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7.

OPERATION, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR —


STEAM BOILERS

7.01 STARTING A NEW BOILER AND (f) Boil the water for at least 5 hr.
HEATING SYSTEM (g) Stop the firing equipment.
(h) Drain the boiler in a manner and to a location
A. Cleaning and Filling a New Boiler
that hot water can be discharged with safety.
(1) Inspection for Foreign Objects. Prior to starting
(i) Wash the boiler thoroughly, using a high-
a new boiler, an inspection should be made to insure
pressure water stream.
that no foreign matter such as tools, equipment, rags,
(j) Fill the boiler to the normal waterline.
etc., is left in the boiler.
(k) Add boiler water treatment compound as
(2) Checks Before Filling. Before putting water
needed.
into a new boiler, make certain that the firing equipment
is in operating condition to the extent that this is (l) Boil the water or heat it to a temperature
possible without actually lighting a fire in the empty of 180°F promptly.
boiler. This is necessary because raw water must be (m) The boiler is now ready to be put into
boiled (or heated to at least 180°F) promptly after it service or on standby.
is introduced into the boiler in order to drive off the (5) Second Boilout for Stubborn Cases. In stubborn
dissolved gases which might otherwise corrode the cases this simple boilout may not remove all the oil
boiler. and grease, and another boilout using a surface blowoff
(3) Operation to Clean the System. Fill the boiler may be necessary. For this type of cleaning proceed
to the proper waterline and operate the boiler with as follows.
steam in the entire system for a few days to bring the (a) Prepare the boiler for cleaning by running
oil and dirt back from the system to the boiler. This a temporary pipe line from the surface blowoff connec-
is not necessary if the condensate is to be temporarily tion to an open drain or some other location where
wasted to the sewer, in which case the system should hot water may be discharged safely. If no such tapping
be operated until the condensate runs clear. is available, use the safety valve tapping, but run the
(4) Boiling Out. The oils and greases which accu- pipe full size and as short a length as possible. Do
mulate in a new boiler can usually be washed out by not install a valve or any other obstruction in this line.
boiling as follows. Handle the safety valve carefully and protect it against
(a) Fill the boiler to the normal waterline. damage while it is out of the boiler.
(b) Remove plug from tapping on highest point (b) Fill the boiler until water reaches the top
on the boiler. of the water gage glass.
If no other opening is available, the safety valve (c) Add a boilout compound.1
may be removed, in which case the valve must be (d) Start the firing equipment and operate suffi-
handled with extreme care to avoid damaging it. ciently to boil the water without producing steam
(c) Add an appropriate boilout compound1 pressure.
through the prepared opening. (e) Boil for about 5 hr.
(d) Replace the plug, or the safety valves. (f) Open boiler feed pipe sufficiently to permit
(e) Start the firing equipment and check op- a steady trickle of water to run out the overflow pipe.
erating, limit, and safety controls. Review Manufactur- (g) Continue this slow boiling and trickle of
er’s recommendations for boiler and burner startup. overflow for several hours until the water coming from
the overflow is clear.
1A qualified water treatment chemical specialist should be consulted (h) Stop the firing equipment.
for recommendations regarding appropriate chemical compounds and
concentrations which are compatible with local environmental regula- (i) Drain the boiler in a manner and to a location
tions governing disposal of the boilout solutions. that hot water can be discharged with safety.

