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Protecting your rental equipment from inclement weather conditions is critical during the winter season.  Nationwide Boiler recommends the following in order to ensure that your boiler equipment continues to operate while facing freezing conditions.  Refer to the pictures below for several shelters our customers have used to ensure their equipment withstands the cold.

    1. Enclose both the front and rear of the boiler area and use an external heat source to minimize freezing conditions.
    2. Install heat tracing with insulation to protect exposed stagnant water lines.
    3. Utilize an appropriate heat tracing method (electric or steam tracing) to all of your main lines and piping components. This includes the following lines which should be heat traced regardless if the boiler is in operation or not (in freezing conditions): sensing lines (steam drum to CMR, high steam and steam gauge), auxiliary low-water-cut-off, water column and level control blowdown. Depending on the length of piping runs, the main and continuous blowdown should also be heat traced.
    4. In addition to heat tracing on stagnant sensing lines, drain the lines and fill them with a 50/50 (water/glycol) solution, making sure to re-connect the line.
    5. When an extended boiler down time is expected, completely drain the boiler and stagnant water lines.

The above are recommendations, however, use sound engineering judgment calls when there are concerns of possible freeze damage to the equipment. Call us if you have any further questions at 1-800-227-1966.








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Maintenance budgets are among the first to be cut when companies need to decrease costs. Unfortunately, this means that critical equipment, such as the safety of combustion equipment, may be overlooked, specifically the testing of fuel trains.

Gas trains regulate the amount and the pressure of gas to the boiler's burners and are used to eliminate gas from entering the combustion chamber. This is achieved through a series of shut-off valves that are specifically designed to close when the combustion process occurs (through safety shutoff and blocking valves). Gas trains also include a series of pressure switches that prevent gas under pressure from entering the burner. If anything should go wrong, shutdown would occur immediately.

As crucial as gas trains are for the safety of the boiler, many facilities are unable to perform the preventive maintenance and testing work on the equipment as should be necessary to help decrease combustion incidents from occurring. John Puskar (Combustion Safety Inc.) has developed the following strategies that can help any facility to be proactive in the maintenance of fuel trains and combustion equipment. Overall, the goal of any safety program is to improve the reliability and life of boiler related equipment. These guidelines not only help to achieve those goals, but more importantly they help lead to fewer unplanned outages and improve the overall safety of plant personnel.

1. Most of the explosions and fire incidents, by far, have historically been due to human error. All of the safeties and interlock equipment in the world won't help if you attempt to bypass or jumper-out safety controls. There is no possible substitute for proper training. Training has to include mock upset and hazard recognition drills. Your site needs training even if you will have contractors doing preventive maintenance work.

2. Start-up and shutdown are your biggest risks. You need clearly written procedures that everyone understands and agrees with so that consistent, safe practices are in place with every shift and every employee.

3. Make sure that you do regular and complete interlock and fuel train valve tightness testing. Jurisdictional inspectors, even where they are mandated to be around, cannot be at your facility every day. Combustion equipment safety testing needs to be part of your organization's culture regardless of what it costs and what the perceived hurdles are. You should comply with code requirements for testing even if they are not enforceable in your area.

4. Create corporate guidelines for third party combustion equipment reviews and commissioning for newly acquired equipment or for major upgrades. Now that you see how little review and attention combustion equipment may receive from the time it's specified to when its really operating, you may want a dedicated professional review of the process.

5. Upgrade equipment for safety's sake. Do not wait for a problem and let attorneys dictate when this happens.
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The proper removal of rental boiler equipment is a critical step when renting boilers and it ensures the safe return of equipment to the rental company's facility. It also reduces the risk of additional costs to the customer. By taking a few precautionary steps as described below, the boiler can be properly prepared for pick-up and shipment.

Drain & Flush

First, completely drain and flush all the boiler lines with clean water and open all water drain valves. This will minimize the chance of any corrosion and hard caused by unforeseen freezing conditions.

Inspect

Second, Inspect all fireside and waterside surfaces and report any visual damage, scale build-up, or refractory problems. Having photographic evidence of the boiler condition after the rental period is advisable.

Stack Removal

Next, the stack should be removed, remounted and Bolt down stub stack, non-return valve, safety valves and vent valve to trailer (same location as it was received).

  • Cover all boiler openings (stack, steam, gas, water, electrical panel, safety valve openings)

  • If trailer is disassembled, reattach wheels and gooseneck

  • Check tire pressure

  • Return all instruction and operating manuals to the rental company via the trucker or transportation company responsible for returning the unit


If you have questions about preparing your unit for pick-up, don't hesitate to call Nationwide Boiler at 800-227-1966.
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All boilers are subject to damage if proper chemical treatment, water analysis and blowdown procedures are not followed. If these items are ignored, both during operation and idle periods, serious damage to the boiler will result.

When Nationwide Boiler delivers a rental unit, it is the boiler operator's responsibility to maintain and supervise the water treatment conditions of their rental boiler in order to avoid any additional charges that may result from improper operation or maintenance. It is recommended that the services of a reputable boiler chemical consultant are retained in-order to supervise the water treatment conditions on a regular basis. At least once each week, daily boiler logs, chemical treatment tests, a chemical treatment consultant's report and maintenance records should be implemented and sent to Nationwide Boiler. This ensures that the proper maintenance is being done on the equipment and provides accurate maintenance reports for Nationwide's equipment files.

As a boiler operator it is important to inspect the waterside condition of watertube boilers that may result in heavy scale or oxygen pitting or corrosion. Waterside scale can be cause for concern on the reliability of a boiler by the following:

  • If the boiler tubes contain heavy scale, tubes can overheat and/or fail leading to tube leaks

  • If the boiler has some scale but it is not heavily deposited, certain types of water treatment plans can cause the scale to quickly be removed in large flakes, plugging tubes and eventually leading to overheating and tube failures

  • Certain types of scale can be easily removed such as a conventional soft phosphate scale, while others are very difficult to remove such as silica


If scale is present, any scale greater than 1/8 inch or 0.125 inch should be removed from the boiler prior to placing it back in operation.

Oxygen corrosion is not as easily detected as scale. O2 pitting can occur under deposits and in very small areas that can escape detection by the naked eye. If O2 pitting is suspected, a tube needs to be removed from the boiler for more close examination.

Therefore, it is extremely important to assess the waterside condition of a boiler and then to determine the type of scale and the method for removing it. There are several methods for removing boiler scale including high pressure water blasting and other proprietary methods offered by water treatment representatives. Overall, with proper boiler maintenance and water treatment plans, such procedures can be avoided.

Examples of (1) Heavy Scale, (2) Medium Scale and (3) No Scale

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