If your home relies on a water boiler furnace to maintain heat, it's important that you are attentive to maintaining that furnace on a regular basis. You'll need annual inspections and cleanings to keep it running at its best. Not only that, but those inspections and maintenance appointments are also important for identifying potential problems before they lead to total disaster. For example, what happens when the water chambers are damaged? Here's what you need to know.
What Are The Water Chambers?
Most boiler furnaces have a series of six to eight sets of chambers inside the boiler case where the water flows through to heat it. The water flows into the chambers from the inlet lines and then, once heated, the water flows out to the radiators. You don't usually see these chambers because they are installed inside the furnace enclosure and are only visible when the panels are removed, as they are for maintenance and inspections.
Since so much water flows through them, it's important that these chambers are in good condition. If any chamber is damaged or cracked, it could result in water leaks that could threaten the integrity of your boiler.
How Can You Address Cracked Water Chambers?
In some instances, cracked water chambers can be easily addressed by a furnace repair technician. If the crack is minimal and it is in an area that's easy to access, you might be able to have your furnace repair technician seal the crack with a high-temperature, waterproof sealant.
However, sometimes cracked chambers need to be replaced completely. This is especially true if the cracks have led to vulnerabilities and corrosion in the chambers. Once the chambers start to corrode, that deterioration makes them vulnerable to complete failure.
What Should You Know About Replacing Water Chambers?
You might be able to replace only the damaged chambers. Have your furnace technician look at how the chambers were assembled. If they were secured together using any kind of industrial adhesive, know that the adhesive can be separated. However, you will run the risk of damaging the neighboring chamber when you separate them.
It's often worth trying to replace only the damaged chambers for the cost benefits. It's cheaper to replace just the damaged ones than to replace all of them. However, you need to be sure that you are prepared for investing in more of them if the chambers are damaged during the process.
When Should You Just Replace The Furnace?
If the boiler is over 20 years old, showing further signs of wear, or hasn't been maintained well over the years, it may be in your best interest to talk with your furnace technician about a complete replacement instead of trying to repair the existing unit. It's likely to be more cost-effective over time.
Talk to a professional like Lakeside Heating & Air Conditioning to learn more.
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