Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

Water Boiler Safety: From Inspection to Replacement


Water boilers are essential methods of getting hot water into your home. While the products are important any time of the year, they are even more crucial during the cold winter months. As winter quickly approaches, you may consider getting your water boiler inspected to ensure it functions properly. This is a process that should be conducted at least once a year for your family’s safety, and it can help you determine whether you need a replacement unit or not. There are two ways to conduct inspections, and they are completed by you or a professional.


If you are particularly handy around the house, then you might consider inspecting your own water boiler. Not only will you need to inspect the two cylinders within the unit, but you also need to make sure that all the tubes function properly. You certainly don’t want the boiler tubes to leak gas or other hazardous materials within your home. Plus, testing the tubes can determine how efficiently the water travels from one cylinder to the next.

An ultrasonic thickness gauge is the only way to correctly determine whether your boiler tubes are working correctly. These types of gauges are unique in that they can measure the thickness of metal through paint and other extremities. At the same time, this tool can also determine how long it takes for water to get from the feed cylinder to the other side of the boiler, where steam is created.

Aside from inspecting the tubes, you will also want to ensure that there aren’t any cracks in the drums or the feed water line within the unit. Cracks in these areas can cause a multitude of problems, and it is worse when you run the unit without knowing that such problems exist. If any cracks in the system exist, you may have to replace the whole unit for your own safety.

Hiring a Pro

If you are unfamiliar with the workings of a water boiler, then you may want to leave the inspection up to a professional. You will find that these professionals use the same types of gauges needed to measure the thickness of the boiler tubes as well as the efficiency of the overall unit. In fact, it is wise not to hire someone who doesn’t use the proper tools, or else you might get an uneducated inspection.

It is perhaps even more important to hire a professional inspector if your unit operates with fire. Such inspections can be dangerous and should really only be left up to people who are experienced with these processes. This type of inspection can determine whether there is any fire damage within the tubes, roof or floor of the boiler and what repairs you may need.

As a homeowner, it is up to you as to what types of repairs you pay for. Still, it is important to heed the recommendations of the inspector for the safety of your entire household. If you can get by with minor repairs, then this is good, but you should replace the unit if its safety is questionable.

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