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Serving the South Puget Sound and Western Washington Areas Since 1976

Serving the South Puget Sound and Southwest Washington Areas Since 1976

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Sunset Air Blog

What Is Boiler Kettling, And What Should I Do About It?

With heating season in full swing, it is important to keep a close eye on your boiler for any developing problems. For example, have you noticed a deep rumbling coming from your boiler when it’s on? If so, you may have a problem with kettling. Boiler kettling is one of the more serious issues that can affect your system, though if dealt with quickly enough it can be prevented from dealing lasting damage. Read on for an explanation of kettling, and how to deal with it.

What Kettling Is

Kettling is the result of lime scale buildup in the boiler’s heat exchanger, which restricts the flow of water through it. Lime scale is a type of mineral deposit, formed by long term exposure to hard water. As the flow of water through the heat exchanger is restricted, some of it evaporates into steam. When water evaporates into steam, it rapidly expands and puts pressure on the heat exchanger. This is what causes that deep rumbling sound in the system. The heat exchanger is straining under the massive amount of pressure being put on it. Now, your boiler probably is not going to explode. However, the heat exchanger can rupture and cause a great deal of water damage to the system and surrounding area.

Stopping Kettling

Ideally, the best way to stop kettling is to treat your home’s hard water problem. However, you can also prevent it by scheduling annual boiler maintenance. That will give our technicians the opportunity to clean out your heat exchanger on a regular basis, preventing lime scale from forming to the point where it is a danger to the system.

If you need boiler maintenance, call Sunset Air. We provide comprehensive boiler maintenance services throughout Olympia, WA. 

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