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hard or soft water for steam boiler feed

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Do not use softened water to feed the boiler. Here is a copy of a Notice regarding this direct from one of our Steam Boiler I&O manuals. Hope this helps.

Glenn Stanton

Manager of Technical Development

Burnham Hydronics

U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.

Comments

  • kevin_58
    kevin_58 Member Posts: 61
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    should i feed my steam boiler with hard or soft water
  • Al Letellier_9
    Al Letellier_9 Member Posts: 929
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    softened water

    Glenn, can you explain that for us. As is often the case, tech info mostly says do or don't but hardly ever why. Please explain to us why/how softened water can hurt a boiler.

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  • Joe Billow_6
    Joe Billow_6 Member Posts: 69
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    If you are worried about oxygen why not use a sodium sulphite product (oygen scavanger).
  • Al

    The way I understand it, and I am no chemist, normal water contains certain levels of minerals and other things that provide a protective skin inside the boiler and steam dome. Add softened water to the scenario and you lose that protective skin. A somewhat different but similar analogy would be the copper skin of the Statue of Liberty. The green skin on that copper has protected it all these years from corrosion. There is also the possibility of the softeners backwash cycle going somewhat haywire and introducing water with aggressive chloride levels into the boiler.

    Once again, I don't profess to be an expert in water chemistry and metallurgy but I do know that we spent extensive time and money having research done to determine why some steam boilers fail prematurely and others don't. We incorporated the findings of this research into the design of the Megasteam boiler. Water chemistry is the major issue and exposure of the steam dome to hot flue gasses was another. Hope this helps.

    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Technical Development

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • rjbphd
    rjbphd Member Posts: 5
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    Where's Perry , our reknowed

    Where's Perry, our rocket nuclear rocket energy expert on this subject? :)
  • Al Letellier_9
    Al Letellier_9 Member Posts: 929
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    softened water in steamer

    thanks for the reply, Glenn. The reason I ask is that early in my career I was maintenance piper in a paper mill. The new biomass boiler there had a massive treatment plant for the feed water. The boiler produce a massive amount of steam ( 685K cubic feet/hr @ 1400 PSI) and the water was treated to be chemically inert and mineral free, with a fixed PH of about 7,if memory serves me correctly. The high pressure steam spun two large turbines and the waste steam, at 650 PSI fed the mill. Maybe it was because very only 1/2 of the condensate returned to the boiler and it got refilled constantly, but other the the fact it was a steel boiler, I don't see the difference. But thanks for the response. I have several steamers on wells and treatment system and soft water goes in, but they are well maintained and seldom use any water. 2 of the 4 didn't use any make up water last year.

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