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Industrial Boiler make up water

SteamPM Member Posts: 1

Looking for information on piping materials to use for a boiler make up water.

We installed this carbon steel piping as specified by the engineer about a year ago. It is was in a boiler feed water system downstream of the softener and the dealkalizer but just before the blow down heat recovery unit. I'm told the water quality is tested daily for hardness. This section of piping was in a new boiler room and was insulated. We found the build up inside of the piping after a leak developed near the bronze balancing valve. The building owner with the engineer are eluding to electrolysis. In conversations with an independent water treatment contractor I'm told it could be dissolved oxygen in the water and the fix it to replace the piping with copper or stainless steel.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

From you friend on the front line.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,675
    Man, that's just ugly. But not electrolysis. Is this a closed loop system, or is it for a consumptive use? Are you testing for anything besides hardness?

    And what is the source of the water which is causing the corrosion on the outside of the pipes? From that leakage there?

    If this is a consumptive use, you also need to be concerned about total dissolved solids -- not just hardness -- and pH and dissolved oxygen. If it's a closed loop, much the same but you may also need a deaerator, and you may want to consider corrosion inhibitors and oxygen scavengers.

    In any event, copper... may be best. Stainless steel? Um... depending on what's in the water besides hardness; some stainless steels are sensitive to chlorides. Black iron. Not plain steel, though!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,849
    If this system is for process and uses a lot of MU water you usually need a steam heater in the boiler feed tank to heat the feed water and drive the oxygen out.

    I have seen this happen also in a years time
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,572
    Stainless is not going to take care of a deeper underlying issue.
    "Softened" water is never a good idea for any boiler..
    I would check for PH,EC,TDS,SAL,FE,CU and water hardness using proper analytical equipment.
    What kind of Piping techniques were applied ?
    Do you have some Pictures of the job that can be shared ?
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,572
    SteamPM posed: "I'm told the water quality is tested daily for hardness"
    Do you have these results and is this the only thing they are checking for ?
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 931
    That sure is an ugly piece of piping. You said that it is in feed water line after the water softener and the dealkalizer, whatever that is, but before the blow-down heat recovery unit. So I have to ask a few questions to make sure that I understand the problem. Could you tell what type of boiler it is, water tube or fire tube, what is the operating steam pressure, Boiler size which could be in fuel input, # per hour of steam delivery or boiler horse power? Is this a process steam boiler, does it operate round the clock, do you know how much fresh water make-up you use per day, is it treated by more than just a water softner, and are you using a constant blow-down since you mentioned a blow-down heat recovery unit? Last, what type of tank is the condensate return tank,? Is it a deaerator or just a vented tank? Take a few more pictures of the boilers and the condensate tank, pumps, and piping. By the way where in the U S A are you located?