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7.01 1998 SECTION VI 7.04

(j) Remove covers and plugs from all washout (16) Place boiler control starting switch in “On”
openings and wash the water side of the boiler thor- or “Start” position. Do not stand in front of boiler
oughly, using a high-pressure water stream. access or cleanout doors. This is a precautionary measure
(k) Refill boiler till 1 in. of water shows in the should a combustion explosion occur.
gage glass. (17) Bring pressure and temperature up slowly.
Stand by boiler until it reaches the established cut-out
NOTE: If water in the gage glass does not appear to be clear, repeat
steps (b) through (k) and boil out the boiler for a longer time. point to make sure the operating control shuts off the
burner.
(l) Remove temporary piping. (18) During the pressure buildup period, walk
(m) Add a charge of boiler water treatment com- around the boiler frequently to observe that all associated
pound. equipment and piping is functioning properly. Check
(n) Close boiler. for proper over-the-fire draft.
(o) Replace safety valve. (19) Immediately after burner shuts off, inspect
(p) Boil or bring water temperature to at least water column and open each try cock (if provided)
180°F promptly. individually to determine true water level.
(q) The boiler is now ready to be put into (20) Enter in log book:
service or standby. (a) date and time of startup
(b) any irregularities observed and corrective
action taken
(c) time when controls shut off burner at estab-
7.02 STARTING A BOILER AFTER LAYUP
lished pressure, tests performed, etc.
(SINGLE BOILER INSTALLATION)
(d) signature of operator
A. Procedure. When starting a boiler after layup, (21) Check safety valve for evidence of simmering.
proceed as follows. Perform try lever test. See Exhibit C.
(1) Review Manufacturer’s recommendations for
B. Action in Case of Abnormal Conditions. If any
startup of burner and boiler.
abnormal conditions occur during light-off or pressure
(2) Set control switch in “Off” position.
buildup, immediately open emergency switch. (Do not
(3) Make sure fresh air to boiler room is unob-
attempt to restart unit until difficulties have been identi-
structed.
fied and corrected.)
(4) Check availability of fuel.
(5) Check water level in gage glass. Make sure
gage glass valves are open.
(6) Use try cocks, if provided, to double-check 7.03 CONDENSATION
water level. Following a cold start, condensation (sweating) may
(7) Vent combustion chamber to remove unburned occur in a gas fired boiler to such an extent that it
gases. appears that the boiler is leaking. This condensation
(8) Clean glass on fire scanner, if provided. can be expected to stop after the boiler is hot.
(9) Set main steam shutoff valve in open position.
(10) Open cold water supply valve to water feeder
if provided. Open suction and discharge valves on
7.04 CUTTING IN AN ADDITIONAL
vacuum or condensate pumps and set electrical switches
BOILER
for desired operation. Vent boiler to remove air when
necessary. When placing a boiler on the line with other boilers
(11) Check operating pressure setting of boiler. which are already in service, first start the boiler using
(12) Check manual reset, if provided, on low-water the above procedures but have its supply stop valve
fuel cutoff and high-limit pressure control to determine and the return stop valve closed. If one is provided,
if they are properly set. open the drain valve between the stop valve at the
(13) Set manual fuel oil supply or manual gas valve boiler outlet and the steam main. When the pressure
in open position. within the boiler is approximately the same as the
(14) Place circuit breaker or fused disconnect switch pressure in the steam main, open the stop valve very
in “On” position. slightly. If there is no unusual disturbance, such as
(15) Place all boiler emergency switches in “On” noise, vibration, etc., continue to open the valve slowly
position. until it is fully open. Open the valve in the return line.

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7.04 7. OPERATION, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR — STEAM BOILERS 7.05

CAUTION: When the stop valve at the boiler outlet is closed, the should not exceed 15 psig minus the blowdown pressure
stop valve in the return line of that boiler must also be closed.
of the safety valve.
This pressure differential is also required to help
insure that the safety valve will seat tightly after popping
and when the boiler pressure is reduced to normal
7.05 OPERATION operating pressure.
A. Water Level It is very important that periodic testing of safety
(1) Whenever going on duty, check the water level valves is carried out in accordance with Exhibit C,
of all steaming boilers at once. paragraph IV.
(2) Check the water gage regularly. The required C. Blowdown. Where low-pressure steam boilers are
frequency must be determined by trial. The check used solely for heating and where practically all of
should be made when there is steam pressure on the the condensate is returned to the boiler, blow down
boiler. Close the lower gage glass valve, then open only as often as concentration of solids require. Boilers
the drain cock which is on the bottom of this valve, used for process steam requiring high makeup should
and blow the glass clear. Close the drain cock and be blown down as required to maintain chemical concen-
open lower gage glass valve. Water should return to trates at the desired level and to remove precipitated
the gage glass immediately. If water return is sluggish, sediments. Boilers which are equipped with slow-open-
leave the lower gage glass open and close the upper ing blowoff valves and a quick-opening blowoff cock
gage glass valve. Then open the drain cock and allow should have the levers or cocks opened first, followed
water to flow until it runs clear. Close the drain valve by a gradual opening and closing of the slow-opening
and repeat the first test described, with the lower gage valve. When the slow-opening valve has been shut
glass valve closed. If leaks appear around the water tight, then close the lever valve or cock.
gage glass or fittings, correct the leaks at once. Steam
leaks may result in a false waterline and they also CAUTION: Do not open the slow-opening valve first and pump the
lever action valve open and closed as water hammer is apt to break
may damage the fittings. the valve bodies or pipe fittings.
(3) If water disappears from the water gage glass,
blow down gage glass to see if water appears. If it D. Appearance of Rust. If rust appears in the water
does not appear, then stop the fuel supply immediately. gage glass, this is an indication of corrosion that must
Do not turn on the water feed line. Do not open the not be ignored. Check the boiler water to be sure that
safety valve. Let the boiler cool until the crown sheet the water treatment compound is at proper strength
is at hand touch temperature. Then add water to 1 in. and make sure the boiler is not requiring considerable
in the gage glass. Do not put the boiler back into quantities of makeup water. Check the return line and
service until the condition responsible for the low water other parts of the system for evidence of corrosion.
has been identified and corrected. E. Waterline Fluctuation. A wide fluctuation of
waterline may indicate that the boiler is foaming or
B. Steaming Pressure. A common unsafe condition
priming. This may be due to the water level in the
found in steam heating boilers is due to the failure of
boiler being carried too high, or, especially in low-
the safety valve(s) to open at the set pressure. This is
pressure boilers, a very high rate of steaming. Foaming
usually due to the buildup of corrosive deposits between
may also be caused by dirt or oil in the boiler water.
the disk and seat of the safety valve and is caused by
Foaming can sometimes be cured by blowing the boiler
a slight leakage or weeping of the valve.
down, draining 2 in. or 3 in., then refilling a few
The snap-action opening of a safety valve occurs
times. In persistent cases, it may be necessary to take
when the boiler steam pressure on the underside of
the boiler out of service, drain, and wash out thoroughly
the valve disk overcomes the closing force of the valve
as described for a new steam boiler installation, then
spring. As the force of the steam pressure approaches
refill, and put back into service.
the counteracting force of the spring, the valve tends
to leak slightly and if this condition is permitted to F. Abnormal Water Losses. Where water losses
exist, the safety valve can stick or freeze. from a steam boiler become abnormal, as indicated by
For this reason, the pressure differential between the the requirement of large amounts of manually fed
safety valve set pressure and the boiler operating pres- makeup, an investigation should be made immediately
sure should be at least 5 psi, i.e., the boiler operating to determine the cause. Boilers operated with automatic
pressure should not exceed 10 psig. If, however, the water feeders requiring an increase in water treatment
boiler operating pressure is greater than 10 psig, it should be investigated immediately for cause of loss

