Boilers remain vital for heating and industrial uses, and every boiler needs a boiler feed system. Unfortunately not all boiler feed systems are created equal. Here is what to look for in a boiler feed system you can count on:
- The tank. The tank is one of the most important parts of a modern boiler feed system. The boiler feed tank is responsible for holding the water that will go into the boiler, which includes the collected condensate in a system with a condensate return feature (which is most these days). While this job sounds simple, many boilers today require that their feed water be not only treated to avoid scaling and corrosion, but also preheated for system efficiency. Thus, the feed tank has to be able to hold up to the demands of continuously storing a changing volume of heated and sometimes pressurized water. Steel walled tanks are preferable.
- The pump. Pumps need to be up to the job and provide adequate capacity for the size and purpose of the boiler. A failure of the pump means a failure of the whole system so it’s important to choose a reputable name brand pump system.
- Motor type. Pumps in boiler feed systems come primarily with two kinds of motors an open drip-proof (ODP) motor and a totally enclosed, fan cooled (TEFC) motor. An ODP motor is standard and is fine for many applications. The shape of the vents on the housing should deflect falling moisture, but be aware that they will not protect the motor from dirt and humidity entering via the vents which will cause wear over time. For demanding environments, it is worth it to upgrade to a TEFC motor which will completely house and protect the motor that drives the pump and thus, your entire system.
- Seals. Depending on the size and configuration of your boiler feed system (condensate or no condensate, etc.) there are multiple points that involve seals. The most important of these are where water is pumped into the boiler itself. You should check that a reputable brand name seal is used that will withstand the pressure and temperature for many years to come.
- Testing. The best boiler feed systems not only meet the specifications above; they have also been extensively tested using real world conditions. Ask a manufacturer about how they test their boiler feed systems and how they used the test data to improve the model you’re considering.
What application is your boiler for? What do you look for in a boiler feed system?