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A boiler is a closed unit, or vessel, that boils water in order to help keep your home warm. Water or other fluids are heated and then is used in various processes or heating applications, such as water heating, central heating, boiler-based power generation, cooking, and sanitation. It is the most important component of a central heating system. You can control the heat distribution by flipping a switch. When you do this, a valve opens and gas enters a very tightly sealed combustion chamber in the boiler. Then, through lots of small jets, an electric ignition system sets them alight and heat is created and released into your home. Water is instantly heated to 140 degrees and then released as steam to provide warmth.
Boilers sit on top of burners where fuel is burned to provide heat in the form of steam. That steam is then distributed as heat throughout your house or office by pipes or radiators.
There are many components to a boiler that make installation, maintenance and operation very difficult and complicated, which is why it is important to hire a professional who has a good grip and handle on what boilers do and how to use them.
Pressuretrols help to control the steam pressure in the boiler. Boilers have a couple of pressuretrols: A Manual-Reset Pressuretrol, which functions as a safety button by putting a limit of steam pressure, the Operating Pressuretrol, which helps you maintain the controls when the boiler fires and releases heat, and for boilers equipped with a specific modulating burner, a Modulating Pressuretrol can be used to control the amount of fire that is realized in the boiler.
Safety Valve: These are very important in that they relieve pressure immediately and stop possible explosion or combustion of a boiler.
Water Level Indicators: They show the level of fluid in the boiler, or how much water is in the boiler. They work as a water gauge, which can help the operator asses how much water is going to be boiled.
Bottom Blowdown Valves: They work to remove solids that clump together and lie on the bottom of a boiler. Located on the bottom of the boiler, they are occasionally opened up in order to let the solid particles out.
Continuous Blowdown Valve: This allows water to escape continuously while also preventing the water in the boiler becoming saturated with dissolved salts and other minerals and chemicals.
According to safety laws, high pressure boilers require internal inspection annually. External inspection is then required three months to nine months after internal inspection.
Heating boilers/hot water supply boilers/commercial water heaters in turn require external inspection every two years.
Because boilers are so complex, inspection is not only suggested, but required because they contain so much energy in such a closed, tightly sealed vacuumed space. If they are not well taken care of, they can explode and hot water and built up steam of a high velocity can escape and cause major health risks.