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Why Maintain a Boiler Log?

A boiler log provides a written record of the boiler operating conditions on a given day and at a given time. The log can be used for both hot water and low and high pressure steam boilers. The purpose is akin to that of a patient’s hospital chart. The log provides a clear historical record of the boiler’s conditions, which enables the boiler operator or service technician to evaluate and correct problems before they become serious.

The following paragraph is from an Engineering Bulletin entitled “Boiler Log Program”, published by the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company:

“Not every accident is preventable. The results of accident investigations show, however, that by far the great majority of accidents to boilers are preventable. The number of such accidents can be effectively reduced through the proper application of operating and maintenance logs.”

The need to regularly check water level controls and the waterside of the pressure vessel cannot be overemphasized. Most instances of major boiler damages are the result of operating with low water or the use of untreated or incorrectly treated feed water.

Here’s an example of how a boiler log can also help increase uptime and reduce fuel costs:

After taking readings for one week, you notice that the boiler stack temperature has been climbing. By reviewing your log sheets, you also determine that the gas pressure has increased a couple of inches of water column per day. Looking at the two pieces of information, you might conclude that the problem lies in a faulty gas pressure regulator, producing possible sooting and causing a reduction in heat transfer.

Maintaining a boiler log sheet allows you to make an intelligent, informed decision based upon historical data, not a guess based on a spur of the moment reaction. It can save companies a substantial amount of time and money, and potentially save lives in a high risk situation.

Contact Nationwide Boiler for a sample log sheet by emailing us at info@nationwideboiler.com.

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Temporary Boiler Rentals Keeps Mills Operating During Boiler Fuel Conversion Projects

Temporary Boiler Rentals Keeps Mills Operating During Boiler Fuel Conversion Projects

When plants have to make major changes to boilers in order to meet regulations, things have to be completed with little or no interruption to ongoing production operations. This includes fuel conversion projects, when boilers are changed from one fuel source to another. 

Over the last forty-five years Nationwide Boiler has supplied rental boilers for conversion projects throughout the United States.  One project in particular, involved Louisiana Pacific Corporation.  This plant operated a hardboard and multi-density fiberboard (MDF) mill in Oroville, California and ran 24 hours per day producing a wide range of hardboard products. The company had to comply with more stringent air quality regulations, making it necessary for the company to reduce NOx emissions from their boilers and change from wood-firing to natural gas-firing.

Modifications were made to the facility’s piping system to quickly accommodate a temporary, low NOx, 70,000 lb/hr, trailer-mounted rental boiler. Delivery of the trailer-mounted boiler was timed carefully to insure minimum impact on production operations.

Overall, the modified boiler system was converted from wood to natural gas and met the plant's steam demand, as well as NOx emission limits. All of the objectives for supporting production operations during the changeover of the primary boiler were successfully accomplished.

Nationwide Boiler is here to help through any conversion project.  Whether the need is a temporary rental boiler or a new or reconditioned boiler system, we have a solution that can help.  Call today to speak to one of our Sales Engineer and find more about how we can be your single source supplier for your fuel conversion project. 1-800-227-1977.

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Protect Your Equipment This Winter from Freezing Conditions

Protect Your Equipment This Winter from Freezing Conditions

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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Keeping it Safe - Gas Trains


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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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