Why do industrial boilers need water softening treatment?

Boiler Softener System
Boiler Softener System

Water used in boilers often has high hardness due to the presence of calcium and magnesium ions. These ions combine with hydroxide ions in the water to form insoluble precipitates, known as scale. Scale will adhere to the inner walls and pipes of the boiler, causing the following issues:

  • Reduced Heat Transfer Efficiency: Accumulated scale can form an insulating layer on the heat transfer surface of the boiler, reducing heat transfer efficiency, requiring the boiler to burn more fuel to reach the required temperature.
  • Pipe Blockages: At high levels, mineral deposits can create hard water pipes, reducing water flow and increasing pressure, affecting the performance of pumps and valves. This not only affects the boiler but can also harm other equipment and systems during production.
  • Increased Risk of Boiler Corrosion: Hard water scale not only reduces the heat transfer efficiency of the boiler but also increases corrosion and erosion of system components. This not only increases maintenance costs but also reduces the energy efficiency of the system.

Scale buildup inside pipes over time
Scale buildup inside pipes over time

To address these issues, it is necessary to use softened water for the boiler. Softened water is water that has had calcium and magnesium ions removed, preventing the formation of scale.

There are several methods for water softening, including:

  • Chemical Method: Using substances such as oxalic acid, citric acid to react with alkaline ions in the water, converting them into soluble salts, minimizing the formation of scale.
  • Ion Exchange Method: Using cation resin beads to replace sodium ions into the supplementary water, reducing the amount of calcium and magnesium ions, thereby minimizing the formation of scale.
  • Reverse Osmosis Method: Using reverse osmosis membranes to separate calcium and magnesium ions from water.

Using softened water for the boiler brings many benefits, including:

  • Reduced Maintenance Costs: Softened water reduces the frequency of boiler cleaning, thereby reducing maintenance and repair costs.
  • Increased Heat Transfer Efficiency: Softened water improves the heat transfer efficiency of the boiler, reduces fuel consumption, and increases operational efficiency.
  • System Protection: Preventing scale buildup and reducing the rate of damage and corrosion in the system increases the lifespan of the boiler.
  • Environmental Pollution Reduction: Softened water reduces the amount of dissolved gases such as oxygen, reducing the risk of corrosion and environmental pollution.

Therefore, using softened water for the boiler is essential to ensure the safety and efficiency of boiler operation.

Regular pH and hardness measurement of boiler water
Regular pH and hardness measurement of boiler water


In maintaining the safety and efficiency of industrial boilers, the process of water softening is an essential component. This not only helps protect the investment but also ensures stable operation, minimizing breakdowns, and increasing the overall system efficiency. Therefore, choosing softened water is not only an innovative decision but also a crucial step to ensure sustainability and effectiveness in the industry.