How to clean a gas boiler (furnace)

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  • Author Petro Kluch
  • Published March 21, 2018
  • Word count 751

The comfort of owners of a private house, especially in winter, directly depends on the correct function of heating system, and a perfect work of a heating boiler is guaranteed only in case, if its components are held in right order. Sometimes, functioning of the equipment is interrupted because of the ordinary reasons – impurity of some details, for example, gas column or heat exchanger. Let’s see whether it is possible to clean a gas boiler on one’s own and whether it is safe.

Pipes, where a heated fluid circulates, with time become covered with a deposit. This process reminds lime concretion on the walls of a kettle: the thicker is the scale crust, the more slowly the boiler gets heated. Saline deposits on the walls of a heat exchanger might cause some problems.

Are these anxieties important? Check out what you’ll get if you don’t clean the network at proper time:

  • Overheating. Gas boiler is made up in the way that the heat carrier cools inner parts of heating elements when moving backwards. Lime scale prevents full cooling, so the equipment may break down at any time.

  • Breakdown of important parts. For example, pipe diameter constriction leads to excessive load on the circulator pump, so it can also break down.

  • Increased fuel consumption.

Heat conductivity of pipes can be decreased by deposits, so more energy is required to heat the fluid, i.e. gas consumption increases. Respectively, expenses on the use of gas boiler increase too. To avoid numerous anxieties, regular cleaning is required.

The frequency of the procedure depends on the fluid that is used as the heat-transfer fluid. Supposedly, a heating system on antifreeze requires cleaning about once every 2 years, at the same time you need to check the quality of the fluid and, if necessary, completely renew it. Pipes, in which purified water circulates, should be washed once every 3-4 years. The higher the hardness of the fluid, the more often cleaning is required.

Methods of washing heat exchanger

Method No. 1 – manual cleaning. In order to carry it out, you have to remove a heat exchanger from the boiler accurately; otherwise, you won’t have access to dirty surfaces. Then you choose either mechanical cleaning or solution washing. To remove deposits mechanically, you’ll need a scraper, brush and vacuum cleaner. For a washing, which is suitable for double-pressure boilers – salt solving fluid. When cleaning manually, all moves and actions have to be accurate and careful. When placing heat exchanger back, you should check the hermetic state of connections carefully.

Method No. 2 – chemical solution through booster. It implies the use of special equipment – booster, with the help of which, acid washing solution is pumped into the heat exchanger. Within a certain it circulates in pipes, so deposits are dissolved and removed with washing fluid. As a result, figures of carrying capacity and heat transfer increase. Acid solution can deal even with the most complicated impurities – salt carbonate spew and deposits of ferric iron. Rests of acid in pipes are neutralized by special solution, which is at last placed into heat exchanger.

Method No. 3 – hydrodynamic washing.

It doesn’t require dismounting of equipment. The point is in pumping water (sometimes with abrasive filler) and following pressurization. Fluid pressure and increased speed cause a destruction of deposits, which are being removed. There is a danger of exceeded pressure figures, which can lead to pipe breakage. Individual cleaning of heat exchanger is not recommended. The best option is to resort to professionals’ help, who have access to work with gas equipment. If you know methods and steps of cleaning, you can control professionals’ work.

Cleaning a boiler from soot

Along with the chimney, cleaning of gas boiler channels is carried out. If the chimney becomes dirty and there are problems with draft, the equipment will be switched off automatically. With the soot accumulation in the boiler, it won’t be switched off, so house residents can be poisoned with combustion products. Moreover, dirty equipment doesn’t work properly, that is why cleaning procedures are required annually, especially for boilers with year-round work.

Preventive and cleaning works should be conducted prior to heating season. In any case, detail will be covered with soot, which eventually accumulates, so the procedure of cleaning elements of a gas boiler is of high importance both for effective functioning of the boiler and for residents’ safety. Once again we remind you should put all works with gas equipment to professionals.


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