It may sound like something you did in college, but regular steam boiler blowdowns can actually help protect your boiler room investments. To avoid the concentration of impurities during the continual evaporation of steam, the water is blown out of the boiler with steam pressure.
Why Do We Need to Perform Blowdown Maintenance?
Your steam boiler evaporates liquid water to form steam and frequently needs to be replenished with boiler feedwater, otherwise it can no longer produce the necessary steam. While water is a generally good solvent, easily breaking down small amounts of solids, continuing evaporation of steam concentrates the dissolved impurities. When these impurities reach concentrated levels, they can show up in a number of ways including a hard, flaky scale and a soft, mud-like sludge.
While each kind of build up affects your boiler in a different way, every kind needs to be combated with regular blowdown procedures.
How Often Do We Need to Perform Blowdowns?
The frequency of your blowdown procedures will depend on a number of factors including how your boiler’s used, the condition of your feedwater supply, the age and condition of your boiler, and more.
WARE recommends performing at least one blowdown per day to establish a conductivity baseline, which you can then compare to the recommended conductivity from your boiler’s manufacturer. Have questions about your boiler’s recommended conductivity? We’re here to help! Regardless of these factors however, one fact remains constant: The more blowdowns you perform, the fewer impurities will exist in your boiler.
However, you can perform too many blowdowns on your boiler. Every time you blowdown your boiler you will have to make up feedwater to the system. This means running the feedwater pumps and infusing your system with cold water, both of which will cause the system to be temporarily less efficient.
Who Should Perform Blowdown Maintenance?
Because boiler blowdowns need to be performed regularly to ensure maximum boiler efficiency, it isn’t practical to have a WARE professional come blowdown your boiler on a daily basis. We do recommend having one of our pros show you how to perform blowdown maintenance on your boiler, so that you or your maintenance professional can conduct this regular procedure with confidence.
It’s important to note that the blowdown piping becomes very hot during blowdown, as high pressure steam and water is passing through. Knowing the correct way to perform blowdown maintenance on your boiler is key to your safety, as these pipes can injure and even scar boiler technicians.
Blowdowns for boilers are key to maintaining your boiler’s energy efficiency, and will also help extend the life of your boiler. By removing concentrated impurities, blowdowns are also able to help protect your boiler against heat transfer and corrosion.
Conducting the appropriate research is vital to knowing how often you should blowdown your boiler. Learn your boiler’s recommended conductivity range, and check with your water treatment representative to ensure you’re following recommended procedures.
Finally, take necessary caution when performing blowdowns as the pipes associated with blowdowns can become extremely hot and causing permanent damage. If you have questions or concerns about performing blowdowns on your boiler, WARE is here to help with a team of professionals that can teach you how to maximize your boiler’s efficiency. You can learn more about Boiler Blowdowns on our YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE.