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Your guide to safer boiler operation Your guide to safer boiler Your guide to safer boiler operation operation

A
4 5 8 1 2
Supply main

C
ASME Relief valve

D
Check valve

B
8 6 7
Hot water boiler

City water supply

Fill valve normally used

Pump Return main

A. Expansion tank 1. Safety valve Hot-water boiler Steam boiler B. Low-water cutoff 2. Safety Low-water cutoff Hot-water boiler Steam boiler A. Expansion tank 1. valve C. Combination temperature/pressure 3. Water column blow-down valve A. Expansion tank 1. Safety valve B. Low-water cutoff 2. Low-water cutoff gauge or altitude/temperature gauge 4. Pressuretrols (one is high-limit safety) B. Combination Low-water cutoff 2. Low-water cutoff C. temperature/pressure 3. Water column blow-down valve D. Operating aquastat 5. Steam pressure-gauge gauge or altitude/temperature gauge C. Combination temperature/pressure 4.Water Pressuretrols is high-limit 3. column(one blow-down valvesafety) E. High-limit safety aquastat 6. Water column clean-out (cross tee) D. Operating aquastat 5. Steam pressure-gauge gauge or altitude/temperature gauge 4. Pressuretrols (one is high-limit safety) 7. Bottom blow-off and drain valve E. High-limit safety aquastat 6. Water column clean-out (cross tee) D. Operating aquastat 5. Steam pressure-gauge 8. Low-water cutoff/blow-off valve 7. Bottom blow-off and drain valve E. High-limit safety aquastat 6. Water column clean-out (cross tee) Note: Second low-water-cutoff not shown in diagram 8. Low-water cutoff/blow-off valve 7. Bottom blow-off and drain valve Note: Second low-water-cutoff not shown in diagram 8. Low-water cutoff/blow-off valve Boiler water-level The first duty when taking over a boiler-room shift is to make certain the pipe, fittings and valves Second low-water-cutoff not shown diagram betweenNote: the water glass and boiler are free and openin by blowing down the water column and water glass and noting the Boiler water-level The first duty when taking over a boiler-room shift is to make certain the pipe, fittings and valves promptness of the return of water to the glass. between the water glass and first boiler are when free and open by a blowing downshift the water column and water glass and noting the Boiler water-level The duty taking over boiler-room is to make certain the pipe, fittings and valves promptness of the return of water toare thefree glass. between the water glass and boiler and open by blowing down the water column and water glass and noting The most important rule The most important rule for the safe operation of boilers is to maintain the proper water- the promptness the return water to the glass. level at all of times, and as of constant a level as conditions will permit. If water is not visible in the water glass, shut the boiler The most important rule The most important rule for the safe operation of boilers is to maintain the proper wateroff immediately until a safe water-level has been determined. levelmost at all times, and as constant a level as important conditionsrule willfor permit. If water is notof visible in is the glass, shut the boiler The important rule The most the safe operation boilers towater maintain the proper wateroff immediately until a safe water-level has been determined. level at all times, and as constant a level as conditions will permit. If water is not visible in the water glass, shut the boiler Low-water and feedwater controls The low-water cutoff is the most important electrical/mechanical device on off immediately until a safeawater-level has been determined. your boiler for maintaining safe water-level. If a low-water condition develops, it could very well result in an overheating and Low-water and feedwater controls The low-water cutoff is the most important electrical/mechanical device on explosion of your boiler. The low-water cutoff should be tested at least weekly. your boiler for maintaining a safe water-level. If a low-water condition develops, it could very well result in an overheating and Low-water and feedwater controls The low-water cutoff is the most important electrical/mechanical device on explosion of your boiler. The low-water cutoff should be tested at least weekly. Low-water cutoff, evaporation test If (steam boiler) While the boiler is invery operation, shut in off the feedwater and your boiler for maintaining a safe water-level. a low-water condition develops, it could well result an overheating pump and the boiler water-level. Theshould low-water cutoffat should shut down the burner before the water level goes explosion ofmonitor your boiler. The low-water cutoff be tested least weekly. Low-water cutoff, evaporation test (steam boiler) While the boiler is in operation, off the low feedwater out of sight low; if the burner does not shut off, restart the feedwater pump before the water level goes shut out of sight and pump and monitor the boiler water-level. The low-water cutoff should shut down the burner before the water level goes immediately troubleshoot the low-water cutoff to determine the cause of failure. The boiler must be under constant attendance Low-water cutoff, evaporation test (steam boiler) While the boiler is in operation, shut off the feedwater out ofproperly sight low; if the burner does not shutduring off, restart the feedwater pump before the water level goes out of sight low and by a licensed engineer at all times this test. pump and monitor the boiler water-level. The low-water cutoff should shut down the burner before the water level goes immediately troubleshoot the low-water cutoff to determine the cause of failure. The boiler must be under constant attendance out of sight low; if the burner does not shut off, restart the feedwater pump before the water level goes out of sight low and by a properly licensed at alltest times during this test. While the boiler is in operation, shut off the feedwater pump Low-water cutoff,engineer slow drain (steam boiler) immediately troubleshoot the low-water cutoff to determine the cause of failure. The boiler must be under constant attendance and slowly open the bottom blow valve to drain the water from the boiler. The low-water cutoff should shut down the burner by a properly licensed engineer at all times during this test. Low-water cutoff, slow test boiler) While the restart boiler the is in operation, shut before off thethe feedwater pump before the water level goes outdrain of sight low;(steam if the burner does not shut off, feedwater pump water leve l and slowly bottom blow valvetroubleshoot to drain the water from thecutoff boiler.to The low-water shut down themust burner goes out ofopen sightthe low and immediately the low-water determine the cutoff cause should of failure. The boiler Low-water cutoff, slow drain test (steam boiler) While the boiler is in operation, shut off the feedwater pump before theconstant water level goes out ofasight low;licensed if the burner doesat not off, restart the feedwater pump before the water level be under attendance by properly engineer allshut times during this test. and slowly open the bottom blow valve to drain the water from the boiler. The low-water cutoff should shut down the burner goes out of sight low and immediately troubleshoot the low-water cutoff to determine the cause of failure. The boiler must before the water level goes out of sight low; if the burner does not shut off, restart the feedwater pump before the water level be under constant attendance by a properly licensed engineer at all times during this test. goes out of sight low and immediately troubleshoot the low-water cutoff to determine the cause of failure. The boiler must be under constant attendance by a properly licensed engineer at all times during this test.

