Dec 8, 2021 2:17:52 PM

Two Main Boiler Types

There are two main boiler types that you can choose for your specific application. They are a water-tube and a fire-tube boiler. Choosing the type that will best fit your needs is not always easy. There are significant differences to consider for each type.  

Water-tube boilers are safer by design and generally can operate many years longer than fire-tube boilers. Fire-tube boilers typically have a lower operating cost compared to similarly-sized water tube boilers. 

A fire-tube boiler is a type of boiler in which hot gases from a fire pass through one or more tubes running through a sealed container of water. The heat of the gases is transferred through the walls of the tubes by thermal conduction, heating the water and ultimately creating steam.

Their advantage over boilers with a single large flue is that the many small tubes offer a far greater heating surface area for the same overall boiler volume. The general construction is as a tank of water penetrated by tubes that carry the hot flue gases from the fire. The tank is usually cylindrical as it is the strongest practical shape for a pressurized container. This cylindrical tank may be either horizontal or vertical.

Fire-tube boilers are generally smaller in design. They have a larger water volume than similar size water-tube boilers, causing them to take longer to bring up to operating temperature from a cold start. Fire-tube boilers are not suitable for pressures above 350 PSIG.

Because the fire-flume boiler itself is the pressure vessel, it requires a number of safety features to prevent mechanical failure:
• Safety valves to release steam before a dangerous pressure can be built up.
• Fusible plugs over the firebox melt at a temperature lower than that of the firebox plates, thereby warning the operators by the noisy escape of steam if the water level is too low to cool the firebox crown safely.
• Stays or ties to physically link the firebox and boiler casing, preventing them from warping. Since any corrosion is hidden, the stays may have longitudinal holes, called tell-tales, drilled in them which leak before they become unsafe.

The Advantages of Fire Tube Boilers:
 • Compact in construction.
 • Fluctuation of steam demand can be met easily.
 • Cheaper than water tube boiler.

Read More
Dec 5, 2021 4:33:39 PM

Benefits of Modulating Power Burners

Today’s energy conscious heating operators know the benefits that low, high low, and fully modulating power burners provide for industrial and commercial boilers.  

A few key benefits for your industrial boiler are highlighted below:

Efficiency: Lower fuel consumption. During certain periods throughout the heating season, the load can be satisfied while the burner adjusts between low and high fire. 

Load demand: Low high low or modulating burners are more responsive to system load changes by reduced firing as needed. 

Improved equipment life: Low high low or modulating burners allow for a more stable temperature change in the boiler when transitioning from low to high fire. Some incorporate a low fire hold feature to provide a more gradual change from lower water temperatures or steam pressures to higher operating temperatures or pressures.

Reduced emissions: During the low to mid range firing position, the volume of stack emissions is reduced. Control Settings for Water Boilers In most hydronic heating systems, the typical design water temperature for space heating applications (baseboard, fin tube radiation, etc.) is 180°F.

Read More
Dec 2, 2021 3:45:00 PM

Consider the Columbia Keystone Boiler

Are you thinking of  buying a new boiler? You may want to consider the Columbia Keystone.
The Columbia Keystone boiler is a medium to large capacity, 3-pass, dry back, Scotch marine design, packaged boiler. The three-pass boiler design delivers the best in boiler fuel efficiencies.

Keystone boilers come with many standard features which make them easy to monitor and service for decades of reliable steam or hot water. Many optional features are available for Keystone boilers making them easy to customize to fit your unique needs.

They are the ideal boiler for:   
• Breweries and Brewpubs 
• Distilleries
• Dry Cleaners
• Hospitals & Medical Centers

Read More
Dec 1, 2021 7:45:00 AM

How to Troubleshoot Your Boiler

Proper boiler maintenance will help you to avoid many of the common causes of boiler  malfunction. Before you start troubleshooting, make sure you have performed the maintenance suggested by the manufacturer. Then after performing regular maintenance, it is a good time to troubleshoot your residential or commercial boilers to be sure they are running properly

Read More
Nov 20, 2021 8:19:44 AM

Types of Boiler Steam Valves

In any application that uses steam or heated water, boiler valves or steam valves are an integral part of the function. Boiler valves not only control pressure but also control temperatures.  

