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Boiler Kettling: What Is It? Should I Be Worried?

Bang! Pop! Clank! We’ve heard homeowners describe a common boiler noise in many different ways, but it’s usually the same culprit: kettling.

Boiler kettling is something that has many causes and many solutions, but the fact remains that you should always have a professional heating technician provide the service it needs. This is the only person who knows just how to diagnose the issue and how to safely make repairs without causing further harm.

Still, it’s nice to know what may be the cause, and whether or not your home is in danger. Check out more on the basics of kettling in a boiler in the guide below.question-mark

Scale and Debris in the Tank

Boiler kettling is often the result of the minerals left behind in the tank due to hard water. Most homes have some level of hard water in their plumbing supply, but it could be higher than usual in your pipes. That leaves mineral deposits (like calcium) behind in the tank as scale.

As the deposits cover the heat exchanger in patches or coat the bottom of the tank, the uneven heating and pressure changes in the tank cause that bang!-pop!-clank! sound you hear.

This Is Mostly Harmless…At First

For the most part, you don’t have to be alarmed by the sound coming from your boiler. It does not put you in immediate danger, and most boilers can run safely for a while with this issue. In any case, boilers have safety triggers that allow them to shut off should the pressure levels ever become dangerous.

However, it does raise concerns, and there is always a chance that a safety switch could fail. It is not worth this risk, and the chance that your boiler tank could start to corrode, wearing down from the impact of the scale. Besides, the kettling could also be due to rust flakes rather than scaling, which means that your boiler may be due to spring a leak soon.

How to Repair the Boiler

First and foremost, we want to say that this is not something the average homeowner should attempt. Boiler repairs are complex and, moreover, dangerous. We recommend calling someone NATE-certified so that you know they have the proper training and expertise.

Curious to know how a professional would clear scale from a boiler? Once a technician has ruled out any potential mechanical issues (some are listed below), they must clean and treat the boiler for the deposits on the heat exchanger. A chemical cleaner may be used, but it’s important that it is compatible with your specific boiler.

Additional Causes of Kettling

There are many other things that may cause boiler kettling, so it’s always best not to jump to conclusions. A boiler may sound off due to problems with the flow rate or an issue with the gas burner settings. The thermostat might not be working, or your boiler might not have been installed properly in the first place. Call qualified heating technicians to narrow down the cause before jumping to conclusions.

Bartels Heating & Cooling is your source for boiler services in West Chester, OH. Fill out our contact form to learn more.

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