Boiler and Steam Systems
Maintaining Boilers, Steam Lines, and SteamTraps
When maintaining boilers, steam lines, and steam traps, consider the following:
Regularly check steam and hot water lines for leaks and make repairs promptly.
Regularly clean and inspect boiler water and fire tubes.
Develop and implement an annual boiler tune-up program.
Provide proper insulation on piping and the central storage tank to conserve
Implement a steam trap inspection program for boiler systems with condensate
recovery. When steam traps exceed condensate temperature, this inspection can
reveal whether the trap is leaking condensation. Monitor temperature using an
infrared temperature device.
Repair leaking traps as soon as possible.
Choosing aWater Treatment Vendor
When choosing a water treatment vendor, select one that focuses on water ef-
ficiency. Request an estimate of the quantities and costs of treatment chemicals,
volumes of make-up and blowdown water expected per year. Choose a vendor that
can minimize water use, chemical use, and cost, while maintaining appropriate water
chemistry for efficient scale and corrosion control.
Reading Meters andWater Chemistry Reports
When reading meters and water chemistry reports, consider the following:
If available, have operations and maintenance personnel read the make-up and
condensate return flow meters regularly to quickly identify leaks or other prob-
Ensure the water treatment vendor produces a report every time he or she evalu-
ates the water chemistry in the boiler. When these reports are received, read
them to ensure that monitoring characteristics, such as conductivity and cycles
of concentration, are within the target range. By paying proper attention to the
water chemistry reports, problems within the system can be identified quickly.
To minimize blowdown, consider the following:
Calculate and understand the boiler’s cycles of concentration. Check the ratio of
conductivity of blowdown water to the make-up water. Use a handheld conduc-
tivity meter if the boiler is not equipped with permanent conductivity meters.
This ratio should match the target cycles of concentration.
DOE, EERE, Federal Energy Management Program. July 1999.
Steam Trap Performance Assessment: Advanced technologies for evaluating the performance of steam