Identifying Soot or Scale Buildup in Boilers

Identifying Soot or Scale Buildup in Boilers

Are you at risk of soot or scale buildup in your boiler? You might not be prioritizing a regular cleaning schedule, and doing so is essential to reducing costs and getting the most use out of your equipment. Many facilities put off their boiler maintenance when everything is operating correctly, which often leads to money wasted, energy drained, and puts safety at risk. In this blog, we cover the benefits of detecting soot and scale buildup early on, because even the smallest amount can have a big impact on your boiler functioning properly. 

How Does Build Up Affect the Heat Exchanger?

Every boiler is a heat exchanger, there’s a fire side of the tubes, and a water side. There are two main factors that can affect heat transfer. Soot, a product of improper combustion, can insulate the tubes on the fire side, preventing the exchange of heat from the flue gasses to the tubes. The other common factor is scale. When minerals get on the outside of the tubes, there is a loss of efficiency because the heat can’t be rapidly transferred from the metal into the water.

While a soot buildup impacts the heat transfer on the fire side, and scale impacts the heat transfer on the water side, there is a way to detect either issue, before shutting the unit down to inspect either side, and that’s by looking at the stack temperature. 

Ensure Efficiency by Observing Stack Temperature

A daily boiler log will go a long way in helping you detect problems while they’re still minor. For example, if you’re conducting daily logs and find a gradual increase in stack temperature, you’ll know that you’re getting a buildup of scale or soot. 

By prioritizing a daily log, you take steps to extend the boiler life and save your facility time and money. You can also sign up for an in-person training that takes place at WARE Boiler University’s 12,000 square foot, state-of-the-art boiler laboratory. Our two-day introductory course offers a great first look at boilers for beginners and helps you learn the skills you need to succeed in the boiler room at

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