The worst time to think about taking care of your boiler is after problems begin. As with any mechanical device, a proactive maintenance plan is crucial. Before looking at what a proactive maintenance plan looks like, let’s look at a reactive plan.
Reactive Boiler Maintenance
Your boiler has failed, and so you now set about to look at the cause and try to make the repair. Sure, you can probably determine the cause, but this sort of strategy is not sustainable in the long term.
Just take into consideration the costs associated with these types of boiler repairs. After they are broken, labor costs are typically higher and the probably downtime of the defective unit will likely lead to other costs.
Lastly, when one thing fails, other problems are most likely lurking, too. One failure is most likely just the tip of a proverbial iceberg.
Proactive Boiler Maintenance
A proactive maintenance program will reap reward for many years in not only maximizing a boiler’s performance, but in creating a safer environment. Both outcomes will save money in the long run, too.
Proactive maintenance uses scientific testing techniques and analysis to anticipate and correct problems before they begin. By comparing past baseline results against current readings, you can realistically determine if a problem exists or may develop in the short-term future.
The importance of data
Any solid proactive maintenance plan relies on data. Fuel consumption and flue gas temperatures are just two readings that can be recorded on a daily or even per shift basis. If the flue gas temperature of a boiler, for instance, has gradually increased during the course of a few weeks, an operator might determine there has been a build-up of scale, which has reduced heat transfer.
While every boiler is different and therefore require different measures, the simple rule of thumb is that the best way to maintain a boiler is to monitor its operation and repair or replace parts before they wear out. A penny spent now is a dollar earned down the line in this business.