What can cause a boiler to explode?

May, 2013 by

Boilers are a very effective method of providing heat for homes and commercial installations, however, they can fail and a boiler can actually explode, demanding instant boiler repair in La Grange. A boiler may explode if the pressure relief valve fails, a boiler may also fail if the boiler plates are seriously corroded. Boilers are also at risk if the water level falls below the firebox, this will cause the temperature in the boiler to elevate rapidly, and this in turn may burn right through into the water chamber, causing an explosion. Most boiler repair in La Grange is necessitated by poor maintenance and poor operator training.

A boiler is a reasonably simple device. Water is heated to a point where it is turned into steam, it is then stored in the main chamber of the boiler. This steam is under tremendous pressure and if the operating procedures are not followed exactly, there can very easily be a mishap and the boiler can explode. Conversely, if the boiler is used in accordance with the spec, it is a device that can provide many years of trouble free service. Usually, the problems are the results of short-cuts taken by the untrained or uncaring operators. The operating protocol is very important and it must be followed exactly, if a boiler does explode it can become a deadly weapon to anyone who is in the vicinity.

Boiler explosions can be eliminated by having a functioning pressure relief valve in the steam system. When Boiler Repair La Grange make their periodic checks on the equipment, this is of primary concern. The valve; which is spring loaded; is pre-set to release at a given pressure level. Any excess steam over and above the safe level is vented through the pressure relief valve, thus avoiding an explosion. These valves can become corroded and fail to operate as they should. Most responsible owners of boiler systems have preventative maintenance and Boiler Repair La Grange done to a specific schedule. The pressure relief valve is always inspected and replaced if it is faulty or appears to be reaching the end of its useful life.

Constant submersion in hot water rapidly begins to corrode the inside of the boiler tank, if left long enough, the tank can weaken to the point where it no longer can contain the pressure, and it explodes. To avert this, the inside of the boiler must be cleaned and de-scaled periodically, at which time the condition of the boiler tank is monitored. The minerals in the water can quickly develop into a scale which can attack the base metal of the tank; it can even corrode the rivets or welds of the pressure vessel.

The operator of a boiler must never forget that steam takes 1,600 times more space that the equivalent amount of water and if it blows, it is akin to a small bomb. To see that this does not happen, periodic inspections by an individual skilled in boiler repair in La Grange are highly recommended.


Paul’s Heating & Cooling offer expert boiler repair in La Grange. After more than three decades providing quality product, repair and maintenance to the community, the original commitment to quality and value has not changed.

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