Rust is a natural chemical reaction that occurs between metal and water in the presence of oxygen: it’s something we expect to happen whenever iron-based metal is exposed to water. However, the boiler in your home that keeps you warm during chilly Pennsylvania winters does not usually rust, even though water is a basic part of its operation.
The reason you don’t often see rust or corrosion on your boiler is that manufacturers design them to work as air-tight as possible. There is little oxygen available to allow for the oxidation that leads to rust. As long as your boiler receives regular, annual maintenance and proper repairs, it shouldn’t show signs of rust until near the end of its lifetime. If you have a professional service like Boehmer Heating & Cooling taking care of the needs for your boiler in Pittsburgh, PA, you can expect a long and rust-free performance life.
But is a bit of rust necessarily a need for repairs? At what point should you be concerned about the appearance of corrosion on your boiler?
The answer: Any rust on a boiler is a negative sign and a reason to call for repairs.
If rust develops on a relatively young boiler, it could point to a number of serious issues. Sediment and dirt might be infiltrating the tank through breaks in underground pipes. The expansion valve on top of the tank could have broken and permitted oxygen into the tank. The pH balance of the water is too acidic. Any of these problems needs to be addressed, not only to stop the development of corrosion, but to prevent other issues in the system.
The most damaging consequence of rust along a boiler is that it weakens metal and will lead to leaks. If it spreads across the tank, it could lead to the tank bursting. Rust developing along the connections will cause them to start leaking extensively. Rust is also a natural insulator, and this will upset the temperature balance inside the tank, leading to overheating and an increase in pressure.
If too much rust develops along your boiler’s tank, your only option is usually to have the tank replaced. If caught earlier enough on the heat exchangers and other replaceable parts, technicians can usually stop it. But you have to move fast: the moment you find rust on your boiler, call up a dependable repair service to look into the problem and find a solution.
Since 1933, Boehmer Heating & Cooling has provided people in Pittsburgh, PA with boiler installation, maintenance, and repair that has kept them warm. You can trust us to help you with any trouble you encounter with your boiler.