It’s winter in the Northeast and we are running into the coldest months of the year. If you operate a commercial property, now is not a good time to have a boiler failure. If you operate an industrial or manufacturing facility, there is NEVER a good time to lose a boiler! Unfortunately, this a common occurrence throughout the winter months and culprit is very often cold feed water. Monitoring your boiler feed water temperature should be an important part of your daily boiler inspection and should be worked into your overall boiler maintenance program.
So in our last post we expounded on the dangers of filling a steam boiler with cold water. Oxygen pitting and corrosion are the biggest common issues; however, if you are unlucky enough to add cold water to a boiler that is already running, you could have a much more serious problem on your hands. Basic high school physics teaches us that metal expands and contracts under extreme heating or cooling. Add to that scenario a high pressure steam vessel and cold water and BOOOM! It’s not common, but adding cold water to hot steam system could cause an explosion; it has happened and probably will happen again. (But not at your facility, because you read this post and you have taken the precautions necessary to avoid a catastrophe of that nature.)
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