Boiler Maintenance You SHOULD be doing!

View inside lit combustion chamber

Your boilers have needs too, are you paying them enough attention?  As silly as that sounds, it’s true. 

Think about, your operating something that takes gas, adds air, lights in on fire to produce a ~2,000oF flame, fires that flame down a tube surrounded by water (or past tubes filled with water), to take water and make into to steam or hotter water. This should always be done in a controlled and safe manner.  Modern boilers are very well designed and current safety and control systems are wonderfully effective at their jobs, keeping things safe and under control.

Pressure gauge

But, part of modern control systems is complexity.  Monitoring many important sensors and systems means multiple points of potential failure.  These failures could cause nuisance trips, downtime (lost production and revenue), or worse.  The only way real insurance against these outcomes is a good, consistent, preventative, boiler maintenance program

Water pipe full of corrosion
(Very) Fouled Boiler Tube

Although it is the best idea to work with the experts (we have many…) on a quarterly or biannual basis, you still need to take proper care of your boilers, between these visits.  Taking care of the boilers, breaks down into simple daily, weekly, monthly routines, logged on boiler room log sheets.  The log can help you spot problems earlier, before they create bigger issues.  For example, stack temperature continuing to rise, day after day, can indicate a fouling issue on the heating surface or water side, or failed refractory.  Something like this lowers boiler efficiency and cost you money.  Remember, the fuel cost of a heavily loaded industrial boiler will easily surpass the original equipment cost – small changes in efficiency can mean big dollars wasted. The sooner you can identify problems, the better!

We’re here to help – below is an example Preventative Boiler Maintenance Service schedule and sample boiler log, for your use.  The full document may be downloaded HERE.

Sample boiler operator's log

The trick to following maintenance procedures and maintaining an accurate log, like many things in life, is establishing a consistent routine and then holding everyone accountable to maintain ownership of the equipment.  Daily review of the logs by senior maintenance staff and/or plant engineering is import, as well as formal procedures for handing off duties between shifts – routine sets you free (it also helps you maintain your vital equipment!).

The above is based on Superior Boiler Works documentation, always be sure to consult your boiler’s manufacturer’s maintenance instructions.  Modify the log to record any additional relevant information, based on your particular equipment and operating conditions.  Record water treatment and quality information on a separate log or add to the above example.

Person working on boilers

If you would like more information, or help, in establishing a boiler maintenance procedure and log for your boiler room or with any other boiler room needs – we can help!  Call us at 336-299-3035 or contact us by clicking here, for your next boiler room need, put our Boiler Experts to work for you – available 24/7/365!  Offices near you in Greensboro, Charlotte, Wilmington, and Columbia South Carolina.

Jeff Lawley

After graduating from Florida State University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Jeff Lawley headed up the engineering department at Schaefer Interstate Railing. A few years later, he took an Engineering Sales position here at W.C. Rouse & Son, and over the next 8 years, he worked his way up to the position of President of the company.