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Routine Maintenance Reminders

Routine boiler maintenance is imperative not only for safety, but also to sustain efficiency and reliability of your system. Being proactive rather than reactive is likely to increase the longevity of your boiler as well as help prevent incidents that can result in injuries, damage, or worse. Incorporating routine maintenance into your facilities day-to-day operations will prove its worth with a great deal of short- and long-term benefits.

There are certain maintenance tasks that should be performed daily, and others that should be performed periodically. Below we have provided a list of best practices to follow when putting together your routine boiler maintenance plan.

On a daily basis, you should track and keep a log of the following items:

  • Boiler pressure and temperature
  • Stack temperature, to determine operational efficiency (a well-tuned boiler should have a stack temperature range of 50 – 100 degrees above the steam or water temperature)
  • Gas pressure to the regulator, as well as downstream from it
  • Water quality and pH levels, to ensure you are meeting the recommended levels

Blowdown of the boiler (bottom blow) and water column should also be performed on a daily basis. In addition, you should observe boiler and auxiliary equipment daily to ensure proper operation and that there is no damage, leaks, or unusual behavior. 

On a weekly to monthly basis, it’s important to conduct additional visual inspections and observe the operation of certain components for areas that may need to be addressed. This includes:

  • Gauge glass
  • Fuel supply valves
  • Operating and modulating controls, water level controls
  • Flame scanner & burner flame pattern
  • High- and low-pressure switches, combustion air proving switch
  • Indicating lights and alarms

When it comes to the burner, you should inspect the valves, pilot tube, and diffuser thoroughly for any signs of wear that might call for a repair. Also, be sure to observe the entirety of the boiler system for potential hot spots (an indicator of deteriorated refractory) and again, be sure to keep an eye out for any leaks of fuel, water, or flue gas.

Lastly, there are certain items that should be performed on a semi-annual to annual basis. Many of the tasks below can be checked off during the annual inspection, when the boiler is taken offline:

  • Open access doors and inspect the fireside of the boiler
  • Inspect boiler and tubes for evidence of corrosion; clean tubes and tube sheets thoroughly
  • Examine the refractory for large cracks (greater than 1/8”) and patch as necessary
  • Conduct safety tests on the gas valves
  • Review all electrical connections for tightness, signs of wiring wear
  • Check pump alignment on all base-mount pumps

This is also a good time to fully inspect the auxiliaries that provide fuel, air, water, and chemicals to the boiler. In addition, combustion should be reset periodically with the use of a combustion analyzer, for accurate readings of NOx, CO, and O2.

While the guidelines above provide a good baseline of tasks to perform when it comes to routine maintenance, be sure to consider the boiler manufacturer’s recommendations as well.  

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Boiler Basics 101: Understanding Air Permitting for Boilers in California - SCAQMD and RECLAIM

California is known for having one of the most stringent air emissions standards in the nation. Not only has the state been making environmentally conscious efforts since the 1960’s, it is also the only state that can write its own air pollution related laws and standards. When the Clean Air Act passed, Congress required the Environmental Protection Agency to grant California exemption, since the state was already developing innovative laws and standards to address the state’s major air pollution issues.


As a boiler owner in California, familiarizing yourself with local air laws and regulations can be overwhelming, which is why Nationwide Boiler is here to help. Let’s start with one of the two toughest air districts in the state, the SCAQMD.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) encompasses the Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County  . The SCAQMD implemented the REgional CLean Air Incentives Market (RECLAIM) Program in 1993 to reduce NOx and SOx emissions produced by the region’s facilities. Although the program calls for potentially expensive equipment upgrades or replacements to meet the new guidelines, companies may qualify for trading credits and other incentives through partnerships with local utilities (like SoCalGas).

aaaaaWithin the RECLAIM standards, Rule 1146 outlines specific guidelines for boilers, steam generators, and process heaters that have a heat input of 5 mmBtu/hr or greater, that are utilized in all industrial, institutional, and commercial operations. This rule has changed several times, and at the end of 2018, another revision to the rule was adopted. All Group 1 units (>/= 75MMBTu/hr) as well as Group II units (20 - 75 MMBTu/hr) with an existing permit limit greater than 2 ppm must comply with a 5 ppm NOx limit. In addition, facilities that qualify must be in compliance by 2022 – 2023. The table below outlines all equipment and current limits based on category and heat input.

If your facility falls into the RECLAIM bubble, Nationwide Boiler can assist in bringing your stationary equipment up to current standards to comply with the latest rules and regulations. Our CataStak™ SCR system is proven to reduce NOx emissions to as low as 2.5 ppm on boilers, fired heaters, and other demanding applications. Imagine what we can do for your facility to get you in compliance with RECLAIM!

Stay tuned for part 2, where we will outline specific rules and regulations within the SJVAPCD.

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Guest — Stefan Bradley
It's good to know that you should be familiar with the local air laws if you own a boiler. My uncle is interested in opening an in... Read More
Tuesday, 17 September 2019 14:19
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Boiler Basics 101: Common Rental Boilers on the Market

The boiler rental business began over fifty years ago, solving multiple industries’ need for temporary and emergency steam. Nationwide Boiler was at the forefront of the boiler rental industry, starting off with one of the first mobile rental boilers; a 20,000 lb/hr, 300 psig design, O-type package watertube boiler. This boiler was designed for permanent use on a highway-legal open deck trailer, making it a true mobile boiler. This new idea allowed companies to cut capital costs, save time, and be more efficient in their operations. Now, rental boilers are available for small-scale projects to industrial sized applications.

