sludge by boiler and water heater


Hi everybody,
I just noticed some semi-dried sludge by the boiler and the water heater in the basement. They seem to come from two copper drainage pipes, one connected to the boiler and the other to the water heater. I don't know much about home plumbing. What's going on ? Should I be concerned ?
I also noticed the boiler seems to come on every two or three minutes. I'd hear a clicking/spark-like sound, following by the sound of air blowing/flowing. After a minute or two it would change to a softer air blowing/hissing sound. After another minute or two I'd hear the clicking/spark-like sound again, and the whole cycle would repeat. Is this normal ?
Thanks in advance.
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Is water comming out of a pipe on the Boiler on a regular basis? Is it HW or Steam. If HW It could be water level-pressure is to high forcing the pressure relief on top to open, bad thing. Since you know zero about this dont you think a good cleaning and inspection are in order before you have a major issue. Over pressure issues can ruin a boiler to crack, constant refilling can build scale, reduce efficiency and ruin it as well. Your 2-3min cycles are very hard on it giving you poor efficiency because it never heats fully and puts on 10x as much wear on certain components as a 20-30 minute cycle will. Call in a pro and have him show you how to monitor water level and have him tune and check out your systems. You should not DIY.
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B.Y. wrote:

Best advice that can be given is to call a professional in to have a look. If you don't know what your doing or even understand any part of how your system works, then you have no business working on it. Call a heating professional to work on your system.
-paul
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