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2013-12-18
How To: Faulty Heat Exchanger Repair

Heat exchangers are sophisticated devices that are used in an array of applications, from air-conditioning units to automobile radiators. In addition, these devices are used in different types of plants, including sewage treatment plants, petroleum refineries, chemical plants and power plants. As the name implies, the main function of a heat exchanger is move heat from one medium to another. Basically, this device works when a liquid absorbs the heat from another source or by dissipating heat.

Heat exchangers, however, can become damaged or corroded over time due to exposure to mineral scale or excess chlorination. For the most part, these problems occur when the device’s pump is not working properly. Troubleshooting and heat exchanger repair may be necessary, when the heat exchanger is leaking or the pool heater is no longer working.

Step 1

When dealing with a broken and faulty heat exchanger, the first thing you have to do is to shut down the device. Also, if possible, disconnect the device from its power supply. Once you have finished turning it off, allow the heat exchanger to cool.

Step 2

While allowing the device to cool off, take time to read the device’s user manual. Basically, the heat exchanger’s manual contains vital pieces of information about the device, such as heat exchanger repair tips, component specifications and many more. Furthermore, it contains the manufacturer’s contact number, in case you need to buy spare parts or professional assistance for your heat exchanger unit.

Step 3

Take off the device’s water inlet connections, and make sure to drain the water lines.

Step 4

Check whether the device’s shut-off valve is blocked. When the valve is blocked, the device won’t be able to supply the adequate amount of steam or hot water.  In this scenario, make sure that all of the device’s coils are open.  Aside from valve blockage, lack of steam or hot water may include a defective trap, a clogged strainer as well as problems with the incorrect thermostat settings and solenoid coil.

When dealing with a clogged strainer, open up the device’s strainer, and remove the debris causing the clog. For a defective trap, replace the defective heat exchanger component. However, if the problem involves the device’s solenoid coil voltage, replace the vale with a valve is designed for the voltage running through the device. 

If you think the device has incorrect thermostat settings, check your manual to find out the correct setting. With the help of a multi-tester, make sure to check if the switch is working adequately.

What to do if the problem still occurs?

With a multi-tester, check the device’s solenoid coil, and find out whether the valve is still working. In some cases, a worn or open valve may be causing a problem to your device.

Where to buy parts

To buy original parts for your heat exchanger, contact the device’s manufacturers. However, if you cannot afford to buy original parts for your heat exchanger, consider buying from first-class varieties from a reputable supplier.

Additional tip

If you feel uneasy doing heat exchanger repair on your own, it is best that you hire a certified professional technician that specializes in heat exchanger repair. 


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