Before a boiler is placed in operation, boiler operators and other responsible
personnel and/or supervisors, must check over the entire system and carefully
review operating procedures.
All manufacturers of boilers and fuel burning systems supply operating manuals
with their equipment. Unfortunately, many boiler rooms do not have manuals and
operating instructions available. These manuals have either been lost or
misplaced. It is the responsibility of the responsible supervisor to obtain
these publications and see that they are read, understood, followed and
available in the boiler room.
Maintenance During Summer Lay-Up
The summer shutdown period is a good time to accomplish necessary boiler and
fuel burning system preventive maintenance. A suggested check list of such
Drain and flush the boiler, open all handholes and manholes, clean and remove
soot and scale from the firesides. Examine the boiler for damage and corrosion.
Have the boiler inspected by an authorized inspector, as required.
Install new gaskets, replace all handhole and manhole covers, refill boiler and
perform a hydrostatic test, if required.
Institute a suitable boiler water treatment program to reduce scale buildup and
Have the fuel burning equipment cleaned and adjusted by a competent service
technician. Verify operation of all operating and limit controls, interlocks
and gages. Have the technician disassemble the low water cutoff and water
feeding devices, clean, recondition and reassemble them. Have the technician
leak test all fuel safety shutoff valves.
Lubricate all mechanical equipment such as fans and pumps, verify motor
Check all boiler piping for leaks and missing insulation.
Make sure provision is made for establishing and keeping a boiler log.
Immediately prior to boiler start-up perform the following:
Check that all ventilation and combustion air openings and louvers are clean
and free of debris.
Verify boiler water level.
Check that all stack dampers are open.
Examine the boiler furnace for foreign material.
Check the furnace and flue passes for fuel accumulation.
Make sure the manual fuel valves are open.
After completing the start-up checks, close the operating switch and commence
the normal starting sequence. The following list suggests a typical starting
operating controls closed
interlocks (safety controls) closed
start fans and purge the boiler
purge requirements met
prove ignition flame within 10 seconds
energize main fuel valve(s)
establish and monitor main flame
deenergize ignition, main flame proven
release firing rate (combustion) control to demand
This starting sequence should be carefully observed to make sure that all steps
are normal. Readings on flame signal strength meters (if fitted) should be
observed and recorded in the boiler log.
A normal shutdown should be initiated by opening the manual burner switch.
After the post purge has been completed, check the furnace for flame cutoff and
make sure there is no residual flame in the furnace. Have fuel safety shutoff
valves repaired or replaced if required.
Additional guidance can be found in the boiler operating manuals and in ASME
CSD -1, Controls and Safety Devices for Automatically Fired Boilers, or in the
National Fire Protection Association's NFPA 8500 standards on prevention of
boiler furnace explosions.
Editor's note: Some ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code requirements may have changed because of advances in material technology and/or actual experience. The reader is cautioned to refer to the latest edition and addenda of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code for current requirements.