What is a Boiler?

what is a boiler

Cutaway of a boiler.

Boilers are everywhere behind the scenes doing tons of work. Work that most people don’t even know goes on.  Boilers and diesel generators in the submarine Navy get women’s names because you have to treat them like hard working women.

Boilers heat, clean, pump, sterilize, move aircraft carriers and launch the jets that take off from them. In another application, a boiler can distill water. There aren’t too many real boilers left out at sea as most have gone nuclear. Instead of combustion though, those simply use nuclear fission as the heat source and the devices are called steam generators rather than boilers. Read more

Replacing Relief Valves on a Boiler

boiler safety valves

The valves that need to be replaced.

Our #3 Boiler to be exact.  I guess the county boiler inspector came out a few weeks ago and made a strong “recommendation” that we replace the safety relief valves on #3 boiler.  He asked the building engineer on duty when the last time was that either the reliefs had been tested or replaced.

Apparently boiler inspectors don’t really like the answers “never” and “never.”  But this obvious dereliction of maintenance was before my time.  It’s crazy how much stuff gets overlooked at places.  Maybe the facility or maintenance staff is too busy or an emergency came up.  But the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) has codes, rules, and regulations for a variety of reasons.

Safety being the main one. Read more

De-aerating Feed Tank (DFT) Overflow Trap Replacement

This last weekend at work, I guess the weekend before that(?), I got all froggy in the middle of the night at work.  I decided that some work needed to be done in the boiler room.  There is always plenty of work to be done in the boiler room.  And I’m not talking about Wall Street, sneaky stocks, and those pretend men, I’m saying steam, hot pipes, and swearing.  Real men.  Slap that stockbroker right out of you.

dft low pressure float trap

back view of the trap

Our boilers at work are old, leaky, and need a ton of work and maintenance.  And they are awesome.  They are like women.  They work hard, chug along, always produce, take the little attention we give them.

Read more

Recent Entries »