How often should you clean the boiler

Cleaning the heat exchanger of the gas boiler from scale

Usually you need to flush the heat exchanger for the gas boiler once every three years. If you do not do this procedure regularly, over time the efficiency of the boiler decreases significantly, the draft decreases, and therefore the device can not perform its functions. In this regard, it is necessary to constantly turn on the boiler at full power, which significantly increases the gas bill.

But this is not the only consequence of scale formation on the inner walls of the heat exchanger.

  • The formed layer itself is a material with low thermal conductivity. That is, the water in the heat exchanger will heat up much less. And in order to bring its temperature to the required level it will need a larger amount of gas. And this is, firstly, its overspending, and secondly, the overspending of funds.
  • Can break the circulating pump, which in many models of heating boilers is an integral part of it. Just reducing the diameter of the heat exchanger pipe increases the load on its pumping.

That is, it turns out that if time to make cleaning of gas boiler, you can prolong its life, plus avoid unscheduled repairs, associated with the failure of the elements of the heater.

Dirty heat exchanger from the outside

How often should the boiler be cleaned?

Prophylactic cleaning of elements of the gas equipment is recommended not more often than once or twice a year. The real need for boiler maintenance depends on specific factors: the model of equipment, time of year, operating conditions.

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The contamination of the unit can lead to soot, which is formed when using gas burners. Also dangerous for the operation of the boiler is hard water. it leads to the formation of limescale. Using the appliance in a dusty environment threatens to clog the burners and the ignition device. To keep the equipment functioning, we recommend cleaning every two heating seasons.

How to determine if the internal parts of the boiler are clogged:

  • the device heats up slowly;
  • The temperature in the room decreased at the former power settings;
  • The unit makes extraneous sounds: grinding, water noise, popping when igniting;
  • the operation of the circulating pump is accelerated;
  • There is an unusual smell of burning;
  • The igniter does not ignite or goes out for no reason.

These symptoms can cause a cleaning of the gas boiler. In order to return the equipment to its proper functioning, contact specialists or perform maintenance of the appliance yourself.

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How often does the gas boiler need to be cleaned??

Any equipment needs routine inspections by specialists and regular preventive maintenance, including gas boilers.

How often is the need to clean boilers and other home heating system equipment?

often, clean, boiler

Most popular manufacturers recommend cleaning your gas equipment at least once a year. Although, by and large, it all depends on the intensity of use and the quality of incoming water. It is definitely necessary to flush the water storage tank once every 2-3 years.

Seals usually last 6-7 years. After this time it is necessary to change them. Sometimes this has to be done earlier. the need becomes apparent during the routine preventive inspection.

Users usually begin to worry about the condition of their boilers when the first problems appear, for example with the pressure in the heating system. However, this approach is fundamentally wrong. Timely cleaning of the gas boiler is cheaper than buying a new one, which will definitely become necessary if preventive measures are not taken.

What kind of contamination threatens the boilers of the heating system?

Causes of problems with gas boilers (if we do not consider automatics) are: scale deposits, rust, mineral deposits, slag, as well as soot.

The biggest problem with all boilers is scale. not solved with the development of technology. In contact with metal surfaces, the hard water circulating in the heating system leaves deposits (calcium and magnesium salts) on the walls.

Scale under an electron microscope

Soot. also a very dangerous deposit. It tends to litter the furnace chamber and chimney, as well as settle on the heat exchange surfaces.

Contamination makes it difficult to operate the equipment and, if the problem is not solved, sooner or later there will be a breakdown.

But don’t despair. To date, various types of cleaners have been developed, which are used in one case or another and depending on how neglected the situation is. Sometimes two technologies are used at the same time.

There are chemical and mechanical, hydrodynamic and ultrasonic and other technologies for cleaning internal surfaces of heating equipment. In some cases, you need to apply the most advanced gas pulse descaler.

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In the most difficult situations, mechanical cleaning is used. To do this, you have to completely disassemble the unit and clean the dirt by hand. Such cleaning gives a brilliant result, but requires a lot of effort and, accordingly, is quite expensive.

Remember that the cleaning of the gas boiler should only be made by a specialist!

