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Years ago, it was not uncommon to read news about tragic boiler explosions, sometimes resulting in mass destruction. Today, boilers are equipped with important safety devises to help protect against these types of catastrophes. Let’s take a look at the most critical of these devices: the safety valve. 

What:

The safety valve is one of the most important safety devices in a steam system. Safety valves provide a measure of security for plant operators and equipment from over pressure conditions.

The main function of a safety valve is to relieve pressure. It is located on the boiler steam drum, and will automatically open when the pressure of the inlet side of the valve increases past the preset pressure. 

All boilers are required by ASME code to have at least one safety valve, dependent upon the maximum flow capacity (MFC) of the boiler. The total capacity of the safety valve at the set point must exceed the steam control valve’s MFC if the steam valve were to fail to open. In most cases, two safety valves per boiler are required, and a third may be needed if they do not exceed the MFC. 

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How:

There are three main parts to the safety valve: nozzle, disc, and spring. Pressurized steam enters the valve through the nozzle and is then threaded to the boiler. The disc is the lid to the nozzle, which opens or closes depending on the pressure coming from the boiler. The spring is the pressure controller.

As a boiler starts to over pressure, the nozzle will start to receive a higher pressure coming from the inlet side of the valve, and will start to sound like it is simmering. When the pressure becomes higher than the predetermined pressure of the spring, the disc will start to lift and release the steam, creating a “pop” sound. After it has released and the steam and pressure drops below the set pressure of the valve, the spring will close the disc. Once the safety valve has popped, it is important to check the valve to make sure it is not damaged and is working properly.

Why:

A safety valve is usually referred to as the last line of safety defense. Without safety valves, the boiler can exceed it’s maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) and not only damage equipment, but also injure or kill plant operators that are close by. Many variables can cause a safety valve on a boiler to lift, such as a compressed air or electrical power failure to control instrumentation, or an imbalance of feedwater rate caused by an inadvertently shut or open isolation valve. 

Once a safety valve has lifted, it is important to do a complete boiler inspection and confirm that there are no other boiler servicing issues. A safety valve should only do its job once; safety valves should not lift continuously.

Lastly, it is important to have the safety valves fully repaired, cleaned and recertified with a National Board valve repair (VR) stamp as required by local code or jurisdiction. Safety valves are a critical component in a steam system, and must be maintained. 

All of Nationwide Boiler’s rental boilers include on to two safety valves depending on the size; one set at design pressure and the other set slightly higher than design. By request, we can reset the safeties to a lower pressure if the application requires it. In addition, the valves are thoroughly checked after every rental and before going out to a new customer, and they are replaced and re-certified as needed. 

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Nationwide Boiler will be traveling the globe next week, with representatives attending both the ACCCSA International Convention in Lima, Peru, and the IDEA Annual Conference in Scottsdale, AZ.

Latin America Business Manager Jaime Cubillos will be representing Nationwide Boiler and co-exhibiting with Termodinamica for the 37th International Convention and Expo ACCCSA Peru 2017 - the largest Corrugators event in Latin America. This year’s show begins on Tuesday, June 27th at Swissotel Lima. Representatives from both companies will be available at table #100 to discuss all of our products and services available.

In Arizona you will find our Rental Manager Tim McBride and Sales Engineer Brett Barnes at the IDEA Annual Conference and Tradeshow, June 26 – 29 at the Fairmont. Nationwide Boiler attends this show yearly to visit past and current customers, and other decision makers in the district heating industry. Visit them at booth #38 to learn how Nationwide Boiler has been providing temporary and permanent steam solutions to district heating customers for over fifty years!

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Nationwide Boiler will be exhibiting at the 33rd Annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop and Expo (FEW) next week, June 19-21 in Minneapolis, MN. Our Tim McBride and Jim Barbeau will be available at booth #2017 to discuss your rental and permanent boiler needs and answer questions related to Nationwide Boiler’s large stock inventory of new and reconditioned boilers available for customers in the ethanol industry.

As the largest and longest running ethanol conference in the world, FEW offers presentations, networking forums, and round-table discussions to exhibitors and attendees, focused on commercial-scale ethanol production. With over 2,000 attendees and 300 exhibitors, you can expect a dynamic business-to-business environment offering the latest in ethanol industry technologies and research findings.

We hope to see you there!

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Nationwide Boiler’s Director of Sales, Bill Testa, will be in Calgary, Canada next week to exhibit at the Global Petroleum Show (GPS). This year’s show begins on June 13th at Stampede Park.

In its 49th year, the Global Petroleum Show will be hosting over 50,000 attendees from more than 90 countries worldwide. Attendees will be able to experience products, services and technology firsthand from the over 1,000 exhibitors at the show. There will also be educational seminars based on the oil and gas sector and multiple networking events for guests to attend. 

Nationwide Boiler will be co-exhibiting with Babcock and Wilcox and Process Combustion Systems, our representative out of Alberta. Be sure to visit us at booth #7500 to learn about all of the products and services offered by our companies, and to see how we can work together to provide you with a quality solution for all your boiler needs! 

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