Scale Formation Causes Energy Loss

Scale Formation Causes Energy Loss

tube crack from scale buildup
Tube crack from scale buildup

Scale formation causes energy loss and costs money! It acts as an insulator and can result in overheating of the furnace, tube, and tube sheets, which in turn can cause tube leakage, tube end cracking, and other pressure vessel problems.

One of the necessary maintenance items for your boiler is often missed or pushed out by maintenance departments to “save” dollars in the facilities budget. However, letting your maintenance slide can cost you more in the long run.

Heat Tranfer Impact

For example your heat transfer is impacted as follows:  1/16” thick increases fuel consumption 15%, 1/8” requires 20% more fuel, ¼” causes a boiler to use 39% more fuel, 3/8″ uses 550% more, and finally 1/2″ uses 70% more fuel (based on pure calcium & magnesium scale).

scale buildup from a boiler that was not blown down properly and bad chemical treatment
Scale rock from boiler

The best way to control scale formation in a boiler is through chemical water treatment and makeup water pre-treatment. Even with these measures in place, technicians will still need to clean boiler tubes regularly.

 

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Scale inside boiler, viewed through tube sheet

Click here for the Department of Energy’s Energy Tips about Efficiency and Scale.


To prevent an unwanted surprise in your hot water system, contact our Service Department to discuss your maintenance strategy today!