Boiler Blog | Nationwide Boiler Inc.

Nationwide Boiler news and events, industry updates, technical resources and more. You hear it first on The Nationwide Boiler Blog!

Preventing Catastrophe

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.
  4180 Hits
  0 Comment
4180 Hits
0 Comment

Tuna Fish and Boilers

Chicken of the SeaIf you love tuna then you are most likely already familiar with Chicken of the Sea. The company is opening a canning operation in Lyons, GA and they have selected Nationwide Boiler to supply a 650 hp (22,500 lbs/hr) Mobile Boiler Room for temporary steam. The new 200,000 square-foot facility will create 200 jobs around Toombs County and it is expected to be fully operational by October 2009.

Michael Medina, Nationwide Boiler's Rental Manager, shares the excitement the new plant has brought to local residents. “This new plant is a major accomplishment for Chicken of the Sea and the surrounding community. We are proud that our boiler will allow the plant to efficiently produce their tuna and quickly bring it to market throughout the United States.”

The Chicken of the Sea brand and famous Mermaid icon are among the most recognized brands in America. Nationwide Boiler is proud that we can do our part (as small as it may be) to make sure it stays that way.
  5011 Hits
  1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Jason Nelson
Not sure if this would eliminate fish scale but it DEFINITELY eliminates boiler scale: http://mortensonltd.com/... Read More
Monday, 13 July 2009 14:28
5011 Hits
1 Comment

The "No Surprise" Check Off Sheet

We know that renting boilers, whether in an emergency, for scheduled maintenance, or to meet peak-season demands, can be full of surprises. Frequently, even experienced renters are surprised by what isn't included with most rental boilers. And most surprises are expensive - both in time and money.

Before you make a rental commitment call Nationwide Boiler, the "No Surprise" boiler professionals and ask if the above items are included, then call our competitors. We will do whatever it takes to make sure your rental project is a success, without any unpleasant surprise!

1.    Boiler Inspection
Have you inspected the boiler for plugged tubes, age, electrical etc? Some people rent boilers like calling a used car lot, negotiate price and then make a deal over the phone. This can be disastrous.

2.   Freight
Are the freight charges firm? Some boilers may have to take indirect route (road clearance problems) costing many thousand of dollars extra.

3.    In-transit Rental
When does the rent start and stop? On rail shipment, delays are common and your rent can keep running for three or four weeks in each direction adding one-two month's of unexpected rent.

4.    Steam Header Valve
Is one included with the boiler? New ones cost between $2,000.00 and $8,000.00 each.

5.   Blowdown Valves
Are they included? New ones cost $200.00 to $1,000.00 each. Are they mounted or shipped loose?

6.   Voltage
Is the boiler set up for proper voltage prior to shipment? Is the fan starter included? These items can save you money on fieldwork.

7.   Smokestack
Is one included and does it have properly sized transition pieces? Does it have to be shipped on separate truck? Freestanding stacks can be a real problem installing and removing. This can mean considerable fieldwork and expense.

8.   Control Panel
Is the panel mounted on the boiler or shipped loose? Is it weatherproof? Considerable time and expense in field wiring and tubing is common with remote panels.

9.   Guarantee
What will the boiler company cover on parts and callbacks? Some companies say return the broken part to the factory and you pay freight and installation labor.

10.   Economizer
Is one included and is it pre-piped? Do you need separate support and transition pieces? Will it be costly to install and remove?

11.    Blower
Is the blower on the boiler or shipped loose on a separate truck? This could be expensive for freight and installation costs.

12.   Weather Proof
Is the boiler designed for outdoor use? If not, additional cost will be involved to build an enclosure. Electrical controls could be water soaked during installation and shipping.

13.   Hydrostatic Test
Will you be charged for a hydrostatic test when the boiler is returned?

14.   Shipping Damage
Will you have to go back to the carrier to cover broken parts, etc. during shipment or will the rental company assume responsibility?

15.   Loading & Shoring of Refractory
Will you be charged for loading at the storage location including blocking of the firebrick? This can cost $2,000.00 to $5,000.00 and the same when you load out at job-site. This could mean $4,000.00 to $10,000.00 of unexpected cost.

16.   Safety Valves
Are the boiler safety valves set at the proper pressure to protect your steam system? If not, you may need new valves costing $200.00 to over $1,500.000 each or have them reset for $200.00 to over $600.00 each.

17.   Oil Pump
Is a pump set needed and is it included in the rental price? Is it pre-piped and wired as an integral part of the boiler unit? If not included, this could cost $500.00 to $5,000.00 material and labor over the rental cost.