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How to clean a gas boiler at home

An indispensable element of any heating system is a gas boiler, which performs the function of heat generation for space heating. Proper care of this device will be necessary for proper operation. In the process of operation it will be necessary to periodically clean the gas boiler from accumulated soot and other impurities of various kinds.

How often you need to clean it

The need for cleaning occurs when certain negative things are detected in the gas boiler process:

  • sudden drop in the temperature regime when the device is working steadily;
  • increased gas and electricity consumption;
  • The appearance of an unpleasant odor caused by carbon monoxide in the room.

Often the cause of these failures is a clogging of certain elements inside the gas boiler. In order to understand exactly where the excessive accumulation of dirt occurred, requires knowledge of the internal structure of the individual elements, which can be studied in the technical documentation supplied with the gas boiler.

How to clean the heating gas boiler from soot flushing the heat exchanger

The comfort of private house owners, especially in winter, depends directly on the serviceability of the heating system, and the flawless operation of the boiler is guaranteed only if all its parts are kept in perfect order. Sometimes the functioning of the equipment is disturbed for a very trivial reason. due to the contamination of some parts, such as a gas boiler or heat exchanger. Let’s consider whether you can clean the gas boiler by yourself and whether it is safe.

often, clean, boiler

Pipes through which the hot fluid circulates, sooner or later become covered with scale on the inside. This process is similar to the deposition of lime on the walls of the kettle: the thicker the layer of scale, the slower it heats. Deposition of salts on the walls of the heat exchanger can cause problems.

This is how the tubes of the heat exchanger will look clogged with scale (sectional view), if regular preventive maintenance and cleaning of internal ducts is not carried out

Is the trouble so great? See what to expect if the lines are not flushed in time:

  • Overheating. The gas boiler is designed in such a way that the coolant during the return flow must cool the internal parts of the heating elements. Lime scale prevents proper cooling, so the equipment can break down at any time.
  • Breakage of important parts. For example, a reduction in pipe diameter increases the load limit on the circulating pump and this can also cause it to fail.
  • Increase in fuel consumption. Because of the deposits, the thermal conductivity of the pipes is drastically reduced and more energy is required to heat the fluid as needed, i.e., the gas consumption increases. Accordingly, the operating costs of the gas boiler will also increase.

To avoid the above troubles, it is necessary to flush regularly.

The frequency of the procedure depends on the fluid used as coolant. Let’s assume an antifreeze heating system requires cleaning about once every 2 years and the fluid quality should be monitored and if necessary replaced completely. Pipes that circulate purified water should be flushed once every 3-4 years. The higher the hardness of the liquid, the more frequent the cleaning measures.

Washing methods for the heat exchanger

When choosing the method of flushing is usually guided by their own capabilities and knowledge. Let’s focus on three generally accepted methods.

Method #1. manual cleaning

To perform it, the heat exchanger must be carefully removed from the boiler, otherwise there will not be easy access to contaminated surfaces. Then choose either mechanical cleaning or flushing with solutions. For mechanical removal of deposits a scraper, brush and vacuum cleaner will be needed. For flushing, which is good for two-circuit boilers. a salt dissolving liquid.

With the manual method of cleaning all actions must be careful and cautious. When assembling the heat exchanger in place, you should carefully check the connections for leaks.

After removing the heat exchanger from the boiler body you will realize that the inner surface of its main part. the curved tube. needs cleaning, and manually perform a complete cleaning will be extremely problematic

often, clean, boiler

Method #2. a chemical solution through a booster

It requires the use of special equipment. a booster, which pumps an acidic flushing solution into the heat exchanger. It is run through the tubes several times over a long period of time, as a result, the plaque is dissolved and flushed out with the flushing liquid.

The result is an increase in the capacity and thermal conductivity. Even the most stubborn stains like carbonate salt and trivalent iron deposits can be treated with an acid solution. The acid residue in the pipes is neutralized with a special solution, which is run in the heat exchanger last.

Method #3. hydrodynamic flushing

No need to disassemble the equipment. It consists of pumping water (in some cases with an abrasive filler) and then pressurizing it. The increased velocity of the fluid causes deposits to break down and eventually come out. There is a risk of exceeding critical pressures that can result in burst pipes.

