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Avoiding Boiler Failure: A GuideBoiler safety is important because a failure can be costly and dangerous, but the good news is that this is easily preventable. There are three major contributing factors to boiler failure, which are  low water, corrosion and scale/sediment accumulation. This article will explain each of these three boiler issues, and give you some preventative maintenance tips to make sure your unit stays in top condition.

Low Water

A low-water condition is likely to occur when a unit needs water but does not call for it. This condition can also occur when the boiler calls for water but doesn’t receive it. Normally, this will happen as a result of a malfunction in a control device, but sometimes it can be caused by a  mechanical component. When a unit gets low on water, a protective device will shut down the unit before any real damage is done. However, if protective devices fail or are not installed properly, this condition may cause serious damage. To prevent this, be sure that feed-water enters your unit reliably and do an annual test on your low-water fuel-cutoff device.


Corrosion can be both internal and external. External corrosion is not as serious as internal and normally stems from excessive moisture. Internal corrosion progresses quickly and must be addressed immediately. There are two ways to prevent internal corrosion. The first way is to use a deaerator, which employs the use of steam to absorb oxygen from water. Another way is to chemically treat boiler water to scavenge oxygen.

Scale and Sediment

Scale deposits can cause increased energy costs, physical damage and may even lead to failure. Again, chemical treatment is used to prevent scale and can often be done at the same time as treating the unit for corrosion. Since  treatment requires specific knowledge, it should only be done by a trained professional.

For more expert advice about preventing failures and other issues related to home comfort, please contact Aladdin Heating and Cooling at 1-800-762-0079. We’ve been serving the Southeast Michigan area since 1945, and include neighborhoods in Ferndale, Royal Oak, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and many more.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Warren, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about boilers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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