A Guide To Corrosion Control And Boiler Feed Water Contamination

24 May 2016
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog

If your company's boiler tank needs to be replaced because it has excessive mineral corrosion, then it is vital that you understand how future feed water can be treated to prevent problems in your new boiler tank. There are five major contaminants often found in boiler feed water. Once you have your company's water professionally tested and know which contaminants are present within it, then you can take steps to remove the contamination and control future corrosion problems. 

The 5 Major Feed Water Contaminants

There are five contaminants that you need to be concerned with for you boiler's feed water:

  • silica
  • iron
  • chloride compounds
  • oxygen
  • organic materials

While it is unlikely that your feed water will contain high levels of all of these contaminants, you are guaranteed to have at least a few that are the culprits for the current corrosion problem your boiler's tank is experiencing. To this end, here is further information about each type of contaminant and how they can be treated by your plant's water technician:


Silica is the mineral that is responsible for making hard stones such as quartz. The natural silica in feed water comes from the sediments of the lakes and rivers where the water originates and can form a very hard scale on the insides of your boiler equipment and tubing. Silica contamination is treated by increasing your plant's blowdown.


If your boiler's feed water contains a lot of iron, as lots of groundwater does, then the iron can lower the efficiency of your boiler and can lead to rust problems. In addition, the excess iron can also build up on the turbine blades for your boiler system and corrode them. Iron is removed from boiler feed water by chelation therapy.

Chloride Compounds

Chloride compounds have a tendency to stick to the heating elements within boilers and leave behind a nasty white scale. Chloride compounds in your boiler feed water can be removed by using a water softener, similar to how the water in your home is softened by utilizing a regenerative resin bead bed.


Oxygen-rich water is good for fish tanks, but it is not good for your company's boiler. Free oxygen atoms in its feed water will cause corrosion issues and clogs in the cooling tubes. Since oxygen is not a harmful gas, it is often released into the atmosphere through a process of aeration.   

Organic Materials

Finally, all water contains organic contamination from the vegetation that has fallen into it. If your boiler water was having issues with foaming water or tube clogging, then organic materials should be looked at as one of the possible causes. Organic solids can be removed by filtration and reverse osmosis treatment of your company's boiler.  

For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from RSR Industrial Coatings Inc.