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Self-cleaning of the heat exchanger is not recommended. Best solution is to call in professionals who are certified to work with gas equipment. Knowing the methods and sequence of cleaning, you will be able to control the work of specialists.

Preventive maintenance and repair of gas equipment by specialists ensures that quality equipment, tested materials, safe technologies are used. all in compliance with standards

Cleaning the boiler from soot

In addition to cleaning the chimney clean the channels of the gas boiler itself. If the chimney gets dirty and there are problems with the draught, automatically triggers the shutdown of the equipment. If soot builds up inside the boiler, there is no shutdown, and the occupants of the house can be poisoned by the products of combustion. In addition, contaminated equipment operates incompletely, so it is recommended to perform the cleaning procedure annually, especially for boilers operating in year-round mode.

Disassembly and removal of soot

To remove the parts of the boiler and perform their cleaning, you will need a simple set of tools:

By performing the steps described consistently, you can completely clean the internal parts of the gas boiler and prevent accidents or smoke in the room.

You will need any tools with which you can remove lime scale from the metal surface, and you can not do without wrenches

So, the first thing to do is to shut off the gas. Then remove the boiler door and disconnect the wire leading to the piezo element. Then unscrew in turn the thermocouple, ignition electrode and pilot burner tube. It is better to mark the position of the nozzle in the burner, so as not to disturb the setting. The gasket that is under the pilot burner should be replaced with a new one. Carefully take out the nozzle, the copper tube, and then the burner, unscrewing the set of clips.

To unscrew the nut fixing the copper tube is suitable wrench 7, remove the ignition electrode. 0, unscrew the screws fixing the pilot burner. flat screwdriver

What to fill in the system after flushing?

After you have washed the heating system and saw how many different deposits in it there are, it is especially important to select a new coolant. It should contain a minimum of impurities of salts and calcium, microorganisms, and air, because all this provokes corrosion and scale on the walls of pipes and radiators.

Filling the heating circuit directly from the water supply is probably the worst choice. It is often too hard, i.e. with an abundance of salts of different metals. In addition, it carries all the dirt from the pipes of the central water supply system, and is enriched with oxygen to such an extent that it sometimes turns white. at a strong head.

To use such water for the heating circuit, as a minimum you need to give it a good settling, to evaporate all the gases, including. chlorine, and solid particles settled at the bottom. It is also a good idea to put it through a filter.

often, clean, boiler

After removing and flushing the radiator clean it is not recommended to top up the coolant with impurities, otherwise the next year you will need to rinse it again

As an option, you can use rainwater, because it is soft and accessible. However, sedimentation or filtration is still necessary. In addition, the rain water often breeds microorganisms that can affect the radiators not the best way.

A good choice is distilled water, because it contains absolutely no precipitating impurities. In addition, such a choice is not cheap, because the volume of the heating system is not 5-10 liters, but dozens of times more.

Oddly enough, one of the best options is the old coolant drained from the system before flushing. All the impurities that could react with the pipes and deposit on their walls have already done so, and the air came out during its work.

It is enough to filter it well to remove particles washed off the walls of the pipes, and you can add distilled water to the desired level. in this case you need very little of it.

Dark coolant is not always unsuitable for reuse. the color indicates only that it has already reacted with the metal

Sometimes it is advised to fill the heating circuit with antifreeze with special additives against rust. Indeed, such a coolant does not form a scale, but it is expensive, and the heat capacity and heat output is worse than water. As a result, filling such an expensive coolant, you will also pay more for gas, because the system will not work as efficiently.

Taking this into consideration that one can recommend the anti-freeze only if the heating is not constantly used in winter and there is no possibility or wish to pour out the heat-transfer agent every time. Read more about the different types of coolant for heating systems in this material.

Design features of heat exchangers

In order to properly flush a heat exchanger you need to know its construction. You will find all of the information on your boiler in the owner’s manual.

Just in case we remind you that for the organization of independent heating and hot water supply in apartments and private houses are mainly used gas boilers and water heaters with heat exchangers of the following types:

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In widespread shell and tube heat exchangers, water circulates through a tube that coils around the sides of the shell in the form of a coil. Such a unit is soldered or welded, i.e. indestructible.