55
7.05 1998 SECTION VI 7.07

of water. Proper repair or replacement of parts should (2) Refill to top of gage glass, and add sufficient
be made at once rather than to increase the water water treatment compound to bring the treatment up
treatment to protect the system due to excessive raw to strength.
water makeup. If the operator cannot determine the (3) When all the dissolved gases are released
cause of the water loss, a competent contractor should (approximately 1 hr), shut down the firing equipment
be contacted. by disconnecting the main switch.
(4) For treatment of laid-up boilers, see 9.11D.
G. Makeup Water. When water makeup is needed
and neither the boiler nor the condensate tank is B. Cleaning. When the boiler is cool, clean the
equipped with an automatic water feeder, manually add tubes and other fire side heating surfaces thoroughly,
water to the steam boiler. and scrape the surfaces down to clean metal. Clean
(1) Use every practical means for excluding oxy- the smokeboxes and other areas where soot or scale
gen from the boiler water. One source of oxygen is may accumulate. Soot is not corrosive when it is
makeup water; therefore, hold makeup to a minimum. perfectly dry, but can be very corrosive when it is
If the boiler loses more than 3 in. of water per month, damp. For this reason, it is necessary to remove all
this indicates there probably is a leak in some part of the soot from a boiler at the beginning of the nonop-
the system. The leak should be found and corrected. erating season, or any extended nonfiring period.
(2) If the system includes a pump for returning
condensate or adding feedwater, be certain that the air C. Protection Against Corrosion. Swab the fire
vent at the receiver is operating properly. side heating surfaces with neutral mineral oil to protect
(3) If large quantities of feedwater are required, against corrosion. If the boiler room is damp, place a tray
deaerating equipment is recommended to remove dis- of calcium chloride or unslaked lime in the combustion
solved gases, thereby reducing oxygen corrosion. chamber and replace the chemical when it becomes
mushy.
H. Low-Water Cutoff. Check the operation of the
low-water cutoff, pump control, and the water feeder D. Water Level. Drain a steam boiler back to normal
if one is installed. Follow the instructions on the tag water level before putting the boiler back in service.
or plate, attached to each control, to blow down the
E. Periodic Checks. Check the boiler occasionally
control regularly as recommended by the Manufacturer.
during the idle period and make certain it is not
Periodically, the low-water cutoff may be tested under
corroded.
actual operating conditions. With the burner operating
and the boiler steaming at proper water level, close
all the valves in the feedwater and condensate return
lines so the boiler will not receive any replacement 7.07 MAINTENANCE
water. Then carefully observe the waterline to determine
A. Cleaning. Clean the boiler tubes and other heating
where the cutoff switch stops the burner in relation to
surfaces whenever required. The frequency of the clean-
the lowest permissible waterline established by the
ing can best be determined by trial. A general prediction
boiler manufacturer.
applicable to all boilers cannot be made. Also, clean
If the burner cutoff level is not at, or slightly above,
the smokeboxes when required.
the lowest permissible waterline, in a new installation
the low-water cutoff should be moved to the proper B. Draining. A clean, properly maintained, steam
elevation, or in an existing installation it should be heating boiler should not be drained unless there is a
serviced, repaired, or replaced if necessary. possibility of freezing, or the boiler has accumulated
a considerable amount of sludge or dirt on the water
side, or unless draining is necessary to make repairs.
7.06 REMOVAL OF BOILER FROM Very little sludge should accumulate in a boiler where
SERVICE little makeup water is added and where an appropriate
water treatment is maintained at the proper strength.
A. Procedure. When a steaming boiler is to be taken
out of service at the end of the heating season or for C. Protection Against Freezing. Antifreeze solu-
repairs, proceed as follows. tions, when used in heating systems, should be tested
(1) While maintaining boiler water temperature from year to year as recommended by the manufacturer
(180°F to 200°F), drain off boiler water from bottom of the antifreeze which is used. Antifreeze solutions
drain until it runs clear. should not be circulated through the boiler proper. The

