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steam boiler water feeds and water softerns

clammy Member Posts: 3,113
i am doing a job and have noticed that they have had a whole building water soften installed ,we are replacing there shot utica steamer with a peerless and i have a nagging concern about feeding this boiler with the soften water an i rightful in thinking so i was planning on tell the plumbers who i  am working with to cut into the cold water feed before the softern equiptment ,the existing boiler had plenty of holes in it above the water line and at least 2 cracked sections it was dry fired which was the cause of it final death maintance guy never flushed or checked if the lwco was operating properly and the unit did not have a secondary lwco ,the original installtion was inspected and had passed with no secondary lwco ,the boiler was about 25 years old and the rest of the system was quite knuckleheaded we will be bringing it back to the way it should operate thanks for any input on the water softern feed peace and good luck clammy
R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
NJ Master HVAC Lic.
Mahwah, NJ
Specializing in steam and hydronic heating


  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
    water-softener equals salt water!

    you are very right to be concerned about the effect of water from a water-softener on the boiler.

    usually the water-softener would be installed on the hot side of the system, so that your tea or coffee would not be affected.

    also as a source of risk to boilers would be the storage of the salt/ice-melt/fertilizer near the boiler.

    am i being an alarmist?--nbc
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,436
    I don't think so...

    I'm with nbc on this one, Clammy -- and you.  I would definetly take the feed for the boiler off before the water softener.  Unless the boiler is using an awful lot of water, the amount of potential scale from the hard water (unless it is unbelievably hard, which is unlikely) is minimal, but the salt from the softener is not going to be helpful.

    I also rather agree that there isn't much point in softening the cold water supply in the building, but there is a very good point in softening before the hot water heater, as there you will build up scale from hard water.

    Just one man's opinion, though.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
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