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Common Problems With Fire Tube Boiler Systems

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In an industrial setting, the traditional fire tube boiler system is a logical boiler to use. These highly efficient units have the power to generate heat and steam with as little fuel as possible, but occasionally, they do have problems. Take a peek at some of the common problems with fire tube boilers that may require professional repair. 

There is a high concentration of solids in the tube. 

If there is salt content in the water that fills the boiler, the salt can solidify when it cools, which can be an issue because of the way the fire tube boiler is designed. Accumulation of solids anywhere in the tube will inhibit the flow of steam and prevent the boiler from heating evenly. If you are using salt water to feed the boiler, it is best to have a water treatment system installed that treats the water to neutralize salt content first. However, if you have not done that, it may be necessary to have a repair technician open up the tube to remove the accumulated solids. 

Steam blanketing is inhibiting the outflow of the steam. 

Steam blanketing is a term that is used to describe what happens when steam accumulates in a highly concentrated way in one point of the boiler. Of course, as long as your outlet valves are working, this is not necessarily a dangerous situation. However, steam blanketing can actually block the flow of steam to the appropriate outlet points. For example, if there is a high concentration of steam on the upper end of the boiler, it will prevent steam from flowing through the tube and out to the other outlets. This problem can have several different causes, but it is best to have a technician take a look if steam is not being evenly distributed. 

Fire in the tube is being extinguished by too much moisture. 

If you are having issues keeping the boiler system heated, make sure you check to ensure the fire in the tube of the boiler is not being partially extinguished by a leak in the tank. It is common for older fire tube boiler systems to develop pinhole leaks that allow either water or steam to get into the tube where the fire is held. When this happens, the flame of the pilot light or the flames in a firebox fueled by coal or wood can be partially extinguished. 

For more information, contact a repair company like Rickett Industrial Environmental Systems.