Boiler Systems

A boiler continually vaporises water into steam, via the application of heat generated by the combustion of oil or other fossil fuels. The most common use of boilers is for utilities, such as producing hot water or heating a building, although boilers are also used for a wide range of applications such as large scale industrial processes. No matter what application a boiler is used for, or its size and design, there are three common problems that are found within boiler systems; scale, corrosion and carryover.  B & V Water Treatment have over 35 years’ experience in treating boiler systems for these problems and have a broad selection of treatments to combat them.  From highly effective oxygen scavenger chemicals to combat oxygen corrosion, to bespoke water softeners that reduce the number of solids entering your boiler system, B & V Water Treatment has the solution to all your boiler treatment needs. Alongside our range of specifically designed and proven boiler treatments we also have years of experience treating boilers used in all manner of applications and with a variety of designs.

Our water treatment specialists are on hand to provide you with expert guidance on the most effective ways to combat the key problems found in boiler systems, as well as custom made solutions which will ensure that the health and efficiency of your system is maintained to the highest level. Applying the correct treatment regime in boiler systems can drastically improve the efficiency and lifespan of a system, saving you money in operational cost and system replacements. 

What is a Steam Boiler System?

A boiler is often only one part of a larger boiler system, sometimes also called a boiler house. To combat the problems caused by scale, corrosion and carryover, water will need to be treated both internally (within the boiler) and externally (within the boiler system). It is therefore extremely important to understand the whole system and how each aspect interacts with each other.


Diagram 1 shows the typical layout of a boiler system.

As you can see from the diagram, feed water is softened in boiler systems due to the high risks that scale formation poses to a boiler system. Softened water goes into a feed tank where it is fed into the boiler system at the correct rate via a feed pump. It is advised that a feed tank is well insulated and maintains a high pressure in order to keep heat loss in the system to a minimum. After the boiler heats the water to the correct temperature and produces steam, the steam leaves the boiler, whereby a proportion of the steam goes into the application and the rest returns to the feed tank as condensate. The boiler also has a blowdown function, in which water is taken directly from the boiler and sent to drain so that fresh water can replace it.

Our B & V Water Treatment Specialists have expert knowledge in treating the whole of your boiler system to ensure the whole system is protected and operating at optimum efficiency. This knowledge has helped many of our clients improve their system’s output and vastly prolonged the lifespan of their system. To arrange a visit from a B & V Water Treatment Specialist or to find out more about the water treatment services we provide for boiler systems contact us today.

scale molecule Scale

Scale is a massive concern in boiler systems and, if left untreated, will cause damage, potentially leading to boiler system failure. High temperatures within the boiler systems reduce the solubility of certain solids found within the water which may lead to scale formation. A thin layer of scale deposit can reduce the heat transfer efficiency of pipework by up to 40%. As more heat remains in the pipework, the temperature of the metal can rise substantially and the increased temperature of the metal can lead to blistering of the pipes and eventually complete failure. This high level of risk to your boiler makes it imperative that you understand the causes, issues and available solutions to combat scale within your systems.

corrosion on a boiler systemCorrosion

Corrosion can occur within all aspects of a boiler system, from the feed lines to the condensate return line. The most common form of corrosion found in boiler systems is oxygen attack corrosion; this is a result of the oxygen content found in the make-up water. High temperatures; oxygen and water result in aggressive corrosion of boiler steel. As well as oxygen corrosion there are other types of corrosion that may occur within a boiler such as acid or alkaline corrosion that can also damage the system. A comprehensive understanding of the causes, problems caused by and solutions available for corrosion within boiler system is required to provide efficient management of your boiler system.

solids and carryover in a sample jarSolids and Carryover

Carryover is where liquid boiler water ends up in the gaseous steam. Instead of separating out, water is “carried over” into the steam. The solids of the boiler water then end up in the steam and can potentially cause many problems.

Problems within boiler systems caused by solids and carryover are usually the result of either priming or foaming occurring and as a result combating solids and carryover often comes down to managing these processes and reducing their impact.


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