Cooler months can put greater demands on your boiler room equipment, and as a plant operator, the change in seasons can be a helpful reminder to review boiler room efficiency and safety. A seasonal preventative maintenance routine can help ensure that your boilers are ready to handle the demand when temperatures drop.
The change in season is a good reminder that it’s time to perform a combustion analysis on your boiler. This verifies your air to fuel ratio is correct and helps ensure you are burning your fuels as efficiently as possible. When air temperatures change, the density of that air changes as well causing the fuel to air ratio to change leading to incomplete combustion, higher emissions, and unburned fuel going out your stack. It’s recommended that you perform a combustion analysis and have the system calibrated by a trained professional twice a year.
Autumn is also the time to address the general maintenance in your boiler room. Regular maintenance now can help avoid thousands of dollars in damages and unexpected downtime later. A professional water treatment program will ensure your heat transfer surfaces are protected from scale build up and corrosion and ensure your system is operating as efficiently as possible.
If your boiler uses two fuel sources, are you prepared to make the switch from gas to oil? Checking your fuel oil pump, strainer and burner nozzle will ensure a trouble free start up when changing over to oil is necessary. This is also the time to make sure your fuel tank is full and ready for the switch.
A visual inspection of your boiler, feed-water or deaerator system should also be included when preparing for the fall. Finding small issues such as minor leaks on piping, valves and shells, or signs of electrical overheating can help prevent them from becoming larger problems. You should also be sure to check the gas regulator vents for insect nests that may have been built over the summer and inspect bird and insect screens on your air intake louvers for debris to ensure you are getting the proper amount of combustion air needed for your systems to function properly.
The change in temperature is also a good time for boiler safety device testing; recommended tests include, low water cutoff and flame failure detection devices. These safeties ensure adequate water levels in your boiler are maintained and shut the fuel system down if a low water event is detected. Other devices that should be checked by trained technicians include; airflow switches, operating or limit switches for pressure or temperature, and low / high gas pressure switches.
Performing a seasonal preventative maintenance routine can help ensure that your facility is ready to not only meet its demands as the temperature drops, but to do so safely and efficiently. If you’d like to learn more about Brady’s heating solutions and how they can benefit your facility, visit: https://www.bradyservices.com/brady-heating-solutions.html.