Top 3 Super-Fast Killers of Outdoor Boilers

New Year's Resolution: Avoid Top 3
Super-Fast Killers of Outdoor Boilers!

There are three COMMON mistakes that will kill your outdoor boiler FAST!  Please avoid these at all costs! These will shorten the life of your boiler, and prevent you from saving money! Here is the list:

1. Never use an UNINSULATED chimney extension.
2. Never allow a deep layer of ash to accumulate in your firebox.
3. NEVER operate your boiler with untreated water.

1. Uninsulated Chimney Extensions - This is the FASTEST way to eat holes in your steel. Again, wood fuel contains moisture and you want that moisture to exit the boiler harmlessly in the form of steam. However, an uninsulated chimney cools the steam and it will condense on the walls of the chimney - this creates the most caustic acidic creosote!  This acidic creosote drips back down into your boiler and eats holes in your boiler very quickly. 

Solution?  NEVER use an uninsulated chimney extension - if you have one, remove it TODAY!  We all have chimney extensions on our boilers and love them - but they must be INSULATED chimney extensions. Click HERE for more info on insulated chimney extensions. They are nice to increase draft and to get the smoke up and away.

2. Deep Ash - Ash is harmless when dry and powdery. But if you allow your ash to get deep in your boiler, it will absorb moisture from the wood, and become acid paste. This will eat your steel.

Don't be foolish and think that your wood is different. Some say "I only use seasoned wood." That is great, but even the most seasoned hardwood contains 15-20% moisture - that is a lot of water. A thick layer of ash in your boiler will absorb that moisture, become caustic, and slowly eat your steel.

Solution? Keep your ash level to less than 2 inches at all times. Remove a small amount of ash every day. And once or twice a month, remove ALL the ash and scrape out the firebox bottom with a spade. If you discover ash that appears moist and steamy, your ash level was too deep and you are damaging your steel. KEEP ASH LEVELS LOW! Never more than 1-3 inches in your firebox.

3. Untreated Water - Whenever water and steel touch, the steel begins to rust immediately. Steel companies have a spray they apply to their inventory, or else rust forms only minutes after steel is made. This protective layer stays on your steel until you fill your outdoor boiler with water.