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Boiler inspections are very common and usually required periodically to ensure that the equipment is being taken care of correctly and working safely and properly. The Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB) has published a short but useful guide on how to prepare your boiler for an external and internal inspection.

An external inspection is done when the boiler is still in-service. It is important that the inspection is scheduled at a time where short interruptions (due to the inspection) will not affect facility operations. Make sure that personnel are notified of the inspection and qualified operators are available for any testing the Boiler Inspector may need done.

Internal inspections are done when the boiler is not in service and are a lot more complex, which is why HSB created a list outlining how to prepare for an inspection. Make sure that you prepare for the inspection correctly because if not, the Boiler Inspector can refuse the inspection until the boiler is properly prepared.

For internal inspections, you should:

  1. Shut down the boiler using proper shut down procedures as required by your boiler operating instructions.

  2. Lockout and tag all steam, water, and fuel valves, the ignition system, and electrical disconnects.

  3. Allow boiler to cool completely, 24 to 28 hours depending on the style and size of the boiler.

  4. Open all drain and vent lines and drain the boiler.

  5. Remove inspection plugs in water column connectors.

  6. Remove all manhole and handhole cover plates.

  7. Remove all washout plugs.

  8. Flush all sludge and loose scale from boiler interior. Check with your Boiler Inspector first as some inspectors prefer to leave scale and sludge in the boiler for their inspection.

  9. Open all low-water fuel cutout device float chambers.

  10. Open all low-water fuel cutout device cross tee piping plugs.

  11. After draining and flushing the boiler, close, lockout, and tag blow off valves.

  12. Open all fireside access panels/doors, front and rear.

  13. Remove all soot and ash from boiler furnace surfaces and grates (if applicable). Again, check with your Boiler Inspector to see if he wants to examine the area before cleaning.

  14. Have new gaskets ready for all openings; do not reuse gaskets.


To learn more about boiler inspections and general boiler maintenance, visit Hartford Steam Boiler’s website and check out their Information Resources.

Taken from: http://www.hsb.com/HSBGroup/uploadedFiles/HSB_COM/Information_Resources/769%20%20%20My%20Inspector%20Called%20to%20Schedule%20an%20Inspection%20-%20How%20Should%20I%20Prepare%20my%20Boiler.pdf
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It is important for a boiler to run at its most efficient level in order to avoid costly issues and obtain the best results. Excess air is essential in boiler operation to minimize heat loss and improve combustion efficiency.  Here are some tips to help you make sure your boiler is running at the most efficient level possible:

  1. Periodically monitor flue gas composition and tune your boilers to maintain excess air at optimum levels.

  2. If there is a continuous blowdown system in place, consider installing a heat recovery system.

  3. If there is a non-continuous blowdown system, then consider converting it to a continuous blowdown system coupled with heat recovery.

  4. Reduce operating costs through maximizing the return of hot condensate to the boiler.

  5. If a condensate return system is absent, estimate the cost of a condensate return and treatment system (as necessary) and install one if economically justified.

  6. Repair steam distribution and condensate return system leaks.

  7. Insulate condensate return system piping to conserve heat and protect personnel against burns.

  8. Review your blowdown practices to identify energy saving opportunities.

  9. Examine operating practices for boiler feedwater and blowdown rates developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Considerations include operating pressure, steam purity, and deposition control.

  10. Consider an automatic blowdown control system.


Taken from http://www.process-heating.com/Articles/Feature_Article/2afcce64fe4fd010VgnVCM100000f932a8c0____
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When time is of the essence and you need a reliable boiler right away, look no further than Nationwide Boiler.  With manufacturer’s lead times ranging between 12-24 weeks, Nationwide Boiler can provide a new or reconditioned boiler immediately and typically at 60% of the cost of a new boiler. We stock a variety of boilers, each unit carrying the same guarantee as a new unit and warranted for 6-12 months (contact Nationwide Boiler for specific terms and conditions).

Nationwide regularly updates our New and Used Equipment Inventory List online with the most up to date equipment details and photos.Once a boiler is selected, prospective buyers can visit Nationwide’s facility in Fremont, CA for a visual inspection of the unit.  We assure that every boiler is ASME code certified and meets or exceeds the current industry standards for emissions and controls.  In addition all units are internally inspected and hydrostatically tested, with all systems checked prior to final delivery. If you are looking for a new or quality reconditioned boiler system, contact Nationwide Boiler today or visit our website to view our latest equipment offerings.

If you don’t see what you are looking for, we are happy to assist you find a solution that best suits your specific needs.

This month’s equipment spotlight: 700 hp Low NOx Skid-mounted Boiler (3 in stock for immediate delivery)

 

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The National Board Incident Report recently indicated that 79 percent of all reported boiler accidents were attributed to two causes: low water cutoff, and operator error/poor maintenance. A low water cutoff condition occurs when the water level in the boiler steam drum drops below a pre-set safe level (as determined by the boiler manufacturer) and, in turn, shuts off the boiler. This condition, and the subsequent cause, should be investigated and corrected immediately. Failure of this safety control may result, at a minimum, in costly tube or vessel repairs, or, in the worst cases, catastrophic boiler and building damage and personnel injury or death.

Some common causes of low water conditions include:
•    Feedwater pump failure
•    Control valve failure
•    Loss of water to the deaerator or make-up water system
•    Drum level controller failure
•    Drum level controller inadvertently left in "manual" position
•    Loss of plant air pressure to the control valve actuator
•    Safety valve lifting
•    Wide variations or sudden changes in steam load

Avoiding the above conditions is critical to ensuring safe and reliable boiler operation. Maintenance, inspection, and operational logs are recommended and required by insurance companies.  These records not only help determine boiler performance trends, but also keep operators focused on the safe performance of the boiler and auxiliary plant equipment.  To this end, unnecessary boiler downtime (together with the loss of plant production) and lost time accidents are avoided.

Our main priority is to provide customers with safe and reliable rental and new boiler and steam plant equipment.  We have many operational procedures in place that help us achieve this goal.  For instance, each piece of rental equipment is thoroughly inspected before and after a rental project.  Our inspection and maintenance checklists cover all of the mechanical and electrical systems, including feedwater systems, water softeners, chemical systems, and the trailers themselves (for mobile equipment such as our mobile boiler rooms).  In addition, critical parts, including low water cut-offs, constantly undergo inspection and testing.  If found to be faulty, they are either immediately repaired or replaced.

The only way to avoid premature downtime and accidents (in the worst cases) is to make certain that operators and plant owners are committed to an on-going operational and preventative maintenance programs.  The Hartford Steam Boiler website www.hsb.com is a good resource.  Turning a blind eye to safe boiler operations puts operators, company employees, and equipment at unnecessary risk.
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