The Main Types of Boiler or Steam Valves:  

Ball Valves
These  valves offer good shut-off capabilities. A simple quarter-turn (90°) completely opens or closes the valve. This characteristic minimizes valve operation time and decreases the likelihood of leakage due to wear from the gland seal.
There are two categories of these. They are reduced bore and full bore. A reduced bore valve has a smaller valve opening than the diameter of the pipe. A full bore valve's opening has the same diameter as the piping. These are used because they minimize the pressure drop across the valve.

Butterfly Valves
A butterfly valve regulates the flow through a disc-type element held in place in the center of the valve by a rod. The valve operation time is short because the valving element is simply rotated a quarter turn (90°) to open or close the passageway. They have simple construction, are light in weight, and have a compact design. They have limited applications at higher temperatures or with certain types of fluids. This type is most often used with applications for air and water and applications with large pipe diameters.

Globe Valves
The globe valve is suitable for use on a wide variety of applications, from flow rate control to open/close operation.n this type of valve, flow rate control is determined not by the size of the opening in the valve seat, but rather by the lift of the valve plug (the distance the valve plug is from the valve seat). One feature of globe valves is that even if used in the partially open position, there is less risk of damage to the valve seat or valve plug by the fluid than with other types of manual valves. Among the various configurations available, needle-type globe valves are particularly well suited for flow rate control. 

Gate Valves
These are made similar to a flood gate. The flow is regulated by raising and lowering the valve element. There are three popular types: solid, flexible & split.

Diaphragm Valves
There are two types of diaphragm valves. These are the weir and the straight-way models.  The most popular is the weir-type because the straight-way models require additional stretching of the diaphragm, which can shorten the diaphragm's life. Diaphragm valves are preferred in applications where the valve components can be isolated from the process fluid. 

If you need a new boiler or one repaired, Ohio Plumbing & Boiler is your trusted expert service company. We repair and install all makes and models of industrial, commercial and residential boilers.  Our company has been repairing and maintaining boilers in Central Ohio for over two decades.  Call us when you have a repair or need to replace an old boiler. 614-863-6666

Read More
Nov 20, 2021 7:58:50 AM

Benefits of Fully Modulating Power Burners

Today’s operators know the benefits that low, high low, and fully modulating power burners provide for industrial and commercial boilers. Modulating condensing boilers can increase combustion efficiency to about 96%, up from the 80% efficiency of non-condensing boilers.

Read More
Nov 19, 2021 6:09:16 PM


Homes that are heated by radiators  and warm water usually have an expansion tank. When the expansion tank stops working properly it can cause big issues. Any problems should be handled promptly as they can result in serious complications and the tank could even explode. 

Read More
Nov 19, 2021 5:06:56 PM

Are Bladder or Plain Steel Expansion Tanks Better?

An expansion tank is an important part of any boiler system. An expansion tank is required on all closed-loop heating boiler systems.  

When the boiler heats the system water, the water expands in volume. Since water can't be compressed but air can, an expansion tank uses air or an inert gas such as nitrogen to cushion or spring against this force. 

Read More
Nov 3, 2021 8:45:36 AM

Reduce Operating Expenses by Increasing Boiler Efficiency

The efficiency and energy consumption of a boiler system can account for a large proportion of a plant’s utility cost. One of the easiest ways for a business to reduce operating expenses is to increase boiler efficiency.   

Start with an evaluation of your boiler system. This may reveal opportunities for substantial savings. It should include a look at the boiler operation, the patterns of  fuel consumption, maintenance records and any improvements that can be implemented.

The majority of heat loss in a boiler is in the stack or boiler water. The goal is to create conditions that generate the smallest possible amount of flue gas at the lowest possible temperature. This results in increased boiler efficiency.

There are several things that can contribute to a higher fuel bill. These include:

  • Too much or too little excess air
  • Increased moisture content in the fuel
  • Sudden changes in steam consumption
  • Dirty fireside
  • Dirty water
  • Scale on the waterside
  • Increased boiler outlet flue gas temperature
  • Decreased economizer inlet feed water temperature

Even small improvements in boiler efficiency can result in significant fuel savings. 

Read More
Oct 13, 2021 9:57:31 AM


Boilers are known for their resilience and longevity. The industry standard advice is to replace your boiler every 10 years. However, some people still have boilers working that are  over 30 years old.  Boilers can last a long time due to the fact that they have few moving  parts. Fewer moving parts means fewer ways for things to go wrong. 

Read More