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Austenitic Stainless Steel
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Basic Weld Inspection - Part 2
Black Liquor Recovery Boilers - An Introduction
Boiler Efficiency and Steam Quality: The Challenge of Creating Quality Steam Using Existing Boiler Efficiencies
Boiler Logs Can Reduce Accidents
Boiler/Burner Combustion Air Supply Requirements and Maintenance
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Preventable With Complete Inspection
Combustion Air Requirements:The Forgotten Element In Boiler Rooms
Creep and Creep Failures
Description of Construction and Inspection Procedure for Steam Locomotive and Fire Tube Boilers
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Environmental Heat Exchangers
Factors Affecting Inservice Cracking of Weld Zone in Corrosive Service
Failure Avoidance in Welded Fabrication
Finite Element Analysis of Pressure Vessels
Fuel Ash Corrosion
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Grain Boundaries
Heat Treatment - What Is It?
How to Destroy a Boiler -- Part 1
How to Destroy a Boiler -- Part 2
How to Destroy a Boiler -- Part 3
Identifying Pressure Vessel Nozzle Problems
Inspection, Repair, and Alteration of Yankee Dryers
Inspection, What Better Place to Begin
Laminations Led to Incident
Lay-up of Heating Boilers
Liquid Penetrant Examination
Low Voltage Short Circuiting-GMAW
Low Water Cut-Off Technology
Low-Water Cutoff: A Maintenance Must
Magnetic Particle Examination
Maintaining Proper Boiler Inspections Through Proper Relationships
Microstructural Degradation
Miracle Fluid?
Organizing A Vessel, Tank, and Piping Inspection Program
Paper Machine Failure Investigation: Inspection Requirements Should Be Changed For Dryer Can
Pipe Support Performance as It Applies to Power Plant Safety and Reliability
Polymer Use for Boilers and Pressure Vessels
Pressure Vessel Fatigue
Pressure Vessels: Analyzing Change
Preventing Corrosion Under Insulation
Preventing Steam/Condensate System Accidents
Proper Boiler Care Makes Good Business Sense:Safety Precautions for Drycleaning Businesses
Putting a Stop to Steam Kettle Failure
Quick Actuating Closures
Quick-Actuating Door Failures
Real-Time Radioscopic Examination
Recommendations For A Safe Boiler Room
Recovering Boiler Systems After A Flood
Rendering Plants Require Safety
Repair or Alteration of Pressure Vessels
Residential Water Heater Safety
School Boiler Maintenance Programs: How Safe Are The Children?
Secondary Low-Water Fuel Cutoff Probe: Is It as Safe as You Think?
Short-Term High Temperature Failures
Specification of Rupture Disk Burst Pressure
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Steps to Safety: Guide for Restarting Boilers After Summer Lay-Up
Stress Corrosion Cracking of Steel in Liquefied Ammonia Service - A Recapitulation
Suggested Daily Boiler Log Program
Suggested Maintenance Log Program
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Tack Welding
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Typical Improper Repairs of Safety Valves
Wasted Superheat Converted to Hot, Sanitary Water
Water Maintenance Essential to Prevent Boiler Scaling
Water Still Flashes to Steam at 212
Welding Consideration for Pressure Relief Valves
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Why? A Question for All Inspectors

Boiler Logs Can Reduce Accidents

William H. Axtman
President of Gray Gull Associates, Inc.
Retired executive director of the American Boiler Manufacturers Association

Winter 1995  

Category: Operations 


Summary: The following article is a part of National Board Classic Series and it was published in the National Board BULLETIN. (3 printed pages)



Often overlooked in boiler operation is the establishment and enforcement of a procedure for keeping adequate boiler logs. The management of a facility which has a boiler plant bears the responsibility for implementing and maintaining this procedure.

Over a period of time, boiler operating logs help distinguish operating trends that can allow problems to be diagnosed, and boiler and/or fuel-burning system maintenance to be scheduled, before an emergency shutdown is necessary. For example, a steady rise in stack temperature, at the same boiler load, indicates dirty boiler firesides or water side scale build-up. In either case remedial action can be taken before it is necessary to shut the unit down for cleaning.

There are two types of boiler logs: one for daily operations, the other for maintenance activities. These logs can be easily customized for the particular installation and its unique requirements. Using a computer or a word processor, it is a relatively simple matter to prepare a customized log form. Items which might be included are shown in the guidelines below. This material is by no means inclusive; items may be added or deleted as needed for the specific installation.

Log sheets are also available from boiler insurance companies. Maintenance logs should include those items recommended in the boiler and burner manufacturer's operating instructions.

The National Board Incident Report for 1993 indicates that 79 percent of all reported boiler accidents for the three boiler categories are attributable to just two causes: low water cutoffs, and operator error/poor maintenance. Proper keeping and analysis of boiler logs help operators to focus on these areas, and therefore reduce boiler accidents. As low-water-cutoff problems account for 62 percent of the incidents, maintenance and testing of these devices could cause a dramatic reduction in boiler accidents.

A separate log sheet is required for each boiler in the facility. One option is having a log sheet that is good for one month (31 days), and provides for two sets of readings per day. It is recommended that completed logs be three-hole punched and filed in a loose-leaf notebook for future analysis. Management should establish a reasonable period of time for log retention, consistent with the life expectancy of the unit.

Make provisions on the sheets for recording weekly and monthly checks with the date of completion. A general comments section allows significant events, such as the date of the annual boiler inspection, to be recorded. Other events such as boiler malfunctions should also be noted.

Logs for high-pressure boilers are similar, but provide for at least three readings (one per shift) per day. High-pressure logs normally require additional readings consistent with the system.

Items which might be considered for a customized log are shown below. The most important concern is to keep the log completely, accurately, and updated regularly. Too often, logs are kept with identical readings for an entire month or with gaps in the readings. Management must stress the need for complete, accurate logs, and must also explain the need for analysis and its benefits.

Suggested items which might be included in a maintenance log are shown below.


Operator --
Responsible for taking boiler readings, assuring accuracy and initial analysis.


Management --
Responsible for implementing log program and supervising its continuous completion. Also responsible for ensuring that an analysis program is carried out.


Retention --
All persons involved must assure logs are retained in accordance with the facility policy.


Analysis --
All involved persons must examine logs to determine trends and then act upon or recommend action in response to these trends. Repair or replacement of equipment, as indicated by these operation or maintenance log indications, must be performed as needed.

A well thought-out operation and maintenance log program designed to address the requirements of the facility will reduce boiler accidents, downtime, and equipment loss. Such a program, properly carried out, will focus attention of both management and operating personnel on the often-overlooked boiler plant, thereby addressing small problems before they become large ones.









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 of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code for current requirements.


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