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Generic/Standard chemical feed system for boiler water treatment

by Madden Manufacturing • June 13, 2018
Simple Madden chemical feed system
Simple Madden Chemical Feed System for Generic Applications

To start 2018 Madden Manufacturing saw a significant increase in boiler water treatment system inquiries. In the first 3 months of the year alone, we have sold almost as many chemical feed systems has we had sold in all of 2017.

Madden does have a standard line of chemical feed system designs that end users can choose from but they are designed to be simple feed systems, generic for any chemical addition application. They have a storage tank, mixer, and a pump, with any optional item added that the application may need. Usually inquiries tend to start with a standard line and then grow from there to be a completely built to order, custom system.

But those simple generic chemical feed systems were not helping us quote as quickly as we’re known for as the inquiries continued to roll in this year. A big part of this was having very sparse specifications provided to us for the boiler room’s chemical feed system.
Most specification packets had nearly everything you can imagine for the new boiler room being built, but for the chemical feed system section, they would simply state, “please provide a chemical feed system for boiler water treatment” with very little supporting information on the pumps and other desired equipment.

With the increase in inquires, and the lack of direction in most of the specifications we were getting, we thought it would be a good idea to gather our resources, talk to our distributor and rep team, and come up with a basic boiler water treatment feed system; a standard offering that our industrial steam distributors, reps, and end users could more times than not use as is, but if anything else at least it would be a great place to start and save a lot of time on quoting.

Here’s what we came up with... 
Adobe link to Madden's standard boiler chemical feed system drawing
Drawing - Stndrd Boiler ChemFeed Sys

Boiler water chemical feed system, standard design fits the needs of most industrial boiler rooms

In designing a standard, full feed system for most boiler rooms, we started with asking ourselves how many chemicals were usually involved in treating boiler water and what they were. Based on our own experience and the advice of our steam distributors and reps we came up with the following 3 chemicals as the most commonly used to treat water used in the boiler room:
  • Oxygen Scavenger
  • Phosphate
  • AmineDrawing of Madden's boiler water chemical treatment feed system
Keeping your boiler equipment clean and free from corrosion and scale build up keeps the heat transfer process in your fire tube or water tube boiler as efficient as possible. You also want to keep the water itself free from dissolved solids and other impurities. Keeping everything clean means using less of the fuel source to heat the water into steam.

Oxygen scavengers, phosphates, and amine all work together to keep the water source free of oxygen, they neutralize acidic water, and act as a corrosion inhibitor. These three chemicals seem to be the most often recommended formula from the “chemical guys” as they cover all the basics.

So with this in mind, we move on to the rest of the system:

Chemical storage tanks - (3) 100 gallon, Low Density Polyethylene tanks with stands to offer flooded suction to the pumps. These tanks are cone bottom, self-draining tanks to hinder scale build up or wasted chemical. They come with a 12” screw on lid, and are translucent so that the operator can see the level in the tank. Low level switches can be used to send a signal to sound an alarm or light a pilot light (available upon request, not standard).

Chemical metering pumps - (3) Madden diaphragm metering pumps, specifically model JN102A. We chose a 2 gallon per hour pump to pair with the 100 gallon tanks with the holiday weekends in mind. Assuming you’ll be slowly treating the water with concentrated chemical 24/7, a 2 gallon pump offers a little over 3 days of service without needing to refill the chemical storage tanks.

The standard design we are using for our pump’s wetted end is a 316 stainless steel head and Teflon diaphragm. We know this is overkill for the 3 mentioned chemicals above, but a lot of engineering spec’s request this for the durability, and it does allow for a variety of other chemicals that may be used in the boiler room, so we felt this was the best to offer as “standard”. We truly wanted this complete unit to be something distributors and reps could confidently throw on to their bid documents and state that it is an inclusive chemical feed system that will cover all the basics in boiler water treatment.

Mixers - (3) high speed 316 stainless steel mixers. We mount these directly to the stand the tanks come with and fastened them rigidly above the tanks at a ten degree angle. With 100 gallon tanks and 2 gallon pumps you won’t need to constantly be refilling the chemical storage station and handling the chemicals every day. Our design is meant to hold a more concentrated solution and to dose slowly and evenly all day, so that operators can go up to 3 days without having to refill the system. The mixers allow you to occasionally agitate the chemical insuring consistent and even chemical injection into the processes.

Control Panel - our standard control panel wires all the motors together (3 pumps and 3 mixers) to one central convenient access point. We offer steel units with an acrylic paint finish and 316 stainless steel enclosures. The control panels have on/off buttons with illuminating push buttons. They have a 3 point handle, piano hinged cover, and a lockable master on/off switch. Having tank level switches wired up to light a “low tank level” icon is also an option.

If you want to control the system remotely, we can also locally mount variable frequency drives on the system. We use KB Electronics’ digital AC frequency drive lines, the KBDA series. These units offer local control via a digital screen and push buttons along with a potentiometer, as well as remote control via 4-20mA signal followers. The units come in black aluminum NEMA 4X enclosures.

Piping - for our standard design we decided to stay true to our slogan, “simple, rugged quality” and went with offering all 316 stainless steel pluming. Should you go with a Madden boiler water chemical treatment skid, it will come to you plumbed from each tank to pump, and a relief line already installed back to the tanks as well. We will also have all of the necessary ancillary equipment in line.

Ancillary Equipment - on the suction side of each pump, a y-strainer and calibration column will be installed. On the discharge side of each pump, we will install a pressure relief valve set to a specified level, as well as one back pressure valve, for the pump that is likely dosing to a low pressure D/A tank.

Platform - and finally, Madden mounts all of the above on a 54” X 108” 11 gauge steel skid. For our standard design, we offer a steel skid finished with epoxy/polyurethane paint. We believe this is the best option for durable yet economical. If you require a system to be all 316 stainless steel we can accommodate that as well for an added cost.


We’re hoping this standard boiler chemical feed design will be a great offer for boiler manufacturers and boiler room engineers to offer in their boiler room set ups. The time we have put in to this has been made in an attempt to make the specifying easier, and the building of the system faster.

Our 3 tank and pump system should be one of the more durable and economically efficient systems available, and our flexible customer service should be second to none. We’ve put a lot of thought and effort into these systems in hopes that you won’t have to.

If you are involved in a boiler room application needing water treatment with typical boiler chemicals, give Madden’s new standard design a look. Reach out to a local Madden sales rep or directly to us, and receive more information on a system. Think of the design as a basis for opening the dialogue, the standard product is a reliable solution for most boiler rooms, but we’re more than happy to customize it to fit your specific needs.
***Specifying Engineers***
Feel free to copy and past this document into your boiler room specifications to save yourself some time: "Madden Manufacturing Inc.'s Standard Boiler Chemcial Feed System Specifcations"

Thank you for reading our article, have a good one!
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Faster Lead Times than Neptune & Milton Roy

Madden Manufacturing is currently quoting lead times of:
  • Chemical Metering Pumps @ 1-2 weeks
  • Fully Assembled Chemical Feed Systems @ 3-6 weeks
  • Sample Coolers & Small Heat Exchangers @ < 1 week
  • Emergency/Rush pumps in 1-2 days!


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