Checklist for Boiler Maintenance

October 17, 2016

Boilers play a crucial role at industrial facilities and it is imperative that they be safely and properly maintained. Routine boiler maintenance can help prevent unplanned shutdowns and outages, increase the efficiency of the boiler and cut operating costs, and ensure that the facility is in full compliance with all laws and regulations governing boiler safety. What follows is a boiler maintenance checklist to ensure that no key safety and maintenance tasks are overlooked and that every boiler inspection or repair yields the best results possible.

Boiler Maintenance Checklist

Check the Water Gauges – One of the most fundamental aspects of good boiler maintenance is ensuring that the boiler has the correct water levels.

Clean the Water Gauges – Over time water gauge glass may become cloudy or stained which could distort readings. Thorough cleaning or even full replacement of gauges or gauge glass may be performed during turnarounds or other periods of shutdown.

Clean Piping and Float Chamber – Proper water level control is key and it is the float chamber and surrounding piping that ensures water levels are correctly maintained. Remove all sludge or sediment from pipes and flush the float chamber.

Test the Fuel Cutoff Feature – The fuel cutoff feature automatically stops fuel from entering the boiler if the water level drops to low. This is an extremely important safety feature and should be carefully tested by a qualified technician during boiler inspections.

Check Water Treatment System – The water treatment systems removes impurities that could result in corrosion or sediment buildup if left unchecked. Thoroughly check and maintain this system to improve the boiler’s efficiency and reduce the risk of breakdowns.

Check Condensate Recovery System – Boilers that employ a condensate recovery system are able to trap, condense, and reuse steam as feedwater, dramatically increasing efficiency since the water does not have to be heated from as low a temperature. Checking and maintaining the condensate recovery system keeps operating costs down.

Inspect for Signs of Corrosion and Leakage – During boiler inspections it is important to watch for signs of corrosion and leaks, especially around safety valves and piping. Even small problems can quickly worsen, so address issues promptly.

Check the Stack Temperature Gauge – The stack temperature gauge monitors the temperature of flue gas leaving the boiler. If gauge readings are too high, this could indicate a serious efficiency problem since hot gases might be bypassing the heat transfer surfaces in the boiler and resulting in thermal loss and higher operating costs.

Analyze Air-to-Fuel Ratio – The air-to-fuel ratio of oxygen to fuel being burnt during combustion is important for optimizing the boiler’s efficiency. If too much air is used, too much heat may be expended; by contrast, if too little air is used, an incomplete fuel burning may occur, resulting in waste. Analyze this delicate ratio and make adjustments as necessary to optimize efficiency.

Clean Heat Transfer Surfaces – Remove soot and other buildup from the boiler’s heat transfer surface to ensure an efficient transfer between the combustion gas and steam generation.

Check and Maintain the Economizer – If present in a boiler system, the economizer redirects heat from the stack back to the boiler feedwater for preheating, preventing heat loss and increasing boiler efficiency. Check that the economizer is in good working order during boiler inspections to ensure maximum benefit.

Update and Review Boiler Logs – Every time the boiler is inspected or serviced the boiler logs should be updated. Likewise it is important to review these logs on a regular basis so that gradual trends can be determined and so that boiler technicians are operating with the most information available.

STI Group’s Boiler Maintenance Services

STI Group provides industry-leading boiler maintenance and repair services including retrofits and full replacements and upgrades. Maintaining a boiler requires expertise and experience. Our boiler technicians always make safety and client satisfaction our top priority. Contact us for more information about boiler services.