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Boiler Kettling, What It Is and How to Deal with It

Boiler-RepairIs your boiler making a sound like a giant kettle boiling? If so, you have a problem. Don’t worry, though. Your boiler (most likely) isn’t going to explode. That sound indicates a problem called kettling. If the issue isn’t dealt with in time, it can cause a wide range of problems for the system including breaking down. Make sure that you call for repairs as soon as you notice your system doing this.

While you’re waiting for your technician to arrive, though, take a look below at what causes kettling and why it’s a problem.

The Causes of Kettling

This may come as a surprise, but most boilers are not actually supposed to boil water. They are supposed to heat water to a bit under boiling temperatures before sending it throughout the house. The reason that most boilers are not supposed to actually boil water is because water expands dramatically when it evaporates. This puts a lot of pressure on the system that it isn’t designed to handle.

Kettling is caused when water becomes trapped in the heat exchanger a bit too long, causing it to be heated to the point of boiling. Most often, this issue is created when limescale is allowed to build up in the system and restrict the flow of water. If you know that your home has a hard water problem, you need to be especially vigilant for signs of kettling. The steam from the evaporating water puts immense pressure on the walls of the heat exchanger, causing it to rumble.

What Happens if The Problem Isn’t Solved

As you might imagine, putting a lot of extra pressure on a vital part of the boiler for an extended period of time isn’t going to end well. If the system doesn’t have any safety features in place to prevent it, kettling will eventually cause the heat exchanger to rupture. This will likely cause water damage to the surrounding area and will require that the boiler be replaced. Most boilers have safety features in place to prevent this from happening, though, and will simply shut down once the problem gets bad enough. Either way, if you ignore kettling from your system you will find yourself without a working boiler in short order.

Preventing Boiler Kettling

The best way to prevent your boiler from kettling is probably to install a water softener in your water line, if you know that your home has a hard water issue. This will prevent limescale from forming in the heat exchanger. Even if you don’t have hard water in your home, however, sediment can still build up in your boiler over time. Make sure that you schedule preventive maintenance for your boiler at least once a year. This will help keep the boiler system clean and functioning properly.

Switzerland Air provides comprehensive boiler repair services in Freeport, TX. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians. We’ll make sure that your boiler is in good condition at all times.  

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