Have you ever noticed your boiler rumbling like a giant teapot? It can be quite disconcerting the first time you hear it. Don’t worry, though: your boiler is not likely to explode. That rumbling sound is a behavior called kettling, for obvious reasons. While it is not typically dangerous in the sense that it can cause you bodily harm, it can absolutely wreck your boiler if it isn’t taken care of. Let’s take a look at what causes kettling—and what you can do about it.
What Causes Kettling?
Kettling is caused by a buildup of lime scale in the system’s heat exchanger. Lime scale is created by long term exposure to hard water, which deposits minerals on the sides of the pipe. This restricts the flow of water through the heat exchanger, eventually causing water to boil in the pipe. Though they are called boilers, the vast majority of boiler systems are not designed to actually boil water. When the water in the heat exchanger evaporates into steam, it puts an incredible amount of pressure on the pipe. The rumbling you hear is the steam straining against the heat exchanger.
Problems That Kettling Causes
As you might imagine, all of that steam pressing against the heat exchanger is not good for it. If it goes on long enough, it can cause the heat exchanger to rupture. Aside from the obvious repair needs of replacing the heat exchanger, this will also very likely cause serious water damage to the surrounding area. This is why kettling needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. We can remove lime scale from your boiler’s heat exchanger, restoring it to its proper function.
If your boiler is kettling, call Switzerland Air. We provide comprehensive boiler services throughout Brazoria, TX.