difference between fire tube boiler and water tube boiler

June 3, 2020

Boilers come in all different types, sizes, and shapes and are classified by configuration of the furnace, or firesides, and the water-tubes, or water holding volume. The two main boiler types consist of fire-tube and water-tube boilers, and deciding which of the two will best fit your process needs is not as easy as it may seem.

The smallest practical size for its output capacity is preferred. As shown in the previous section, fire-tube boilers have a smaller footprint when compared to a water-tube boiler of the same capacity. However, this is only noticeable at lower boiler capacities. In order to increase the boiler capacity, the fire-tube boilers will eventually have to increase the volume of the water jacket, whereas water-tube boilers simply have to increase the surface area of the water tubes by either increasing the number of tubes or passes. With an increase in the water jacket volume for the fire-tube boilers, there is an unfortunate trade-off with the heat transfer efficiency and also response time (due to the large volume of water requiring heat). This is one of the reasons why the majority of the high capacity (> 4,000,000 BTU/hr) condensing boilers on the market today are in fact water-tube boilers.

szs fire tube boiler

Comparing the Water Tube Boiler and Fire Tube Boiler
The water tube boiler can also handle higher pressure in applications that require more than 350 psi, unlike the fire tube boiler, which has greater pressure limitations.
The physical size of a water tube boiler unit can often be a deciding factor when choosing between a water tube or fire tube boiler, because these types of commercial boilers are typically smaller.
Water tube boilers have better efficiency ratings and generally drive lower fuel costs. They do cost more up front, however, and cleaning the unit can be difficult because of its design.
Fire tube boilers, on the other hand, are relatively less expensive, smaller in size and easier to clean though they have pressure limitations.


If you want to choose between water-tube or fire-tube boiler, you can contact ZOZEN Boiler Group Company to see which industrial boiler is suitable for your project. We have professional service team 7*24 online and provide free solution for you.


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