What Does Descaling Mean?
Descaling is the process of removing scale from equipment such as boilers and heat exchangers. It involves removing thick layers of oxides that form on metals at high temperatures.
Descaling is required when a heat exchanger builds up large amounts of calcium on its surface enough to insulate the water from the heat source and impair performance.
Regular descaling of industrial heat exchanger tubes is necessary to inhibit corrosion and increase efficiency.
Descaling safely and effectively removes:
- limescale buildup;
- other insoluble sediments.
Fouling is problematic because it builds up inside the pipe and reduces the cross-sectional area available to transport water or liquids. Additionally, the scale can form on equipment and water heaters, causing corrosion-related problems. To avoid this problem and improve performance, descaling is required.
There are two types of boiler descaling:
- Removal of corrosion deposits from boiler radiator systems and main heat exchangers.
- Removal of hard water deposits in combination boilers.
The former is more accurately described as a power flush. Power flushing and descaling are closely related because the same equipment and chemicals are used, even though the faults to be addressed are different.
Descalers or chemical descalers are used to remove scale from metal surfaces that come into contact with hot water, such as in boilers, water heaters, and kettles. Descalers are usually acidic compounds, such as hydrochloric acid, which react with basic carbonate compounds present in the scale to produce carbon dioxide gas and soluble salts.
To remove the limescale, either the heat exchanger has to be replaced, or descaling acid is pumped into it for an hour or two. This is an easier procedure than a power flush because there is only one item (the heat exchanger) to be aware of. Set up a powerful rinse pump and connect it to the heat exchanger through the washing machine hot and cold water faucet, turn it on, and the scale will gradually dissolve away.
Scale removal extends equipment life by preventing scaling and inhibiting corrosion.