High-Pressure Steam Boiler Preventative Maintenance

Do you have a comprehensive maintenance plan for your high pressure steam boilers and related equipment? Are you doing everything you can to ensure maximum efficiency and lifespan of your high pressure steam boilers and related equipment? Read on to see if your maintenance plan is covering all the bases. And if your current plan is falling short, learn what you can do about it. This article explains each of the recommended Preventative Maintenance Intervals for High-Pressure Steam Boilers and Related Equipment.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

High Pressure Steam Boiler Preventative Maintenance

High Pressure Steam Boilers: Comprehensive Annual Preventative Maintenance Plan Break Down

A comprehensive preventative maintenance program includes all steam and hot water heating equipment, including ancillary equipment, as specified, according to your needs. Comprehensive Annual maintenance plans start with monthly visits. By being on site every month, costly problems and downtime can be mitigated, while allowing you to best address inevitable repairs via early detection.

For the purposes of this example we will use the scope corresponding to the sample equipment list shown below*

Sample List of Equipment included:
(2) Steam Boilers
(2) Hot water blow down separators
(1)DA feed water system with VSD Pumps
(1) Surge Tank system with pumps
(2) Sanitary Steam Generators
(2) Steam pressure reducing banks
(5) Hot Water Heaters

Comprehensive Annual Maintenance Plan Scope and Frequency

A typical proposed scope of work for a High Pressure Steam Boiler System is as follows, with the frequency of each scope listed in each header:

Monthly Services (performed every month)

  • Provide comprehensive PM checklist for each piece of equipment
  • Test gauges as needed perform pressure /temperature verifications
  • Inspect combustion throughout firing rate to ensure proper settings
  • Clean flame detectors and perform pilot turn-down tests
  • Inspect the following (for all equipment listed):
    • Blowers
    • Motors
    • Manifolds
    • Valves
    • Regulators
    • Tube Bundles
    • Control Valves
    • Pressures
    • Piping
    • all related systems
  • Inspect ignition electrodes and ignition cable
  • Clean flame detectors and perform pilot turn-down tests
  • Perform operational safety checks of all safety interlocks:
    • Low Water Safeties
    • High Pressure Safeties
    • Temperature Safety Interlocks
    • Relief Valves
    • Low/High Gas Safeties
  • Inspect servo motor linkages/crank arm/jackshaft positioners
  • Inspect gas, steam, blow down, chemical, water piping for leaks
  • Inspect all pumps for included equipment
  • Clean strainers for each pump
  • Check each pump for proper operation
  • Check VFDs for proper operation
  • Inspect water side gaskets and handhole/manhole plates for leaks
  • Inspect water side gaskets/ handhole/manhole plates for tightness
  • Inspect fireside doors and gaskets for flue gas leaks
  • Inspect fireside doors and gaskets for proper tightness
  • Inspect control panels, J boxes, wiring clean/good connections
  • Repair piping leaks as needed on all equipment-threaded/flanged
  • Wipe down boiler shells and burners for good housekeeping
  • Wipe down heat exchanger shells /jacketing for good housekeeping
  • Clean dust covers and filters on motors/appliances
  • Observe total system operations for any problems
  • Provide reports/recommend/pricing for repairs/corrective action

Quarterly Services (Every 3rd Month) include the following:

  • Perform all the items listed in the monthly service as well as,
  • Perform periodic monitoring emissions test protocol as per SCAQMD rule 1146 where combustion is analyzed and data logged while burners are running in the automatic modulating AS FOUND condition
  • Generate and provide test reports in PDF format for customer records for SCAQMD compliance

Semi Annual Services (every 6th month) include the following:

  • Perform all scope items from monthly service as well as,
  • Perform all items from Quarterly service as well as,
  • Perform combustion analysis & semiannual tune up on each boiler
  • Analyze combustion and adjust as needed along each fuel curve
  • Provide printouts for customer records

Annual Services (every 12th month) include the following:

  • Perform all scope items on Monthly, Quarterly, Semi Annual as well as,
  • Drain and open waterside of boilers
  • Flush, drain, and clean watersides
  • Clean out Low water cutoffs and clean water level probes
  • Furnish / install new water level gauge glass w/ gaskets on boilers /tanks
  • Furnish and install new handhole /manhole gaskets, M&M gaskets, O-rings
  • Open fireside doors and inspect
  • Brush and vacuum tubes
  • Clean debris out of Morrison tube
  • Furnish and install fireside gasket kits on fireside doors, including
    • Rear door tadpole
    • Front wind box door tadpole
    • Inner door tadpole
    • Burner register gasket
    • Burner mounting block gasket
    • Front and rear baffle gaskets
    • Inner door to burner mount gasket
  • Perform Hydrostatic pressure test on waterside w/ fireside doors open
  • Re-seal fireside doors and prepare for operation
  • Wipe down and clean boiler jacketing for good housekeeping
  • Clean and polish electrodes on pilot assembly
  • Furnish and install new high-tension ignition cable on electrode
  • Test fire burner
  • Analyze and adjust combustion as per SCAQMD rule 1146
  • Perform combustion tune up-ensure proper combustion /emissions
  • Perform running interlock /safety limit check for all limits /circuits
  • Bring boiler up to operating pressure and leave in operation/standby
  • Open up DA tank and surge tanks
  • Flush and clean water side of tanks
  • Inspect DA trays, spray mechanisms.
  • Replace waterside gaskets on tanks.
  • Check suction lines and return lines for internal build up.
  • Remove tube bundles from heat exchangers
  • Inspect and clean bundles and vessels
  • Install new head gaskets and flange gaskets and reseal units
  • Put units back online

Source Testing (Every 3 years):

Perform annual source test every 3 years.

Final Thoughts

This Comprehensive Maintenance Scope example for High Pressure Steam Boilers and Related Equipment contains visits that are related to air quality and emissions compliance. Depending on your location and specific jurisdictions these scopes may vary. Regardless of your environmental compliance requirements, we recommend monthly, semi-annual and annual services. Any maintenance plan you choose will be specifically tailored to your equipment and your needs. After carefully reviewing the needs of your site and equipment, along with your input, Powerhouse Combustion & Mechanical Corporation will prepare a detailed scope specific to your equipment. Links to various resources and related content are listed below. All of the preventative maintenance scopes are available for download below. You can download each maintenance interval separately or in a single comprehensive document. Please take whatever you need.

Downloadable Resources

Related Links

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