Evaluating the cost/benefit of your boiler room equipment is an important part of knowing the financial impact on operational costs. An upgrade can pay big dividends when millions of dollars of production are on the line. Even with routine maintenance, it is important to consider the life span of your boiler and auxiliary equipment – keeping in mind the age, condition, usage, efficiency, parts availability – a total boiler system assessment can identify and prevent some of the following problem areas:
Tubes & tubesheets – pay attention to pattern repairs as they usually indicate specific problem areas. Boiler tube or tubesheet failure can result in total system shutdown, and result in actual production losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour. A certified boiler service expert can make recommendations on tube upgrades or let you know if it’s time for a complete boiler replacement.
Feedwater system & pumps – as the heart of soul of the boiler room operation, feedwater systems supply makeup water to boiler, and should be monitored closely. Poor feedwater supply is often a trash-in, trash-out condition, which can cause vibration and excessive noise, varied or unstable tank temperatures or pressures depending on the system, and even unexpected shutdown. An equipment upgrade can ensure that your boiler operation has the optimal feedwater supply for efficient service for a long time to come.
Water softener systems – critical for proper boiler operation, poor water quality can burn tubes, cause efficiency loss and excessive blowdown. It’s one of the least expensive fixes, but can also result in shutdown. When you consider that a $5000 system can bring down at $150,000 boiler and inflict long term serious equipment damage, not to mention halting production – the comparatively minimal cost to upgrade a dated or inefficient water softener system makes a lot of financial sense.
Burners – think it might be time to upgrade? If you’re seeing problems like vibration, surging/pulsing of flame (even flow or consistent flame pattern), misfiring, not starting, hard lightoffs, or repeated nuisance shutdowns, you could be experiencing issues with a scanner, gas valve leakage, pilot problems, ignition or more. Upgrading a burner can eliminate these headaches and ensure greater uptime for production.
While boiler room equipment upgrades often represent a capital expense, the long term savings recognized through improved efficiency, reduced repair and operator safety should easily justify the investment. Speak to an authorized boiler service and equipment expert to request a system evaluation and discuss opportunities for improvement.