56
7.07 7. OPERATION, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR — STEAM BOILERS 7.07

antifreeze solution should be heated in an indirect heat prolonged periods of oil firing and require cleaning.
exchanger. Lubricate in accordance with Manufacturer’s recommen-
dations. Also check pilot burners and ignition equipment
D. Fire Side Corrosion. Previously in this manual for proper flame adjustment and performance.
some of the causes of water side corrosion have been
stated and procedures recommended to minimize trouble G. Low-Water Fuel Cutoff and Water Feeder
from these sources. Boilers can also corrode on the Maintenance. Low-water fuel cutoffs and water feeders
fire side. Some fuels contain substances which cause should be dismantled annually, by qualified personnel,
fire side corrosion. Sulphur, vanadium, and sodium are to the extent necessary to insure freedom from obstruc-
among the materials which may contribute to this tions and proper functioning of the working parts.
problem. Inspect connecting lines to boiler for accumulation of
(1) Deposits of sulphur compounds may cause fire mud, scale, etc., and clean as required. Examine all
side corrosion. The probability of trouble from this visible wiring for brittle or worn insulation and make
source depends on the amount of sulphur in the fuel sure electrical contacts are clean and that they function
and on the care used in cleaning the fire side heating properly. Give special attention to solder joints on
surfaces. This is particularly true when preparing a bellows and float when this type of control is used.
boiler for a period of idleness. Preventing this trouble Check float for evidence of collapse and check mercury
depends also on keeping the boiler heating surfaces bulb (where applicable) for mercury separation or discol-
dry when a boiler is out of service. oration. Do not attempt to repair mechanisms in the field.
(2) Deposits of vanadium, or vanadium and sodium Complete replacement mechanisms, including necessary
compound, also may cause fire side corrosion, and gaskets and installation instructions are available from
these compounds may be corrosive during the season the Manufacturer. After reassembly, test as per 7.05H.
when boilers are in service.
(3) The person responsible for boiler maintenance H. Flame Safeguard Maintenance
should be certain that the fire side surfaces of the (1) Thermal Type Detection Device. Check device
boilers in his care are thoroughly cleaned at the end for electrical continuity and satisfactory current genera-
of the firing season. If signs of abnormal corrosion are tion in accordance with Manufacturer’s instructions.
discovered, a reputable consultant should be engaged. After completing maintenance, test as per Exhibit C,
paragraph IA and paragraph IB, and make pilot turn-
E. Safety Valves. Safety valves on steam boilers down test as per Exhibit C, paragraph IH.
should be tested for proper operation in accordance (2) Electronic Type Detection Device. Replace vac-
with Exhibit B and Exhibit C. ASME rated safety uum tubes or transistors annually with type recom-
valves shall be installed on the boiler where required mended by Manufacturer. Check operation of unit in
by jurisdictional regulations. When replacement is nec- accordance with Manufacturer’s instructions and exam-
essary, use only ASME rated valves of the required ine for damaged or worn parts. Do not attempt to
capacity. repair these units in the field. Replacement assemblies
are available from the Manufacturer on an exchange
F. Burner Maintenance
basis. Test as specified in Exhibit C, paragraphs IC,
(1) Oil Burners. Oil burners require periodic main-
ID, IE, or IG for proper type control and make pilot
tenance to keep the nozzle and other parts clean. Check
turndown test as per Exhibit C, paragraph IH.
and clean oil line strainers. Inspect and check the nozzle
and check the oil level in the gear cases. Check and I. Limit Control Maintenance. Maintenance on
clean filters, air intake screens, blowers, and air pas- pressure limiting controls is generally limited to visual
sages. Check all linkages and belts, and adjust as inspection of the device for evidence of wear, corrosion,
required. Lubricate in accordance with manufacturer’s etc. If control is mercury bulb type, check for mercury
recommendations. Check pilot burners and ignition separation, and discoloration of bulb. If the control is
equipment for proper flame adjustment and performance. defective, replace it. Do not attempt to make field
(2) Gas Burners. Check gas burners for presence repairs.
of dirt, lint, or foreign matter. Be sure parts, gas
passages, and air passages are free of obstructions. J. Cast Iron Boiler Maintenance
Linkages, belts, and moving parts on power burners (1) Heating Surfaces. Check the firebox gas pas-
should be checked for proper adjustment. On combina- sages and breeching for soot accumulation. Use a wire
tion oil and gas burners, the gas outlets may become brush and vacuum cleaner, if required, to remove the
caked with carbon residues from unburned fuel oil after soot or other dirt accumulations.

