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As you use your steam boilers over the years, you can expect to encounter some issues. These issues can affect and change the efficiency and performance of your steam boiler. If the main purpose of your boiler is for business, minor issues can have big effects on your operation.
Steam boilers are expensive. Regardless of whether you own a fire tube boiler or a water tube boiler, it’s important to take certain measures to prevent any issues. Of course, steam boilers are made for long-duty work. But, that does not mean that you should disregard its condition.
If you own a steam boiler, whether, for business or residential use, you need to know the basic prevention measures. Measures that you can easily do to your boiler to avoid unnecessary expenses and bigger problems. To get you started, here are 4 things that you can do to prevent any boiler issues.
1. Make it a habit to check the water level of your steam boiler
First, make it a habit to always check the water level of your steam boiler. Water is very essential in every boiler because it serves as the important component that makes the steam boiler work. Without water, steam production would be affected.
Daily, make sure that you check your boiler’s water level before operation. What happens if you operate the boiler without enough water, is that the drum will be exposed to flame. This can cause the steam boiler to stop working or worse, explode.
Each boiler has a specific water level needed for it to perform at its best. The water level varies depending on the boiler type and size. A fire-tube boiler’s water level may be less than a water-tube boiler. Also, consider where you’ll use the boiler. If you’re using it for temperature purposes only, make sure to contact your supplier about the water level needed for heat purposes.
On the other hand, if the purpose of your steam boiler is for chemical processes, you’ll need more water since you need higher pressure and higher temperatures to produce.
2. Don’t overpressure or under pressure the boiler
Just like steam boiler water levels, each boiler type is designed to handle maximum pressure only. One of the top reasons why steam boilers break down is because people set too much pressure that the boiler can’t handle. High pressures don’t only stress the steam boiler but also, cause unnecessary strain to the boiler’s performance.
If the steam boiler is forced to operate at a pressure greater than it is capable of, signs of overpressure will show on its body. One of which is that it can damage the boiler’s drum and pipes. This damage can cause its welds to crack and worse, water leakage.
On the other hand, don’t under pressure the boiler, too. Always set it to the degree that it can capably perform. If your steam boiler happens to produce lower pressure than needed, it can be a sign that your boiler needs to be checked by a specialist.
In most cases, they’d recommend buying a new steam boiler. But, if you know more about boilers and how it works and think that only a part needs to be replaced, do your research and recommend having a part replaced instead. Just like its water levels, never make your boiler work with too much or less than its performance capability.
3. Always clean the vents, pipes, chimneys, and outlets of the steam boiler
Regular cleaning is an important aspect of boiler maintenance. People who use their steam boilers for business often disregard the importance of this. What they tend to overlook is that regular cleaning has a huge effect on boiler productivity.
As you regularly use your steam boilers, whether, for business or residential use, mould and soot accumulate over time. You might think, ‘what exactly do moulds and soot do to affect my boiler’s productivity?’ The answer is: it does not only affect the steam but the overall work production of the boiler as well.
The thing is, the vents, pipes, chimneys, and any other outlet of the boiler are important. Those parts serve as the bridge between the boiler and its work production. It is where the ‘work produced by the boiler is being released and passed through. If these ‘bridges’ have mould and soot, the steam quality is affected.
Over time, soot can cause pipes to deteriorate. This will cause it to age and develop cracks easily. Thus, decreasing the amount of steam produced needed per use. The thing is, owners will tend to increase the fuel to meet the steam production needed. Often, they fail to see that the cause of poor steam production is the pipes, vents, and other boiler outlets. Clean your steam boiler regularly to prevent this from occurring.
4. Have a regular boiler inspection done by a professional
Even if you constantly do the 3 tips mentioned above and any other preventative tips, it is unavoidable to overlook some things. To ensure that you maintain your boiler performance, have a specialist check your steam boiler regularly. An inspection can be done once a year to ensure that your boiler is functioning without any issues, whether big or small.
This is even more important if you can’t commit to doing preventative measures regularly. For businesses that use steam boilers, this is even critical. A regular inspection prevents your business from encountering any malfunctions. Also, this is to ensure that you won’t miss out on any work production or operation due to the steam boiler.
Through inspections, it is easier to assess and see if your boiler is experiencing corrosion. Usually, boiler corrosion occurs in the tank. Specialists and professionals are the ones who usually see this issue upon inspections. Also, they check the condition of your vents, pipes, and other outlets for soot and mould.
It will be easier for you to take precautionary measures, too with their recommendations. Contact your steam boiler company or consult any boiler specialist for a regular inspection. This will help you prevent any steam boiler issues in the long run and maximise the efficiency of your machinery.
Take care of your steam boiler so you’ll get to maximise its purpose for a long time
The 4 tips discussed above are just some of the easy things that you can do. If you’re experiencing an issue that you think needs an immediate response, do your research before doing something with the boiler if a specialist is not available.
If you are going to purchase a steam boiler, make sure to use it with care and as necessary. With this, you’ll get to avoid issues that might require you to spend more and affect your business production.