How Kettling Threatens Your Boiler

Boilers are pretty solid systems, and tend not to have nearly as many problems as other heating systems. They’re not invincible, though, and certain problems can still pose a serious threat to the health of the system. One of these problems is kettling. If you’ve ever heard your boiler rumbling like a giant teapot, that’s kettling. Let’s take a look at what causes boiler kettling, and how to stop it.


Hard Water

Kettling is caused by your boiler’s heat exchanger being exposed to hard water over a long period of time. This causes lime scale deposits to build up inside the heat exchanger, restricting the flow of water through it. Being trapped in the heat exchanger for an extended period of time causes the water in the heat exchanger to evaporate into steam, which puts an immense amount of pressure on the pipe. The rumbling sound that is characteristic of kettling is actually the sound of the heat exchanger struggling to contain the buildup of steam. The boiler is not designed to deal with that level of pressure, and if it isn’t dealt with soon the pipe might burst. Having your heat exchanger rupture is just about the worst thing that can happen to your system. It will cause water damage to your boiler and the surrounding area, potentially costing you thousands of dollars in repairs.

How to Address It

The lime scale needs to be scraped out of the heat exchanger in order to restore it to proper function. So, as soon as you notice that your boiler is kettling it’s a good idea to call for repairs. The sooner we can get rid of the lime scale, the better off your boiler will be.

If your boiler is kettling, call Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We offer boiler repair services throughout Bethesda, MD.