If your building is in or around the city of Boston, there is a good chance you’ve got steam heat. Many of the older facilities in the area were built with steam boilers. While steam boilers were quite popular for some time, you may have noticed a few issues with your system.

Have you experienced:

  • Pipes banging?
  • Too much makeup water, resulting in a leak?
  • Hot/cold spots in the building?
  • Spending too much money to heat your facility?
  • Under-heating/over-heating?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the service technicians at Wilkinson can help. We are your go-to for steam troubleshooting and maintenance. Proper maintenance is the key to keeping your steam boiler running at peak efficiency.steam

A steam system will never compete with a hot water system. Hot water systems firing on gas offer the utmost in efficiency. But that doesn’t mean your system can’t be efficient. There are several steps we can take to make your steam system as efficient as possible. Here’s how:

Our steam experts said one way to increase the life expectancy of your steam boiler is to keep its water within the appropriate parameters necessary. The water within a boiler is required for the equipment to safely perform its duties (think of it like the oil in your car). If the water in a boiler is not being routinely refreshed, the impurities in the water from constant steam production can become hazardous to the boiler by causing scale. 

Scale sits on the tubes (where it exchanges heat), which lessens the ability to transfer thermal energy into steam. This decreases the efficiency of your boiler but can also cause corrosion of the boiler components. When oxidization occurs, it can eventually lead to more serious issues over time. Corrosion may cause the tubes to fail, which ultimately results in overall boiler failure.

To remove the water impurities within a boiler, we recommend blowdown. Blowing down a boiler consists of manually opening designated valves at the front, rear, sides and near the top of the boiler to drain the potentially poor water. If the water in the boiler sits for too long, the minerals will begin to settle on the bottom of the boiler or the tubes (depending on the model of the boiler).

Blowing down your boiler only takes a few moments but it helps your system last longer and operate more efficiently. You can also have a steam trap survey done to determine the efficiency of your steam traps and learn how to make improvements.

If you need steam boiler maintenance, or if you’d like to improve your steam boiler efficiencies, contact the steam experts at Wilkinson.


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Written by Elaina Schlumper