task a simple one. In the age of automation, the idea of an automatic boiler tube cleaner is actually possible. These air driven cleaning systems, work in small spaces to automatically clean your boiler tubes, so you don’t have to.
With stainless steel brushes, and no damage to your equipment, who can deny the efficiency of this invention? A good one is also fuel efficient and emits considerably less Co2. Investing in one of these tube cleaners can save you a significant amount of expenses that you would normally spend on calling out professionals or a maintenance service.
Whether it is the Haycock and wagon boiler or the cylindrical one or even a multi-tube boiler that you are sporting in your facilities; it doesn’t matter. What does matter is keeping it cleaned and regularly maintained. It is astonishing how much hassle you can avoid just by doing this.
Below is a list of just some of these things you can avoid:
– Costs: As mentioned above, it costs a lot more to replace a boiler than to clean one.
– Efficiency: with all the erosion caused by impurities and solid particles, combined with the steam from the hot water, there is a high risk of rust build up. This makes the tubes weak, which eventually leads to wear and tear and possible breakage.
– Failure to Work: The lack of regular inspection and cleaning can also lead to other issues in the boiler that can affect its condition i.e. it can stop working all together and this would not be a good scenario peak winter. Calling out a repair man may not be as quick a process as you think. It is also often the problem that if there is insufficient water in the boiler it could cause it to overheat and fail to work.
– Safety: The release of carbon monoxide from the exhaust is all part of the normal process of the boiler’s workings. However, if it is not vented to the outside of the house and has sprung a leak in its pipe, there is no way to tell with the naked eye.Only a professional can do the necessary tests to find out and by then you or your family would be at risk of breathing that in. However, with regular cleaning, you can be one step ahead and check for these leaks before they happen.
– Life Expectancy: As with everything in life, the more you look after it regularly, the longer it will remain in working condition.
A happy boiler makes a happy life!