Has your boiler ever started making a deep rumbling sound, like an enormous, rather sinister tea-kettle? That sound is, appropriately, called Kettling. Itb s not a good thing. If you ignore that noise, itb s going to cause a number of issues for your boiler, eventually culminating in the entire system shutting down. So, make sure that you call for repairs as soon as you notice this issue occurring. Have a look below at what causes boiler kettling, the damage it can cause, and how to prevent it.B
The Causes of Kettling
This may come as a shock, so you should sit down before reading: most boilers arenb t meant to, you know, boil water. The average boiler found in homes is meant to heat water to between 180-205 degrees Fahrenheit. Kettling occurs when water becomes trapped in the boilerb s heat exchanger for longer than it should be, causing it to boil and evaporate. Water expands dramatically in volume when it evaporates into steam, putting immense pressure on the system in the process that it really wasnb t designed to handle. That rumbling sound the boiler makes when itb s kettling is the sound of the steam struggling to escape the heat exchanger.
So, what causes the water to become trapped in the pipe in the first place? Most often, thatb s due to limescale buildup in the pipe. This restricts the flow of water through the system and causes the issue. If you know that your home has a problem with hard water, you should consult with a professional about possibly implementing some protective measures to prevent this from happening.
It should be obvious that taking a complex system like a boiler and putting a ton of pressure on a vital part that wasnb t meant to deal with it isnb t going to end well. Assuming no action is taken, and your boiler doesnb t have safety measures installed to deal with exactly this issue, the heat exchanger will eventually rupture. This will cause extensive water damage to the surrounding area, and more than likely will require that you replace your boiler.
Most boilers have safety measures in place to prevent the heat exchanger from rupturing. That doesnb t mean that youb re off the hook, though. In systems that are prepared for the possibility of kettling, you will still experience a decline in output followed by a complete system shutdown. Either way, youb re going to be left without a functioning boiler if your system kettles for a long time.
Make sure that you prevent the system from developing a kettling problem by scheduling preventive maintenance, so that your technician can flush out your heat exchanger on a regular basis. If you know that your home has hard water issues, make sure that you talk to a professional about whether or not you should install a water softener. These steps should go a long way towards keeping your boiler in good condition, and preventing kettling.