I spent my Saturday today with three employees flushing out the boiler and making some minor changes to flow sights and tank connections.
The original boiler installation was done by a previous employee using PEX. Now, there are several advantages to using PEX, and it’s used consistently in the plumbing industry. It’s flexible, has reasonably high heat tolerance (200°F), and is easy to make connections to fittings.
However, using it for boiler connections to tanks is probably a bad idea. Turns out the material degrades pretty fast under high heat, and builds up residue in your boiler. So, today we spent about 4 hours flushing out the boiler to remove the deposits and “gunk” that has been lurking in our boiler lines for a few years now.
We’d replaced the PEX lines with 2″ steel pipe several months ago, but the gunk didn’t go with it, it was still inside the tanks and the boiler itself, and had to be flushed out with several rinses. That, and installing some new flow sight gauges now gives us a good look inside the boiler lines and how our water flow is moving.
We’ll see this week how much improvement we’ll see in our heat transfer now that we’ve got a squeaky clean boiler system. But if nothing else, at least we can actually SEE the water flowing through the pipes now.