How Rust Appears in a Boiler

Rust is a product of corrosion, the reaction of metal and water in the presence of oxygen. Rust should always be a concern to homeowners when it appears on appliances, and it usually calls for professional repairs.

Considering that boilers are primarily metal devices that circulate hot water, people are often surprised that they don’t rust more often. Boiler manufacturers design them to resist corrosion, principally through limiting the presence of oxygen within the system. Nonetheless, rust can occur on a boiler, and when it does, you’ll need trained professionals to find out why and fix the problem.

We’ll offer a short explanation for how rust can develop across your boiler. If you need help with this problem, call Comfort Central, Inc. and we will send our NATE-certified technicians to tend to your boiler in Hendersonville, NC.

Rust and your boiler

  • Stress cracking: Because boilers are constantly heating up and cooling down, there is a small amount of metal expansion that occurs along the tank. This can eventually cause cracks to develop that will allow oxygen inside. Dissolved oxygen in water is a prime promoter of rust. Along with removing the rust, repair technicians must fix the cracking.
  • Poor pH control: A high acid level inside a boiler will cause rust to develop. The main source of this problem is contamination in the boiler feedwater—the water that enters the tank. Although the water in your boiler runs in a closed system, outside compounds can enter through breaks in underground pipes. If new water introduced into your boiler after repairs isn’t properly treated, it can also have high pH levels.
  • Deposits: Boilers often pick up sediment in the water running through them, which falls to the bottom of the tank during heating. This sediment can allow in chemicals such as ammonia and sulfurous gases that promote corrosion. Regular tank flushing is necessary to prevent sediment build-up.

Avoid boiler rust with regular maintenance

The best way to keep a boiler from developing rust is to have a yearly check-up from an HVAC technician. Each year, the technician will check on the boiler’s operation and clean components that need it. Flushing out the tank will often help prevent the development of the conditions that will promote rust. Not only will maintenance help you avoid rust, it will make the boiler more efficient and catch other potential repairs.

Contact Comfort Central, Inc. today to ask about our maintenance program and how it can help your boiler in Hendersonville, NC.

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