Shell and tube heat exchanger is one of the most efficient and simple in design, it is easy to clean it from scale with your own hands

Plate type heat exchangers are less common. Their main structural part is a metal package, in which several plates are assembled.

For example, heat exchangers of Italian boilers Westen Zilmet and Baxi include from 10 to 16 plates. They give off their heat to the water that flows between them along the channels. Such a device before cleaning should be disassembled.

The scheme of a plate heat exchanger where are specified: branch pipes for a coolant supply and heated medium (1, 2, 11, 12); fixed and moving plates (3, 8); channels through which the coolant flows (4, 14); small and large gaskets (5, 13); heat-exchange plate (6), upper and lower guides (7, 15); backing and stud bolt (9, 10)

The main element of the coaxial (bithermal) heat exchanger. two coaxial pipes. In the simplest version it looks like a spiral with tightly fitting coils.

For double-circuit boilers is characterized by the presence of 2-3 heat exchangers. For example, the boiler “NEVALUX-8023” is equipped with three heat exchangers, one of which is coaxial, but not spiral type, but with series-connected links.

Peculiarities of flushing coaxial heat exchangers

Often pipes of the bithermal heat exchanger are made of different metals. The outer pipe may be made of steel, and the inner one. of copper. Therefore for flushing you need to use a universal cleaner which is poured into the pipes, left for the required time and then drained. The heat exchanger is washed and returned to its place.

Descaling and soot removal is performed without dismantling the heat exchanger. A flushing pump (booster) is used. An aqueous solution of citric acid is poured into its tank. For 2 liters of warm water you need 200 grams of powdered citric acid.

Before cleaning the floor standing gas boiler, turn off the gas and water taps, drain the heating circuit and DHW. The next step is to get to the heat exchanger. Remove the door, disconnect the wires connected to the piezo element, remove the thermocouple and nozzle, dismantle the ignition system and the burner.

Unscrew the nuts securing the top cover and remove it. You have access to the heat exchanger and you can clean it from soot with a brush and brush.

Attach the buster’s leads to the lines of the heat exchanger which will pump a solution of citric acid into the pipe under pressure. Circulate the circuit for 4-6 hours, it will dissolve the scale. The flushing time depends on the level of fouling.

Use a pH meter to keep the process under control. This will indicate the change in concentration of the acid in the solution due to the dissolution of the carbonate deposits.

If the acid is neutralized and the pH value of 1 appears on the display, the process may have to be repeated from the beginning. A pH value of 2 to 4 indicates that the boiler is descaled.

Finally the pipes are flushed with a solution of baking soda to neutralize residual traces of the reagent. Then it remains to install the parts in their places, check the unit for leaks by soaping and visual inspection of detachable joints or with the help of crimping. If there are no gas and water leaks, the boiler is operated as usual.

Which solutions to use for cleaning

Acids and special agents are good at removing the scale accumulated on the walls of the heat exchanger:

A special fluid designed to remove traces of oxides, scale, salts. Works well with products made of steel, cast iron or copper, increasing their service life

Citric acid heated to 60 degrees is suitable for cleaning stainless steel, copper and brass parts. The minimum concentration of the solution is 0.5% and the maximum concentration is 1.5%.

Cleans the scale and traces of rust, does not damage the painted parts. Applies to all kinds of metal. A special agent based on oxalic acid. “Solita.

Removes deposits, which includes metal oxides. Safe for most materials used in boiler assembly.

Maintaining A Steam Boiler

Characterized by aggressive influence on metal. Only permissible as a last resort for treating stainless steel and copper products.

Aggressiveness of the solution is reduced by additives that prevent destruction of the metal shell of the product. Extremely toxic, and requires strict observance of safety rules while working with it.

Disadvantage of chemical cleaning. the inability to control the interaction of acid not only with deposits, but also with the metal elements of the boiler that are not exposed to contamination. Adverse effects can be avoided by adding inhibitors to the acid to soften the attack.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of the gas boiler will ensure its trouble-free operation and significantly prolong its service life.

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