Let's Keep 'Em Puffing

Water For Use In Boilers

| November/December 1971

7650 Banks St., Justice, Illinois 60458

Water is never pure, except when made so in a laboratory or by distillation; the impurities may be divided into four classes; 1. Mechanical impurities. 2. Gaseous impurities. 3. Dissolved mineral impurities. 4. Organic impurities.

(a)   Mechanical impurities may be both mineral and organic. The commonest suspended impurity in water is mud or sand; these may be removed by filtration or by allowing the water to stand long enough to let them settle to the bottom of the tank or cistern and then carefully drawing the water from the top, and without disturbing the bottom.

(b)  Gaseous impurities have no effect on water intended for steam boilers.

(c)   Dissolved mineral impurities in water are of the most varied description, and are almost always found in it. Among these are found salts of iron, sulphate and carbonates of lime; sulphate and carbonates of magnesia; salt and alkalies, such as soda, potash, etc.; acids, such as sulphuric, phosphoric, and others. All of these are more or less injurious to steam boilers. The most objectionable are the salts of lime and magnesia, which impart to water that property known as hardness. When such water is used in a steam boiler a scale will gradually form, which will, in a short time, become very troublesome.

(d)  Organic impurities are present, to a certain extent, in most waters. They are sometimes present in the water in sufficient quantities to give it a very decided color and taste but have little or no bad effect in any water used for steam boilers.


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