Do the boiler house walkabout
The boiler house is the engine of any steam system. Make sure yours is in good working order with a stroll around to check that vital maintenance and testing is being regularly performed. It’s also a good idea to look for ways to improve boiler house operations. Remember, the cost of even the simplest upgrade could be recovered in just a few months.
Here’s a brief checklist to get you started:
- Check that all statutory daily and weekly tests of boiler water level alarms are being performed and recorded properly.
- Consider installing a boiler water high level alarm. Too high water levels in the boiler can cause wet and dirty steam to contaminate your process.
- Check that the feedtank is being heated to the right temperature. Heating the tank to 185°F or 194°F will drive off dissolved oxygen, saving water treatment chemicals.
- Is a deaerator head fitted to the feedtank? If not, fit on because it efficiently combines cold make-up water, flash steam and hot condensate and can save you lots of energy.
- Check the feedtank is vented to prevent pressure build-up. It’s best to fit a maintenance-free stainless steel vent head.
- Review water treatment records. Look for hardness slippage through the water softener, contamination of the condensate return and correct chemical dosing.
- Check for excessive steam venting from the boiler feedtank or condensate return set. It could indicate leaking steam traps.
- Check the rate of boiler blowdown. If automatic blowdown is not fitted, consider installing a system as it will almost certainly be more efficient than manual control.
- Check the boiler gauge glass is not damaged. If it is, replace it immediately.