|A visual inspection should be conducted twice a year
The fireside of your boiler will include all refractories, tubes, tube sheets and the furnace.
A visual inspection should be conducted twice a year to determine the condition of this side of the boiler heat exchanger. Open the boiler up and use a strong
light to visually inspect the condition of these surfaces.
Do you see any blistering or pock marks? This is an indication that there is corrosion due to condensation of flue gasses. This condensation creates an acidic solution that can eat away at your furnace and tubes. Should you find this occurring you may correct the situation by maintaining a minimum water temperature of 170 deg. F. Another solution is to keep your boiler on for a longer period of time. This avoids short cycling that, which allows for the formation of condensation.
If you run a properly adjusted boiler you may only need to clean your tubes once a year.
Next take a close look at the boiler tubes keeping an eye out for
soot deposits. Soot is a byproduct of combustion and can seriously reduce heat transfer in your boiler. Poor heat transfer means poor efficiency. If there is soot present make arrangements to have the unit cleaned. How often you clean the tubes will be determined by how you run your boiler. If you run a properly adjusted boiler you may only need to clean your tubes once a year.
If you are experiencing heavy sooting it could be an indication that you are trying to fire too much fuel. Have your burner adjusted by a
qualified boiler technician.
Another way to check on sooting is to install a stack thermometer. When the stack temperature rises above normal operating conditions you can be fairly certain it is time to clean the tubes.
While you have your boiler open take a look at the tube sheet. Look for any evidence of leaking tube ends. You can pin point these by a whitish deposit that streaks down from the tube end. If you find this occurring, contact a boiler service company that can re-roll your tubes.
Also check the gaskets used to seal the boiler up. If they are at all suspect, replace them. It is easier to do this now than later when you are firing the boiler.
The last item to check on the fireside is the refractory. Make sure
it is all tight and repair any cracks that may have appeared. Use a wash coat to seal these up. If you find any loose refractory brick replace it.