Steam boiler

Hot-water boiler

combustion, undesirable variations in temperature and possible explosions. The destructive force in a boiler explosion is caused by the instant release of energy stored in the water as heat.
Water gauges Keep all connections and valves clear. Test by blowing down the water glass and water column regularly.

Firing Aside from the standpoint of economy, maintain the fire as uniformly as possible to avoid an excessive rate of

Gauge cocks or tri-cocks should also be blown regularly.

Safety valves The safety valve is the most important valve on the boiler. Safety valves prevent dangerous over pressurization of the boiler. Safety valves are installed in case there is failure of pressure controls or other devices designed to control the firing rate. All safety valves should be kept free of debris by testing the safety valve regularly. This should be done when the steam pressure is at approximately 75 percent of the safety-valve set pressure. Safety and safety-relief valves on low-pressure boilers should be tested at least quarterly, this is in accordance with the National Board Inspection Code.

intervals as necessary to maintain established limits. Blow-down valves are placed at the lowest point of the boiler for the purpose of blowing sediment or scale from the boiler. They should be maintained in good working order and are to be opened and closed carefully when used.
Starting fires in a boiler Before starting fires in a cold boiler or restarting a fire that may have been accidentally extinguished, the entire fireside of the boiler must be thoroughly ventilated (purged) with the dampers open to remove unburned gases before attempting to relight the fire. Attempting to start a fire in a boiler with unburned gases is the most common cause of boiler furnace explosions. Boiler-room requirement A current proper engineers license and log shall be posted in the boiler room. It is the

Blow-down valves The concentration of solids in the boiler should be measured and the boiler blown-down at such

responsibility of the owner and the engineer to make sure the boiler is inspected annually.

as the temperature varies.

Hot-water systems These systems are equipped with expansion tanks for the expansion and contraction of the water

Firing cycle, power burners The burner will start when the aquastat or pressuretrol calls for heat. The breeching damper will open and the draft fan will purge the combustion chamber. The main gas or oil valve will be energized when the pilot or ignition is proved. Repairs Any excessive overheating or burning, and any major repairs, must be reported to your boiler inspector. Classification of boilers High-pressure boilers are boilers operating at a steam or other vapor pressure in excess of 15

psig, or a water or other liquid boiler in which the pressure exceeds 160 psig, or has a temperature greater than 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Others are low-pressure boilers.

License requirement Minnesota Statutes 183.501 states "No person shall be entrusted with the operation of or operate any boiler, steam engine or turbine who has not received a license of proper grade covering that boiler, steam engine or turbine. Study material The Division of Boiler Inspection has no study material available and suggests you contact your nearest technical college for classes or resource materials, or contact a library or bookstore for the appropriate book.

The following books may prove useful to boiler operators: Special Engineer: Safe Boiler Operation Fundamentals by ATP and Low Pressure Boilers by Frederick M. Steingress Grade "C" licenses: Low Pressure Boilers by Frederick M. Steingress Grade "B" licenses: High Pressure Boilers by Frederick M. Steingress and H.J. Frost Grade "A" licenses: Steam Plant Operation by Woodruff and Lammers Grade "B" and "A" licenses: Stationary Engineering by Steingress, Frost and Walker
This document can be made available in alternative formats, such as large print, Braille or audio, by calling (651) 284-5031; TTY call 1-800-627-3529.

Revised July 2013