57
7.07 1998 SECTION VI 7.07

(2) Internal Surfaces. If the condition of the water tailed instructions, refer to Manufacturer’s maintenance
in the boiler indicates that there is considerable foreign data and recommendations.
matter in it, the boiler should be allowed to cool,
then drained and thoroughly flushed out. Remove the
blowdown valves and plugs in the front and rear
P. Maintenance Schedule. Listed below are sug-
sections, and wash through these openings with a high-
gested frequencies for the various routines and tests
pressure water stream. This will normally remove any
to be performed in connection with inspection and
sludge or loose scale. If there is evidence that hard
maintenance of boilers (see Exhibit B and Exhibit C):
scale has formed on the internal surfaces, the boiler
(1) Daily (Boilers in Service). Observe operating
should be cleaned by chemical means as prescribed by
pressures, water level, and general conditions. Determine
a qualified water treatment specialist.
cause of any unusual noises or conditions and correct.
K. Steel Boiler Maintenance (2) Weekly (Boilers in Service)
(1) Heating Surfaces. Remove all accumulations (a) Test low-water fuel cutoff and /or water
of soot, carbon, and dirt from the fire side of the feeder. Blow down boiler if considerable makeup is
boiler. Use flue brush to clean the tubes. Clean breeching used (see 7.05C).
and stack as required. Inspect refractory and make (b) Test water column or gage glass.
repairs as required. (c) Observe condition of flame; correct if flame
(2) Internal Surfaces. Blow down as specified in is smoky or if burner starts with a puff (for oil, observe
7.05C. If water does not run clear, the boiler should daily).
be cleaned. After the boiler is allowed to cool, the (d) Check fuel supply (oil only).
cleaning is accomplished by venting, draining the boiler, (e) Observe operation of condensate or vacuum
removing all manhole and handhole covers, and washing pump.
the inside of the boiler with a high-pressure water (3) Monthly (Boilers in Service)
stream. Loosen any solidified sludge, scale, etc., with (a) Safety valve — try lever test.
a hand scraper. Start at the top of the boiler and work (b) Test flame detection devices.
down. Flush thoroughly after cleaning. Where access (c) Test limit controls.
is limited or where scale buildup is difficult to remove, (d) Test operating controls.
it may be necessary to clean the boiler chemically as (e) Sludge blowdown where required.
prescribed by a qualified water treatment specialist. (f) Check boiler room floor drains for proper
functioning.
L. Use of Flashlight for Internal Inspection. When (g) Inspect fuel supply systems in boiler
practical, use a flashlight in preference to an extension room area.
light for internal inspection purposes. If an extension (h) Check condition of heating surfaces (for
light is taken into a boiler, be sure the cord is rugged, preheated oil installation, inspect more frequently, twice
in good condition, and that it is properly grounded. It a month).
should be equipped with a vapor-tight globe, substantial (i) Check combustion air supply opening to
guard, and nonconducting holder and handle. ensure that it is not closed or stopped up.
(4) Annually
M. Leaking Tubes. If one tube in a boiler develops (a) internal and external inspection after thor-
a leak due to corrosion, it is likely that other tubes ough cleaning
are corroded also. Have the boiler examined by a
(b) routine burner maintenance
capable and experienced inspector before ordering the
(c) routine maintenance of condensate or vac-
replacement of one or a few tubes. If all the tubes
uum return equipment
will need replacement soon, it is preferable and less
(d) routine maintenance of all combustion con-
expensive to have all the work done at one time.
trol equipment
N. Use of Sealant. The use of sealant is not recom- (e) combustion and draft tests
mended in a steam boiler. (f) safety valve pop test
(g) slow drain test of low-water cutoff
O. Maintenance of Condensate Return Systems. (h) Inspect gas piping for proper support and
Inspect and clean the strainer ahead of the pump. Drain tightness.
and flush condensate tank. Check pump packing, float (i) Inspect boiler room ventilation louvers and
switches, and vacuum switches as applicable. For de- intake.

