If you live in an older home, there is a good chance that the heating system you have in place is a fire tube boiler. These boilers, even though seemingly outdated, actually do a good job at heating the average home efficiently if they are in good working order. Some of these boilers are massive in size and may leave you scratching your head trying to figure out which way is up if something does indeed go wrong. In order to understand more about fire tube boiler problems, it is helpful if you learn to recognize the basic components that it has.
Fire Box - The fire box is where most of the action of the boiler takes place. Whether you have a direct flame from a gas or an electric ignition, the heat source will originate in the fire box. Long ago, the fire box was heated with wood or coal, but more modern fuel sources are often considered more reliable.
Interior Heating Element - Connected to the fire box will be a series of heating elements that run throughout the tan to heat the water. It is a common misconception that these elements heat the water to boiling temperatures, hence the name "boiler". However, the water is only heated to hot and pressure in the tank is actually what pushes the steam outward.
Steam Release Valve - The steam that is used to heat your home will be released from the steam release valve. This valve has a sensor that opens up only when there is sufficient pressure in the tank.
Feed-Water Inlet - A direct water line keeps the tank continuously at a filled level as steam cycles through the stem release valve and lowers water levels. It is not uncommon for older boilers to have blockage issues due to old inlet water hoses that have been damaged.
Drain Line - Occasionally, the water inside of the pressure vessel tank will need to be removed in order to perform necessary repairs, such as installing new heating elements. Therefore, a drain line is often found at the base of the unit and will have a valve for opening and possible a spout to hook up a hose.
Chimney - The chimney of a fire tube boiler is usually only a cylindrical pipe that is situated on the top of the boiler. Excess steam, heat, and pressure will be released through this chimney, and therefore, it will be routed through your home to the roof if the boiler is inside of the home.
By familiarizing yourself with the inner-workings of your boiler system and its parts, troubleshooting common issues should be a lot easier. However, keep in mind that an experienced boiler repair professional can always offer sound advice and properly repair your system. To learn more, contact Vowel Plumbing & Heating.
My name is Marcus Thompson and about 8 years ago I found myself raising 3 children on my own. Before becoming a single father, I was too busy in my corporate world to even realize my home was falling apart. However, as I began spending more time at home, I began to notice all of the issues that were quickly causing my home's value to decrease. I couldn't afford to hire a contractor to fix these issues, so little by little, I began learning how to fix these problems myself. Over the years, I became a dedicated DIY enthusiast who is capable of fixing any issue I may encounter in my home. Creating this website is my way of sharing everything I have learned over the years with other parents and homeowners so that they too can begin taking control of any issues they may experience with their home.