Boilers are safer than they’ve ever been, but the dangers of working with water and steam should never be taken for granted. One of the most critical, and basic, things to remember about boiler operation is that water flashes to steam at 212 ° F, and when this happens it will instantaneously try to increase to 1,700 times its original volume. The following true story demonstrates how this fundamental fact of boiler operation, if overlooked, can lead to serious injury or worse.
Safety valves are the unsung heroes of safe boiler operation. Perfecting the design of the safety valve (SRV) brought boilers from the dark ages of explosions to predictably safe operation. Modern SRVs are manufactured under the control of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Approved assemblers and repair facilities like The Valve Shop are authorized and approved by the ASME to make adjustments and stamp boiler safety valves with the “V” symbol, and for SRVs on unfired vessels, the “UV” symbol. The Valve Shop repairs SRVs under the control of the National Board of Boiler & Pressure Vessels Inspections and bear the “VR” symbol.
Automatic surface skimmer control systems allow more control over your boiler's conductivity and reduce levels of solids and particulates in your boiler water. They are set on a timer to take a sample of water 3" to 6" within the boiler level. The sample is compared to the setpoint on a specified time schedule, and if its conductivity is too high a blowdown valve opens and stays open until the sample drops below the conductivity setpoint.
Consistent, efficient combustion on your boiler is the key to getting the best value for the money you spend. Achieving precise combustion—where just the right mixture of fuel and air burn as completely as possible—isn’t always easy to do. Consider these three tips to try to maximize your ROI on combustion.
Improvements in consumer-grade, computerized controls like the ones used in home-automation to manage heating and cooling have finally hit the boiler industry. Where service technicians were required to manually adjust most every part on a boiler, we now see high-tech, computer-driven controls that make minute adjustments and show data instantly. These upgrades save time and make your job easier, but they also dramatically increase efficiency.
On this episode of the Boiling Point, Ritchie talks with our Valve Shop expert Bill Fogarty about how a Safety Valve functions on a boiler.
Steam Boats were finally the top dog on the rivers but now it was time to go farther.
On this episode of Steam Culture, Brent talks about how steam boats transitioned from river boats to ocean liners.
Did you know a boiler can freeze up like a popsicle even while it's running?
On this episode of the Boiling Point, Ritchie talks with Steven about how to protect a rental boiler from the cold.