18.    Testing
Has the proposed rental boiler been test fired recently? Is it coming direct from another job without shop check out? If this is the case many start-up problems can develop causing delays.

19.   Maintenance
Will you be charged for routine maintenance when boiler is returned to storage? Some charge for new gaskets, gauge glasses, painting, cleaning, washout, and flat tires on trailer and refractory repairs.

20.   Catwalks & Ladders
Is the boiler supplied with catwalks & ladders? These items can save you valuable time and money during installation and operation. Savings of $500.00 to $2,000.00 in man-hours are not uncommon.
  4688 Hits
  1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — transport directory
GRUZ-Transport system including information about global logistics, air freight, ocean transportation, trucking and other useful i... Read More
Tuesday, 03 November 2009 14:36
4688 Hits
1 Comment

Rental Boiler Considerations - Save Time, Save Money and Minimize Risks

Companies require rental equipment for several reasons. By understanding the rental process and following the guidelines below, it is possible that the result will be both cost-effective and technically successful.

Steam Requirements - Up front planning is the most important stage when renting equipment. First, the maximum potential steam load needed must be calculated. Your steam requirement is expressed in either boiler horsepower (hp) or lb/hr (one boiler horsepower is equal to 34.5 lb/hr steam at 212°F).

Accessible Location - A location must be selected that is easily accessible for the delivery and setting of heavy machinery and one which has easy access to the building or equipment in which the steam will be required.

Utility Connections & Supply - Fuel, water and electric power connections must be easy to access and are of sufficient size to meet the needs of the rental unit. Typically, rental boilers fire natural gas, No. 2 oil, or heated No. 6 fuel. It is also important to make sure that there is sufficient fuel capacity to supply any existing units and a temporary boiler.

Equipment Supplier - When evaluating a supplier of rental equipment it is important to know if the company is a full-time, dedicated rental company with the experience, equipment and capabilities you require. In addition, the location of the company's equipment is important, helping to minimize transportation costs and travel time. It is also important to determine if the company provides start-up and installation services.
Here at Nationwide, we have boilers located throughout the United States and our service department is available 24 hours a day for technical support.

Reputable rental companies will provide complete drawings and equipment specifications in considerable detail. Such items include the total capacity and operating characteristics of the boiler, water treatment needs and requirements, emissions requirements, weather protection, performance testing, and ASME code requirements.

Proposal Evaluation - When evaluating a proposal, normal factors including payment terms, change-of-scope clauses, liability coverage, and transportation costs need to be addressed. A well written proposal should address the rate and term on the rental unit, freight costs, time and travel charges for technicians, and should specify appropriate responsibility for installation and removal costs. You should also get the warranty statement for the rental equipment.

Operating Permits - Before installation of the equipment can occur, it is necessary to arrange for any operating permits required from regulatory agencies. This includes special permits that may be required in those areas where emission limits are strictly controlled. Areas in California including the San Joaquin Valley and the South Coast require sub-10 ppm NOx requirements.

Nationwide Boiler took the lead in equipping our units with Low NOx burners and SCR systems (the CataStak). Users facing 5 ppm NOx can rest assure that we have an immediate solution.

Maintenance - To ensure continuous, safe, and trouble free performance of the unit, there are a number of regular checks and maintenance tasks which must be performed. It is important that a log sheet be kept on site for the recording of every routine check and maintenance items completed. Daily checks include an examination of all safety devices, followed by an inspection of the low-water cutoff during every shift. The entire system should also be checked for leaks and corrected immediately. The flame pattern of the burner must also be inspected to make sure the combustion devices are working efficiently. Moreover, proper boiler performance is highly dependent on following the proper feedwater treatment and correct blowdown techniques. Failure to maintain proper water chemistry is a major cause of damage to rental boilers and the single biggest rehabilitation expense.

Return Shipment - Lastly, there are certain steps that must be taken to ensure safe return of a unit to the rental company's facility. It is the responsibility of the user to have plant or local boiler shop personnel disconnect equipment after use, which includes draining and flushing all boiler lines with clean water to help minimize any chance of corrosion. A final check of the condition of the boiler should be properly documented, recorded and sent to the rental company once the equipment is shipped.

As long as you plan in advance, budget accordingly, verify connection sizes, address permitting issues, properly train operators, frequently monitor the feedwater quality, and take responsibility in maintaining the equipment once it is installed, you can be confident that the risks associated with renting equipment will be minimized and that your project will be a success.
  4154 Hits
  0 Comment
4154 Hits
0 Comment