Fire tube boilers are typically cleaned by professionals using tube cleaning machines that activate scrapers and brushes to remove soot and debris. A professional-grade vacuum is also used to draw out loose soot from the fire tube boilers.
Fire tube boilers with scale deposits may need to be cleaned with rotary tube cleaning equipment that vacuums while a rotating system scrubs down the deposits. When calcium carbonate and scales stick to the heating surfaces, many professionals use chemical cleaning and an industrial boiler scale remover to clean the water side of a fire tube boiler. Technicians typically need to be trained to operate this type of equipment.
When using professional-grade equipment, the process to clean a fire tube boiler is relatively easy and not time consuming. Most professionals use flexible shafts covered in water tight casing that allows water to travel into the cleaning tool to avoid having to refill the water during the cleaning.
Fire tube boilers are commonly used in large commercial facilities. A fire tube boiler needs periodic cleaning because as hot gasses travel through the tubes of the boiler, and water surrounds the tubes. Scale deposits and soot can accumulate within the tubes and on the boiler system. Tubes need to be cleaned to prevent blockages regardless if the system is fueled by wood, coal, gas or oil.