Design Comfort Blog: Archive for March, 2015

What is Kettling and why is it Dangerous?

Monday, March 30th, 2015

The sound of a kettle boiling is considered comforting and cozy by most people. It’s a bit less cozy when it comes from your boiler, however. If your boiler is making a deep, rumbling sound during operation, that’s called “kettling.” It’s one of the most damaging things that can happen to boilers, and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

While you’re waiting for a professional to arrive, though, you should know what causes kettling. The more you know about the problem, the better equipped you’ll be to address it.

Let’s take a look at what kettling is, and where it comes from.

Causes of Kettling

Kettling is the result of overexposure to hard water, which is water with a higher than normal mineral content. As the hard water flows through the heat exchanger in your boiler, it deposits small amounts of minerals on the walls of the pipe. Over time, these mineral deposits can develop into lime scale, which will restrict or even block the flow of water through the heat exchanger. This causes the water trapped in the heat exchanger to boil and evaporate, which puts pressure on the heat exchanger. The rumbling sound is caused by the steam in the pipe straining to escape.

Effects of Kettling

Believe it or not, most boilers are not meant to actually boil water. When the water in the heat exchanger boils and evaporates into steam, it puts the pipe under far more pressure than it is designed to handle. If the pressure is not relieved in short order, the heat exchanger may burst and damage the boiler. Most boilers have safety measures in place to prevent things from getting that far, but it is still not a good condition to allow to continue. The deposits that cause kettling also prevent enough hot water from being distributed through the house, which will lead to a drop in heating.

If you notice that your boiler is kettling, you need to have it looked at as soon as possible. Call Design Comfort. We provide boilers throughout the Holladay area.

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How to Properly Care for Your Garbage Disposal

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

A garbage disposal is a great addition to any kitchen. It aids in the elimination of food waste, cuts down on dishwashing time, and generally makes your life a bit easier. Though it may seem like one of the sturdier appliances in your home, the garbage disposal can actually break down quite easily if not treated properly. If you’re not sure how to keep your garbage disposal in top condition, read on.

Things to Do:

The first thing you should do for your garbage disposal is keep it clean. A small amount of dish soap and cold water is a good way to keep your garbage disposal healthy. You can also pour boiling water down the disposal to clear out any debris that might be clinging to the inside of the chamber. However, you shouldn’t run the garbage disposal while doing so. You should only use cold water while running the garbage disposal. Whether it is a good idea to put egg shells or coffee grounds down the disposal to clean it is a topic of some debate among professional plumbers. We’ll leave it up to you whether or not to take the risk, though it is possible that such things help to scour out the inside of the disposal.

Things Not to Do:

First, never put large bones or any other hard object down the garbage disposal. These can cause the disposal blades to break and require replacement. It’s also not a good idea to use the disposal for anything extremely fibrous, like celery. The fibers from the plant can tangle the blades of the disposal and cause it to overheat. Don’t pour any kind of grease or fat into the garbage disposal. Though these are often liquids when you pour them into the disposal, they will quickly congeal into a semi-solid state. This can clog up the disposal. Finally, absolutely avoid anything that isn’t actually food waste. Nothing that isn’t biodegradable.

If you have any questions about caring for your garbage disposal, call Design Comfort. We provide garbage disposal services throughout Salt Lake City.

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Do I Need to Size My Boiler?

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Are you finishing the winter with a boiler that is on its last legs, or building a new home that needs a heating system?

Then you may want to consider a new boiler installation for your North Salt Lake City home. There a few steps every homeowner needs to take prior to boiler installation, and one of the most important is correctly sizing your boiler for your home. There are some common rules-of-thumb that people go by to size a heater for their home, but rules of thumb are usually pretty genera and may leave you with an inadequately sized system. The experts at Design Comfort can help you properly size your new boiler, install it, then maintain and repair it as needed, so if you are ready for a new boiler system, call us today!

Correct Sizing

To correctly size any heating system, including your boiler, a heat load calculation needs to be performed. This calculation takes into account a number of factors, including:

  • The orientation of your home
  • Floorplan
  • Number of rooms and floors
  • Type of insulation, windows and doors
  • Level of insulation
  • Daytime heat gain
  • Number of occupants
  • Square footage of your home

What Happens with a Wrong-Sized Boiler?

When you have a wrong-sized boiler, more problems can develop than just having an uncomfortable home. If your boiler is too big for your home, you run the risk of experiencing overheating your home, which can lead to short cycling as the system turns on and off constantly. Short-cycling can prematurely age your system and components, which can lead to malfunction and breakdown.

Conversely, a boiler that is too small for your home will run constantly as it tries to achieve the set temperature on your thermostat. Constantly operating will also prematurely age your system, and it will cause your boiler to use a great deal of fuel, which can get extremely costly.

If you are ready for a new boiler installation in North Salt Lake City, call the people you can trust: Design Comfort.

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How the Sacrificial Anode Rod Prevents Water Heater Repairs

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Most water heaters across the country are storage tank water heaters. These are water heaters with large storage tanks, built to hold anywhere between 20 to 70+ gallons of water. While keeping that many gallons of hot water on hand at all times is certainly nice for the homeowner, it can create some sustainability issues for the water heater itself. Being exposed to water at all times can cause metal to rust out pretty fast.

In a tank under that much pressure, the last thing you want is for the structure to be weakened by rust. If the rust progresses far enough, the tank can actually rupture and cause water damage to the surrounding area. So, how to tank water heaters avoid this fate? By making use of a part called the “sacrificial anode rod.”

What is a Sacrificial Anode Rod?

The sacrificial anode rod is a long metal rod, which is inserted into the storage tank of your water heater. The rod is composed of either magnesium, aluminum, or zinc, and is formed around a steel wire in the center. The rod acts as a sort of draw for rust, protecting the inner lining of the storage tank from rusting. Eventually, however, the rod itself will corrode to the point of uselessness. When this happens, it is vitally important that the anode rod be replaced with a fresh one. If this doesn’t happen, the inner lining of the water heater tank will begin to rust.

The first sign that most homeowners have that their anode rod has failed is when discolored water begins to come out of their faucets. By that point, the lining of the tank has already begun to rust, and it may need to be replaced.

When to Replace the Sacrificial Anode Rod

The anode rod should be checked at least once a year. That way, a rod that is getting close to failing completely can be replaced with a fresh one to maintain protection. If you aren’t sure how to check or replace your sacrificial anode rod, call Design Comfort.

We provide water heater repair services throughout the Salt Lake City area.

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