In last month’s edition of Boiler Basics 101, we discussed why rental boilers are a great choice for boiler owners in a variety of industries. To continue the topic, we will now discuss the different types of rental boilers currently on the market.

Trailer-Mounted Boilers

  • - Permanently installed on highway-legal trailers for easy transport by truck
  • - Boilers of various sizes up to 125,000 lb/hr, both saturated and superheated steam
  • - Detachable goosenecks and booster extensions allow for easy removal when space is limited
  • - Not protected from the weather and precautions must be taken for freeze protection (heat tracing and insulation or temporary housing shelters)
  • - Separate feedwater and water treatment systems and other auxiliaries can be provided to support the boiler, as needed

Skid-Mounted Boilers

  • - Shop-assembled package boilers, without any true mobility
  • - Available in capacities up to 250,000 lb/hr
  • - Depending on the size of the boiler, skid-mounted boilers can be transported on a flat-bed trailer, step-deck trailer, or by rail
  • - Cranes and/or forklifts typically required for both loading and offloading
  • - Not protected from the weather and precautions must be taken for freeze protection (heat tracing and insulation or temporary housing shelters)
  • - Separate feedwater and water treatment systems and other auxiliaries can be provided to support the boiler, as needed

Containerized Mobile Boilers

  • - Typically includes a package firetube boiler, installed inside a container and mounted on a chassis for mobility
  • - Ideal for users who need a boiler-only package that is weatherproofed for outdoor operation in the wintertime
  • - Separate feedwater and water treatment systems and other auxiliaries can be provided to support the boiler, as needed

Mobile Boiler Rooms

  • - Complete steam plants, self-contained within enclosed vans, with all equipment required to produce steam:
  •          * Package firetube boiler
  •          * Atmospheric feedwater system
    •          * Water softener
    •          * Chemical injection tank
    •          * Blowdown separator
  • - Typically available in capacities up to 1,000 hp
  • - Weatherproofed and better suited than alternatives for outdoor operation in the wintertime

Mobile Steam Plants

  • - Similar to a mobile boiler room, with all equipment required to produce steam
  • - Equipment is installed on an open, step-deck trailer
  • - Not protected from the weather and precautions must be taken for freeze protection (heat tracing and insulation or temporary housing shelters)

Transportable Steam Plants

    • - Complete steam plant, normally built inside of a standard 20 or 40’ shipping container
    • - Available with either a vertical or a horizontal boiler arrangement depending on requirements
    • - Cranes typically required for both loading and offloading
    • - These systems accommodate less capacity than a mobile boiler room
    • - Popular for overseas and government projects, due to ease of transportation

Each type of rental boiler system explained above has their own unique advantage and may be better fit for one user over another. The requirements of operation, however, are the same: end-users must supply a fuel source (natural gas, #2 oil, propane, or other fuel), electrical power supply, and make-up water. Which type of rental system is best fit for your unique operation?

Nationwide Boiler maintains an inventory inclusive of all types of boilers listed above, ranging in size from 47.5 hp to 200,000 lb/hr. Visit our website to find a complete listing of rental boilers available, and contact a Nationwide Boiler Sales Representative for additional details and pricing. 1-800-227-1966

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hello.... i am very thankful for sharing this article with us....... got very relevant information about boilers and steam plants.... Read More
Wednesday, 10 July 2019 06:27
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RENTAL RUNDOWN: WHY USERS NEED RENTAL BOILERS, AND HOW NBI CAN HELP

Established in 1967 by late founder and pioneer Dick Bliss, Nationwide Boiler began with a mission to provide mobile, temporary boilers to steam users during planned and unplanned boiler outages. At the time, our rental fleet wasn’t much of a ‘fleet’ and consisted of just one 20,000 lb/hr trailer-mounted, O-type watertube boiler. Throughout the years, our inventory has grown to consist of over 100 rental boilers and related equipment, all with various specifications and capabilities. And with multiple storage locations throughout the country, we are capable of shipping our boilers to customers not just nationwide, but worldwide.

With a goal of being the #1 emergency boiler supplier, we understand the importance of educating steam users on emergency preparedness and the benefits of utilizing a rental boiler not just during emergencies, but also during planned outages and periods of high demand.

Reasons to Rent a Boiler

  • Unforeseeable Situations
    • -   A boiler shuts down unexpectedly, needing maintenance and/or repairs
    • -   Disasters and natural causes that lead to a temporary steam need

Nationwide Boiler has come to the rescue in many emergency situations. One notable instance was the tragedy on September 11th, 2001, where we responded quickly to assist ConEd with the supply of heat to New York city. 

  • Increase in Demand
    • -   Companies face periods of increased demand due to varying factors, requiring additional steam capacity

Nationwide Boiler has a great deal of experience renting boilers when additional steam is needed. In fact, we have an annual rental with a tomato processing company to support their seasonal increase in demand.

  • Planned Outages or Repairs
    • -   Annual boiler inspections or routine repairs that require a temporary steam source while a facility boiler is taken offline

Nationwide Boiler has over 50 years of experience in providing boilers and related equipment for companies that have planned outages and need temporary steam.

  • Capital Resources
    • -   A company has budgetary restrictions and is unable to invest in a new boiler
    • Nationwide Boiler has a large inventory of 100+ rental boilers. We provide rental programs that are flexible to a company’s budget, and can assist with financing options.

 Whatever the reason for renting a boiler may be, make sure to rent from the best. Nationwide Boiler provides value with reliable equipment and top-notch customer service, and customer needs are always our priority.

Check out our recent article in Chemical Processing’s Steam System eHandbook for additional details on putting a contingency plan in place and forestalling your next steam system outage.

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