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Common plumbing term explained by Oakland CA plumbers: Kettling

This term for a clanking or banging noise that comes from a boiler begins to occur after it has been turned on for a short period of time. Kettling usually results from lime or corrosion debris that becomes stuck to the inside of the boiler’s heat exchanger.

FAQ for Oakland plumbing professionals: When is there just too much rust?

If the boiler is only rusting in certain areas, the problem may be easily fixed. However, whether it may be more cost effective to replace the boiler or repair it may depend upon its age and the availability of parts. If your boiler is completely covered in rust, it is probably more cost effective to replace the entire boiler.

Oakland Plumbing: Article About When Boilers Rust

Berkeley Plumbing and Heating: Professional Oakland CA Plumbing

Boilers are used in many homes as an alternative to a furnace for heating. Unlike a furnace, which distributes heated air through ducts throughout the home, boilers heat water to send through pipes in the walls and floor. Some boilers distribute steam that is generated from heated water to radiators while others simply provide hot water.

While you can perform simple routine maintenance on your boiler to keep it working well, you may need the help of your local Oakland Plumbing technician to help with repairs.

One of the main problems that homeowners face is the buildup of rust in the boiler. To work at maximum efficiency, the boiler should be completely free of rust. What you may not know is that boilers actually have a safety device called an anode rod that sits at the top of the tank. The job of the anode rod is to attract the elements that cause rust. The rod can then simply be replaced. However, if the rod is not replaced before it rusts completely, the tank may begin to rust.

When rust forms on metal, it actually causes that metal to become weak, corrode and flake away. If this corrosion debris builds up in the heat exchanger, the restricted water flow could cause the trapped water to become too hot and expand.

The plumbing experts at Berkeley Plumbing and Heating of Oakland CA can assist with any questions regarding radiant heating or heating repair.

This expansion can cause kettling, which is easily fixed if the problem is discovered early.

The formation of rust can also cause your boiler to leak. These leaks occur when the pressure inside the tank becomes too much for the weakened metal. In addition to causing leaks in the tank itself, the rust can spread to the connectors and cause leaks there as well. Minor leaks can be repaired, but if the problem is not caught in time, you may need to replace your entire boiler.

Finally, rust can have an unexpected side-effect on your boiler. Because rust is insulating in nature, your boiler can actually overheat. Not only does this result in more leaks forming, the high pressure can actually cause damage to the safety controls. This condition is referred to as a “runaway boiler” and, in worst-case scenarios, can cause the boiler to explode.

If you are pretty handy, there are some simple procedures that can keep rust to a minimum. For example, routine draining of the water in your boiler will remove any sludge buildup and mineral deposits. A system cleaner may also be added to keep your boiler running the way it should be. It is always important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when attempting to perform maintenance on your boiler.

If your boiler is covered in rust, is constantly overheating or has numerous leaks, you may need the help of a professional to install required new parts or perform a deep cleaning.

Contact Berkeley Plumbing and Heating today

For commercial and residential services and products for your plumbing, heating, or cooling needs, contact us via the below form or call (510) 841-0883.