Managing Quality Boiler Feedwater

Cleaver-Brooks Boiler

Proper treatment of your boiler’s feedwater is one of the most important tasks to maintain your boiler for longevity. 

Untreated boiler feedwater contains dissolved minerals and gases that lead to scale and form deposits that are harmful to your boiler and the connected components. 

To protect your boiler from contaminants, it’s essential to employ the proper feedwater equipment, a chemical treatment program and follow maintenance procedures consistently. 

Water Softener

Water softeners use a process called ion exchange to remove calcium and magnesium from the water. The minerals are replaced with highly soluble sodium or potassium ion that does not cause scale. 


With a steam system, a dealkalizer prevents scaling and reduces the opportunity for steel corrosion. The main job of the dealkalizer is to remove the bicarbonate and carbonate alkalinity of the feedwater.  If the boiler feedwater contains a high level of bicarbonate alkalinity and sulfates, a dealkalizer is recommended.



The dearation process removes oxygen and other dissolved gases from boiler feedwater in steam systems.  Deaeration reduces the concentration of dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide to the level where corrosion is minimized. 

Surface blowdown is typically an automated process that expells a certain amount of boiler water from the surface of the boiler drum to control the level of dissolved solids. 
Bottom blowdown is a manual process that removes sludge and scale, while equipment handles fending off the majority of impurities in the boiler feedwater, the remainder is managed with chemical treatment. 

Water Treatment for Scale 

Scale is costly and can negatively affect heat transfer, thus increasing your energy bill. Water treatment programs will address the specific type of scale which develops, according to the specific chemical composition. Instead of forming solid crystals that precipitate onto surfaces, properly treated water will condition potential scale crystals into smooth non-binding, slippery molecules. These molecules are then easily removed through surface blowdown or bottom blowdown

Chemtex, our Partner in Water Treatment 

Chemtex has over 30 years of experience in blending formulations for protection of the entire feedwater, boiler and steam and condensate system. In our ISO 9001:2008 certified facility, we use the finest raw material ingredients to produce a complete line of chemical products including:

  • Boiler water sludge conditioners and dispersants
  • Sulfite-based and volatile oxygen scavengers
  • Alkalinity builder adjuncts
  • Neutralizing and filming amine return-line treatments
  • Boiler water antifoams
  • Solid products for convenience and safety

We offer formulations containing ingredients that are on the FDA list of authorized boiler water additives as published in 21 CFR 173.310.

Chemtex provides equipment packages from simple to complex for precise boiler blowdown and chemical feed control. From a basic controller and chemical pump to a sophisticated microprocessor-based controller tied into a building automation system, we can meet all your boiler system control equipment needs.

Contact Frank I Rounds Company for a free boiler evaluation, schedule boiler service or discuss a water treatment plan.