Expert Commercial Building Inspections llc

For your expert commercial building inspection, call Garrett Merrick at 801.691.2607 or send an email to

Boiler Water Pipes

Why do I need to know the pH of the boiler water?

The cheapest, but one of the most important tools in my boiler pipe evaluation is a 2-inch strip of litmus paper.  Since I can’t see the inside of the pipes, the pH gives us a good idea of the pipes’ internal condition.  If the pH is in the 7-9 range, the boiler manager has been adding the correct chemicals, in the right amount, to prevent most internal pipe damage.  If the pH is too low the water is acidic, and the pipes will have internal corrosion.  If the pH is too high, the water is too alkaline which also causes  problems.  

Boiler water can damage the pipes in multiple ways, and its treatment is an exact science which should be performed by a professional.  If the pH is in the correct range, it is likely that correct regular maintenance has been occurring, and the pipes’ internal surfaces are probably in good condition.  If the pH is too high or too low, we must assume that regular maintenance has not been conducted, and the internal surfaces of the pipes are damaged.  If your building has a boiler heating system, I always test the pH, and look for evidence that the other critical components, such as the low water cutoff valve (LWCO) have been properly maintained.