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7.08 7. OPERATION, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR — STEAM BOILERS 7.09

7.08 BOILER REPAIRS or lack of testing of safety devices. It is important that


inspections be thorough and complete, and so that
A. Precaution. Do not permit repairs to a boiler
important elements may all be checked, the following
while it is in service, or under pressure, except with
recommended directions and instructions for such in-
the approval and under the supervision of an authorized
spections are given.
boiler inspector or responsible engineer.
(1) All steam heating boilers should be prepared
B. Notification. When repair work is required, notify for inspection, whenever necessary, by the owner or
the authorized boiler and pressure vessel inspector and user when notified by the inspector.
be guided by his recommendations. The owner or user should prepare the boiler for an
C. Welding Requirements. All repair work should internal inspection and should prepare for and apply
be done by experienced boiler mechanics. All welding the hydrostatic test whenever necessary on the date
should be done by qualified welders using procedures specified in the presence of a duly qualified inspector.
properly qualified according to Section IX. (2) Before inspection, every part of a boiler that
is accessible should be open and properly prepared for
D. Safety. Take every precaution necessary to insure examination, internally and externally. In cooling down
against injury to men who are working in the boiler a boiler for inspection or repairs, the water should not
room and particularly to those working inside the steam be withdrawn until the setting is sufficiently cooled to
space or in the combustion chamber of the boiler. Pull avoid damage to the boiler and, when possible, it
the main burner switch and lock it out and tag it, should be allowed to cool down naturally.
swing the burner out of place, if possible, close and (3) Preparation. The owner or user should prepare
lock valves, etc., and always have one man standing a boiler for internal inspection in the following manner.
by outside when a man is working inside a boiler. (a) Water should be drained and boiler washed
thoroughly.
(b) All manhole and handhole plates, wash-out
7.09 TESTS AND INSPECTIONS OF plugs, and water column connections should be removed
STEAM HEATING BOILERS and the furnace and combustion chambers thoroughly
A. Tests. The tests recommended for burner effi- cooled and cleaned.
ciency, combustion safeguards, safety controls, op- (c) All grates of internally fired boilers should
erating controls, limit controls, safety valves, and safety be removed.
relief valves are included in Exhibit C. (d) Brickwork should be removed as required
by the inspector in order to determine the condition
B. Inspection During Construction. This part of
of the furnace, supports, or other parts.
boiler inspection is covered in Section IV, Heating
(e) Any leakage of steam or hot water into the
Boilers: HG-515, HG-520, and HG-533 (General Re-
boiler should be cut off by disconnecting the pipe or
quirements); HW-900, HW-910, and HW-911 (Weld-
valve at the most convenient point.
ing); HB-1500, HB-1501, HB-1502, and HB-1503
(Brazing); and HC-501 (Cast Iron). (4) It is not necessary to remove insulation mate-
rial, masonry, or fixed parts of the boiler unless defects
C. Initial Inspection at Place of Installation. As or deterioration are suspected. Where there is moisture
opposed to inspection during manufacture which per- or vapor showing through the covering, the covering
tains primarily to conforming to Code construction should be removed at once and a complete investigation
requirements, this inspection will be concerned with made.
whether boiler supports, piping arrangements, safety Every effort should be made to discover the true
valves, other valves, water columns, gage cocks, steam condition, even if it means drilling holes or cutting
gages, and other apparatus on the boiler meet Code away parts.
and /or other jurisdictional requirements. The inspector (5) The inspector should get as close to the parts
usually represents the same jurisdiction which will be of the boiler as is possible in order to obtain the best
making subsequent periodic inspection. possible vision of the surface and should use a good
D. Periodic Inspecting of Existing Boilers. The main artificial light if natural light is inadequate.
purposes for reinspection include protection against loss (6) Whenever the inspector deems it necessary to
or damage to the pressure vessel because of corrosion, test boiler apparatus, controls, etc., these tests should
pitting, etc., protection against unsafe operating condi- be made by a plant operator in the presence of the
tions possibly caused by changes in piping or controls inspector, unless otherwise ordered.

