Boiler startup season is just around the corner

It’s that time of year when the kids head back to school and those warm days of summer begin transitioning to cool mornings and evenings. For many businesses, that means heating boilers will begin firing up. Unfortunately, that also means some of these boilers will experience issues, which could result in a breakdown.

Boilers and heating systems at facilities where proper lay-up procedures were followed will most likely have a smooth transition into the heating season.

Those that left the systems unattended all summer may or may not. They could even have a boiler failure. In addition, the boilers may not operate at optimum efficiency.

Are you using boiler logs?

Boiler logs are often forgotten, but can be very beneficial for facilities to use when monitoring their heating boiler operations.

They can identify potential issues before they turn into costly repairs or worse – interruption of operations, such as a school with no heat in the middle of winter; whereby school is closed until heat can be restored.

This creates problems for the whole community when unexpected closures result from malfunctioning or inoperable heating equipment.

Check boiler operating pressure and stack temperature

For example, if your heating boiler normally operates between 7-10 PSI and the stack temperature is normally 350F and in a couple of weeks you notice your stack temperature is now 380F or 400F at the same pressure, it’s an indication that you may have issues with scale building up and restricting heat transfer.

This can lead you to check chemicals, and adjust treatment, water softener operation if applicable, blowdown procedures and burner adjustment. It can lead to taking actions that will help keep your boiler running efficiently and reduce overall fuel and operating costs.

More importantly, it can reduce the potential for an unexpected failure. No matter the age of your boiler, keeping a boiler log to track and trend critical operating parameters will reduce the potential for failure and also improve energy efficiency by making adjustments when needed to prevent adverse conditions from developing.

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© 2017 The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This article is for informational purposes only. All recommendations are general guidelines and are not intended to be exhaustive or complete, nor are they designed to replace information or instructions from the manufacturer of your equipment. Contact your equipment service representative or manufacturer with specific questions.

Ernest Freeman

Vice President of Engineering in Hartford Steam Boiler's Loss Control Engineering Group, with over 37 years of experience in equipment operation and maintenance. He is a member of The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and is a Certified Energy Auditor (CEA).

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