If you have an industrial plant that powers equipment through the use of steam power, then you probably utilize a large scale steam boiler that runs continuously. If this boiler has recently broken down, then purchasing a used boiler is a cost effective way to get your plant up and running once again. However, you should know that there are a wide variety of things that you will need to do before turning the boiler on for the first time. Keep reading to learn about a few things you should do to ensure boiler longevity and function.
Install A Water Softener
Your boiler will have a water intake that fills the boiler with water and allows the water to flow through a variety of different passes or containment areas around the flame tube. This water is heated by the tube and steam is released through outlets on the very top of the boiler. When the water is heated, minerals within the fluid will start to attach to the stainless steel burner tube. This can lead to the burning of more energy to heat the water in the boiler and it can also cause water hammers to form within the pipes. Specifically, water is displaced by the build up of minerals and the fluid levels can rise to the point that small amounts of fluid enter the steam pipes with the steam. The water builds and is forced with great pressure against the pipes as the steam passes through. This causes rattling and banging sounds to occur and leaks may follow.
While the internal boiler chambers can be flushed periodically to release the mineral deposits, it can take a great deal of time to completely flush out a boiler that holds several tons of water. Water waste is a significant factor as well, so make sure that flushing only needs to occur on a rare occasion by installing a water treatment system to the water intake part of the boiler before you use it.
The best water treatment system to place in a boiler room is one that removes as much of the impurities from the water as possible. A reverse osmosis system is a good option so your boiler can be filled with water that is between 92% and 99% free of contaminants. Leftover contaminant content depends on the size of the particles in the water. This means that a small amount of dissolved compounds like sodium may make it through the series of membranes that make up the water treatment system. However, contaminant content is extremely small compared to water softener systems that actively add salt to the water.
Make Sure Strainers Are Clean
Many boilers that are manufactured for industrial use are oil-fired varieties that use heating oil to run the boiler. The cost effective petroleum-based fuel can provide reliable energy. Heating oil is a crude oil product much like diesel fuel, and this fuel will gel or become cloudy when it is exposed to freezing temperatures. The boiler system in your industrial factory will be fitted with strainers much in the same way that a diesel vehicle is. Not only do these strainers help to trap gel or wax that forms within your fuel tank or fuel lines, but it also catches things like mildew, bacteria, dirt, and rust that can build as well. These things can easily clog the main burner of the boiler system, so these strainers help to keep the boiler running well. However, strainers eventually become clogged themselves and prevent fuel from reaching the burner.
To make sure that your boiler runs great at start up, make sure that strainers are cleaned thoroughly before you start the system. This is especially true if you have purchased a used boiler. Most industrial boilers will have flanged strainers that attach to the fuel line around the fuel tank and near the burner inlet. Look for these flanges and remove the extension part of the flange with the assistance of a socket wrench. Release the strainers and rinse them off in a bucket filled with clean heating oil.