59
7.09 1998 SECTION VI 7.09

(7) Scale, Oil, etc. The inspector should examine structure, particularly in the vicinity of seams and tube
all surfaces of the exposed metal inside to observe any ends. Firetubes sometimes blister but rarely collapse;
action caused by treatment, scale solvents, oil, or other the inspector should examine the tubes for such defects;
substances which may have entered the boiler. Any if they are found to have sufficient amount of distortion
evidence of oil should be noted carefully, as a small to warrant it, they should be replaced.
amount is dangerous, and immediate steps should be (12) Lap Joints. Lap joint boilers are apt to crack
taken to prevent the entrance of any more oil into the where the plates lap in the longitudinal or straight
boiler. Oil or scale on plates over the fire of any boiler seam. If there is any sign of leakage or other distress
is particularly bad, often causing sufficient weakening at this joint, it should be investigated thoroughly to
to bag or rupture. determine if cracks exist in the seam. Any cracks noted
(8) Corrosion, Grooving. Corrosion along or im- in shell plates are usually dangerous.
mediately adjacent to a seam is more serious than a (13) Testing Staybolts. The inspector should test
similar amount of corrosion in the solid plate away staybolts by tapping one end of each bolt with a
from the seams. Grooving and cracks along longitudinal hammer and, when practicable, a hammer or other
seams are especially significant as they are likely to heavy tool should be held at the opposite end to make
occur when the material is highly stressed. Severe the test more effective.
corrosion is likely to occur at points where the circula- (14) Tube Defects. Tubes in horizontal firetube boil-
tion of water is poor; such places should be examined ers deteriorate more rapidly at the ends toward the
very carefully. fire, and they should be carefully tapped with a light
For the purpose of estimating the effect of corrosion hammer on their outer surface to ascertain if there has
or other defects upon the strength of a shell, comparison been a serious reduction in thickness. The tubes of
should be made with the efficiency of the longitudinal vertical tubular boilers are more susceptible to deteriora-
joint of the same boiler, the strength of which is usually tion at the upper ends when exposed to the products
less than that of the solid sheet. of combustion without water cooling. They should be
(9) Stays. All stays, whether diagonal or through, reached as far as possible either through the handholes,
should be examined to see if they are in even tension. if any, or inspected at the ends.
All fastened ends should be examined to note if cracks The surface of tubes should be carefully examined
exist where the plate is punched or drilled. If stays to detect bulges or cracks or any evidence of defective
are not found in proper tension, their proper adjustment welds. Where there is a strong draft, the tubes may
should be recommended. become thinned by erosion produced by the impinge-
(10) Manholes and Other Openings. The manhole(s) ment of particles of fuel and ash. A leak from a tube
and other reinforcing plates, as well as nozzles and frequently causes serious corrosive action on a number
other connections flanged or screwed into the boiler, of tubes in its immediate vicinity.
should be examined internally as well as externally to (15) Ligaments Between Tube Holes. The ligaments
see that they are not cracked or deformed. Wherever between tube holes in the heads of all firetube boilers
possible, observation should be made from the inside and in shells of watertube boilers should be examined.
of the boiler as to the thoroughness with which its If leakage is noted, broken ligaments are probably the
pipe connections are made to the boiler. All openings to reason.
external attachments, such as water column connections, (16) Pipe Connections and Fittings. The steam and
openings in dry pipes, and openings to safety valves, water pipes, including connections to the water columns,
should be examined to see if they are free from should be examined for leaks; if any are found, it
obstructions. should be determined whether they are the result of
(11) Fire Surfaces — Bulging, Blistering, Leaks. excess strains due to expansion or contraction or other
Particular attention should be given to the plate or tube causes. The general arrangement of the piping in regard
surface exposed to fire. The inspector should observe to the provisions for expansion and drainage, as well
whether any part of the boiler has become deformed as adequate support at the proper points, should be
during operation by bulging or blistering. If bulges or carefully noted. The location of the various stop valves
blisters are of such size as would seriously weaken should be observed to see that water will not accumulate
the plate or tube, and especially when water is leaking when the valves are closed and thereby establish cause
from such a defect, the boiler should be discontinued for water-hammer action.
from service until the defective part or parts have The arrangement of connections between individual
received proper repairs. Careful observation should be boilers and the main steam header should be especially
made to detect leakage from any part of the boiler noted to see that any change of position of the boiler

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7.09 7. OPERATION, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR — STEAM BOILERS 7.09

