While maintenance of the cap and stack is always important, it should be a major priority during the rainy season, when boiler rooms are more prone to water intrusion during torrential storms.
As summer swiftly approaches, so does Florida’s hurricane season. Though we are not meteorologists at Engineered Energy Equipment (EEE), we can make some accurate weather predictions for the next three months: lots of wind and rain. Power outages and flooding are also common occurrences during Florida’s “most wonderful time of the year.” And heat. There will be plenty of heat.
While all boiler rooms need to schedule and perform their annuals, EEE wants to highlight an area that should be a top priority for evaluation. “Make sure your rain cap is on and secure. Properly fasten the cap. The drain should be properly connected and aligned for proper drainage,” said Kevin Warren, Sales Manager at EEE.
A Boiler Technician (BT) in the United States Navy for 23 years and Chief Petty Officer (ret), Warren continues to make recommendations to boiler rooms throughout the state of Florida, where EEE provides boilers and equipment to citrus growers, storage facilities, regional hospitals, theme parks, factories, schools, distilleries, and craft breweries (to name a few).
Of the many manufacturers EEE represents, Van-Packer is the company they use for all things related to chimneys, smokestacks, and rain caps. Since 1944, Van-Packer has been a leader in the chimney field. Over the years, Van-Packer has steadily increased its product line to include chimneys to handle applications in all aspects of the commercial and industrial fields. The Van-Packer product lines are UL/ETL listed designed to handle any specific operating conditions. https://eeeinc.net/vanpacker/
According to the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors (NBBI) https://www.nationalboard.org/
During a stack or chimney inspection, the following items, as a minimum, should be observed:
- the stack/chimney base or foundation
- external supports or guy wires, if used
- connection to the breeching or boiler
- condition of bricks and mortar joints in masonry stacks/chimneys
- condition of metal and joints in metallic stacks/chimneys
- condition of cap, cone, or spark arrestor, if used, at the top of the stack/chimney
- the height and diameter of the stack/chimney based upon the original design
- vertical orientation (is it plumb?)
- condition of brick or metallic liner in masonry stacks/chimneys
- condition of interior metal and joints in a double-wall metallic stack/chimney
- the internal passageway (no obstructions or blockage)
Kevin Warren described some of the dangers posed when boiler operators do not properly inspect and maintain the environmental conditions in the area around the boiler. In fact, he provided a few reminders from chemistry, “You want to make sure the smoke box doesn’t erode and catch on fire. Oil and gas contain sulfur,” said Warren.
Fuels that power boilers produce flue gases that contain sulfur dioxide, sulfur trioxide, and water vapor. At high temperatures, these gases condense to form sulfurous and sulfuric acid.
When asked what sulfuric acid might do in the boiler room, Warren explained that the boiler is already full of sulfur particles, because one of the byproducts of the fuel is sulfur. In the “perfect storm,” of poor equipment or poorly maintained equipment, the result could be carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide: something no boiler operator wants to be exposed to.
Make sure that your inspections and ongoing monitoring includes your industrial chimney and smokestack. Replacing or repairing equipment like your caps and stacks can save you time and money associated with system failures or outages. Stack cleaning should also be a part of your ongoing maintenance protocols.
With over 100 years of combined experience in the boiler business, the EEE team helps clients choose products that produce results.
Create a safe and efficient boiler room with the right products. For more information about the manufacturers represented and products provided by Engineered Energy Equipment, go to https://eeeinc.net/products/.