Most steam boilers are required to be inspected annually. The inspection is usually performed by a local government authority or an insurance inspector. Most inspections will be both external and internal and both are necessary in order to determine the safety level when the boiler is returned to service.
Why Should You Prepare Your Steam Boiler for Inspection?
In order to provide the cleanest boiler surfaces, a shutdown regimen needs to be implemented about a month before the scheduled shutdown. The purpose of the shutdown procedure is to reduce the sludge that has accumulated during the normal operation of the boiler. When this procedure is followed the labor required to clean the boiler offline is substantially reduced and often nearly eliminated.
How Can You Prepare Your Steam Boiler For Inspection?
The following procedure should be followed to ensure the inspection goes well. It is important to understand that normal operating conditions are very different than those when the boiler is opened and exposed to the atmosphere.
- One month before the shutdown, start reducing the specific conductivity of the boiler slightly each day. In the next two weeks, the boiler conductivity should be reduced to about one half of its normal operating levels. During this “solids” reduction, the chemical levels should remain at normal operating levels.
- During the last two weeks, the chemical levels and the bottom blow down should be increased by 50%. This will reduce the remaining sludge in the boiler to a minimum. Further, it will condition any remaining sludge so that its removal will be much easier when the boiler is opened for inspection.
- When the boiler’s waterside is opened, the tubes and shell should be immediately washed down before being allowed to dry. If any boiler is dried before cleaning, it will be more difficult and time consuming to get the tubes and shell clean.
- When a clean waterside is exposed for long periods of time to the air in a humid environment, a thin layer of rust may form on the clean steel. It is important to return the boiler to service soon after inspection to reduce the steel exposure to the humid air.
Your boiler is now ready for its inspection. These steps will ensure longer boiler life and fewer operational problems.
If you have any problems or questions, ask your Chardon Master Service Technician or call our Technical Support Staff at (380) 224-7395.
Matt Welsh is the Vice President and Water Consultant at Chardon Labs. He helps consult a wide range of customers utilizing various methods of water treatment, from chemical to chemical-free approaches, large and small applications, and across a wide range of geographical influences. With 20 years of water treatment experience, including a wide range of troubleshooting and service in potable water and non-potable HVAC and industrial applications, he is an expert in water treatment chemistry for cooling towers, boilers, and closed-loop systems.