due to settling or other causes has not placed an undue Such a fuel or feedwater control device may be
strain on the piping. attached directly to the boiler shell or to the tapped
It should be ascertained whether all pipe connections openings provided for attaching a water glass direct to
to the boiler possess the proper strength in their fasten- a boiler, provided that such connections from the boiler
ings, whether tapped into or welded to the boiler shell. are nonferrous tees or Ys not less than 1⁄2 in. pipe
The inspector should determine whether there is proper size between the boiler and the water glass so that the
provision for the expansion and contraction of such water glass is attached direct and as close as possible
piping and that there is no undue vibration tending to to the boiler. The straightway tapping of the Y or tee
damage the parts subjected to it. This includes all steam should take the water glass fittings and the side outlet
and water pipes; special attention should be given to of the Y or tee should take the fuel cutoff or water
the blowoff pipes with their connections and fittings feeding device.
because the expansion and contraction due to rapid Designs employing a float and float bowl shall have
changes in temperature and water-hammer action bring a vertical straightway-valve drain pipe at the lowest
a great strain upon the entire blowoff system. The point in the water equalizing pipe connections, by
freedom of the blowoff and drain connections on each which the bowl and the equalizing pipe can be flushed
boiler should be tested whenever possible by opening and the device tested.
the valve for a few seconds at which time it can be (19) Baffling in Watertube Boilers. In watertube
determined whether there is excessive vibration. boilers it should be noted as well as possible whether
(17) Water Column. The piping to the water column the proper baffling is in place. The absence of baffling
should be carefully inspected to see that there is no often causes high temperatures on portions of the boiler
chance of water accumulating in the pipe forming the structure which are not intended for such temperatures,
steam connection to the water column. The steam pipe and from this a dangerous condition may result. The
should preferably drain toward the water column. The location of combustion arches with respect to tube
water pipe connection to the water column must drain surfaces should be noted to make sure they do not
toward the boiler. cause the flame to impinge on a particular part of the
The position of the water column relative to the fire boiler and produce overheating of the material and
surfaces of the boiler should be observed to determine consequent danger of rupture.
whether the column is placed in accordance with Code (20) Localization of Heat. Localization of heat
requirements. brought about by improper or defective burner or
The attachments should be examined to determine stoker installation or operation, creating a blowpipe
their operating condition. effect upon the boiler, should be cause for shutdown
If examination is made with steam on the boiler, of the boiler until the condition is corrected.
the water column and gage glass should be observed (21) Suspended Boilers — Freedom of Expansion.
to see that the connections to the boiler are free as Where boilers are suspended, the supports and setting
shown by the action of the water in the glass. The should be examined carefully, especially at points where
water columns and gage glasses should be blown down the boiler structure comes near the setting walls or
on each boiler to determine definitely the freedom of floor, to make sure that ash and soot will not bind the
the connections to the boilers as well as to see that boiler structure at such points and produce excessive
the blowoff piping from the columns and gage glasses strains on the structure owing to the expansion of the
are free. The gage glasses should be observed to see parts under operating conditions.
that they are clean and that they are properly located (22) Safety Valves. As the safety valve is the most
to permit ready observation. The freedom of the gage important safety device on the boiler, it should be
glass should be determined by test. inspected with the utmost care. There should be no
(18) Low-Water Cutoff and Water Feeder. All auto- accumulation of rust, scale, or other foreign substances
matically fired steam or vapor boilers shall be equipped in the body of the valve which will interfere with its free
with an automatic low-water fuel cutoff or water feeding operation. The valve should not leak under operating
device so constructed that the water inlet valve cannot conditions. The opening pressure and freedom of opera-
feed water into the boiler through the float chamber, tion of the valve should be tested preferably by raising
if one is employed, and so located as to automatically the steam pressure to the point of opening. If this
cut off the fuel supply or supply requisite feedwater cannot be done, the valve should be tested by opening
when the surface of the water falls below the lowest with the try lever in accordance with the procedure in
safe waterline. This line should not be lower than the Exhibit C. Where the valve has a discharge pipe the
bottom of the water glass. inspector should determine at the time the valve is

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7.09 1998 SECTION VI 7.09

operating whether or not the drain opening in the A hydrostatic pressure test shall not exceed 11⁄2 times
discharge pipe is free and in accordance with the Code the maximum allowable working pressure. During the
requirement. test, the safety valve should be removed from the
If the inspector deems it necessary, in order to boiler. It is suggested that the minimum temperature
determine the freedom of discharge from a safety valve, of the water be 70°F and maximum 160°F. All controls
the discharge connection should be removed. Under no and appurtenances unable to withstand the test pressure
circumstances shall a stop valve be permitted between without damage should be removed during the test.
a steam boiler and its safety valve. (26) Suggestions. The inspector, whether he is the
(23) Steam Gages. A test gage connection should employee of a state, province, municipality, or insurance
be provided on the boiler so that the gage on the boiler company, should be well informed of the natural and
can be tested under operating pressure. The steam gage neglectful causes of defects and deterioration of boilers.
should not be exposed to excessively high ambient
He should be extremely conscientious and careful in
temperatures and should be mounted with a siphon or
his observations, taking sufficient time to make the
trap between it and the boiler. Provisions should be made
examinations thorough in every way, taking no one’s
for blowing out the piping leading to the steam gage.
(24) Imperfect Repairs. When repairs have been statement as final as to conditions not observed by
made, especially tube replacements, the inspector should him, and, in the event of inability to make a thorough
observe whether the work has been done safely and inspection, he should note it in his report and not
properly. Excessive rolling of tubes, where they are accept the statement of others.
accessible, is a common fault of inexperienced work- The inspector should make a general observation of
men. When it is difficult to reach the tube end and the condition of the boiler room and apparatus, as well
observe the extent of rolling, however, they are fre- as of the attendants, as a guide in forming an opinion
quently underrolled. This inevitably results in separation of the general care of the equipment. He should question
of the parts. responsible employees as to the history of old boilers,
(25) Hydrostatic Tests. When there is a question their peculiarities and behavior, ascertain what, if any,
or doubt about the extent of a defect found in a boiler, repairs have been made and their character, and he
the inspector, in order to more fully decide upon its should investigate and determine whether they were
seriousness, should cause the application of hydrostatic made properly and safely.
pressure under the Code provisions.

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