The importance of boiler blowdown is often overlooked. Despite the best efforts to pretreat boiler feedwater, it can still contain impurities including suspended and dissolved liquids. These impurities can accumulate in the boiler and cause problems with piping, steam traps and other process equipment. To avoid problems, the water must occasionally be discharged or “blown down” from the boiler.
Companies in the market for a new boiler have options to consider. One option is to replace the boiler with essentially the same unit and add some features to make it more efficient. Another option would be to implement a combined heat and power (CHP) strategy, which would make your company eligible for a 10% Federal Investment Tax Credit.
Iron oxide is a widespread, but often neglected, boiler problem. Commonly called “red iron rust,” iron oxide is formed by the reaction of iron (steel) and oxygen.
Few things trigger such an immediate and alarming response as the presence of asbestos. Most people know they do not want to be around it, and that if they come into contact with it, they could possibly suffer serious medical complications in the future. Inhaling loose asbestos fibers is known to cause lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma, though in many cases it may take may take more than a decade before symptoms of illness become apparent. Every year, thousands of people are diagnosed with these diseases and can attribute them to past exposure that occurred in an industrial or commercial setting.
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.