Don’t get left in the cold! Too often, we see facility managers or property owners waiting until a boiler completely breaks down before replacing it. To make matters worse, these situations typically arise when the boiler has been working at its peak – during winter. A routine breakdown can turn into a full-fledged emergency quickly in bitterly cold conditions, and unless emergency funds are readily available, an unplanned boiler replacement can become a financial burden.
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.
Before we start, let’s take a look at what are considered “repairs” to safety and safety relief valves. Repairing a safety valve or safety relief valve could involve a number of operations, such as replacement, re-machining or cleaning of any critical part, lapping of the seat and disk — or any other operation which may affect the flow passage, capacity, function or pressure retaining integrity of the valve. Even disassembling, reassembling or making adjustments which affect a valve’s function should be considered a repair. This does not include testing or adjustments of new valves upon initial installation.
Available fuel type is a limiting factor for many facilities in need of a rental boiler. Depending on the location, certain fuels simply may not be available due to utilities not being run at the time of construction or geographic restrictions for moving a fuel type to the site. For example, certain rail yards that require steam for cleaning out railcars may be situated in extremely remote locations where it is not practical to run a natural gas line, therefore, burning fuel oil may be a more reasonable option to the rail company. That is a common scenario. Every once in a while, however, one may find that there is an unexpected resource that can be harnessed and utilized to great benefit.
With boilers becoming increasingly advanced with automation and controls, it is easy for operators to neglect simple safety considerations. These automated safety features lead plant personnel to become “comfortable,” which leads to assuming that it is safe to ignore routine equipment checks.