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Can any chemicals rot a boiler from the inside?

Leo_20 Member Posts: 6
You make it sound like it is rotting from the outside in. If that is the case never running in a damp environment can cause problems. If it is rotting from the inside out it swhould be leaking by now.



  • Keith_19
    Keith_19 Member Posts: 18
    Bad stuff

    Looked at a boiler today in a building. A small cast iron water boiler in the same room as massive fire tube steam boiler. The water boiler is only used for a small section of the garage, most of the time is off, and the whole heat exchanger was rotten, like you could push your fingers into it and pull out chunks of old sawdusty metal. I thought that the flue had rotted out because of condensation, but the super of the building made an offhand comment about a previous guy putting chemicals into the boiler to treat it, which were not meant to be in a boiler. I didn't ask, we looked at it and left, but now I'm really curious as to what the hell this guy could have been putting in there. Any experience with anything similar? Thanks
  • Keith_19
    Keith_19 Member Posts: 18

    Sorry wasn't clear about that. Boiler had been leaking for a long time but was managed by sweeping water into floor drain by building staff. Only in the past few weeks did something really spring and start flowing to the point where they shut the water down. The shell is fine, but in the HX you can look inside with a flashlight and see nasty muck.
  • Perry_7
    Perry_7 Member Posts: 11
    The list is... not quite endless.

    Yes, improper chemical treatment can cause a boiler to sludge up and degrade the metal into mush...

    The list of possible chemicals is quite long.

    But, if I were to guess... My guess would be that the gent added some boiler treatment chemicals that were meant for large industrial/commercial boilers where they run a continuous blowdown and continuous boiler water treatment program (i.e. they have people analyzing the boiler water quality every day - if not every shift).

    Alternately, some plants treat and appropriately blowdown their boilers and systems periodically to clean them.

    Some of these chemicals can greatly stip a lot of gunk from a system - and must be quicly flushed out with the sludge it strips to prevent long term damage. Some of them even come prelabled as boiler/system cleaners or water treatments. In they had a plant staff that knows what they are doing - no problems (and maybe the plant staff treats their backup heating boiler once a year with such stuff). Adding them to a small industrial/commercial boiler and leaving them be was never meant to be - and I'm guessing you are seeing the results.

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