As birds in the Northern Hemisphere fly south for the winter, it is a reminder that those who are left behind need to find a reliable source of heat. For many large institutions such as hospitals, universities, and other commercial facilities, that means filling and firing up the comfort heating system boilers that have been laid up all summer. With proper inspection and care, chances are that the boiler will work well all winter. But if something goes wrong in the middle of freezing temperatures, the lack of boiler heat could have serious consequences both for the facility and those inside it. To guard against worst-case scenarios, Cortec® recommends proper preservation of redundant boilers to ensure quick, corrosion-free startup in a heating emergency.
The Status Quo of Boiler Layup
It is common to keep redundant boilers in the state of wet layup (sometimes on low fire) at large institutions. This saves time in the event of planned maintenance or an emergency outage because workers do not have to wait as long as normal to refill the boiler and heat many gallons of water. The challenge is keeping these wet environments corrosion-free to avoid all the inherent long-term and startup problems (clogging, leakage, etc.) associated with rust.
Maintaining high sulfite levels and a high pH is a common practice for protecting redundant boilers from corrosion during wet layup. Unfortunately, this approach requires frequent monitoring, with workers taking water samples, testing them, and adding chemicals as much as three to five times a week. It is easy to neglect such a tedious task, possibly leading right back to the very corrosion-related problems the facility manager was trying to avoid. Furthermore, this approach only protects boiler surfaces in direct contact with the water, not those where moisture can condense in the headspace above the water.
Easy, Effective Corrosion Protection for Redundant Boilers
Cortec’s Boiler Iguana™ offers an efficient and effective alternative to traditional methods of corrosion protection for boilers on standby. This ready-to-use waterborne corrosion inhibitor can be used in operating hot water systems that reach up to 302 °F (150 °C), making it applicable to boilers kept on low fire. It does not require frequent monitoring—only periodic checks to make sure inhibitor concentration stays at the proper level as the boiler loses water. Another advantage is that Boiler Iguana™ contains contact and Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors, which protect the boiler both below and above the water level. Application is as easy as adding the Boiler Iguana™ liquid to the boiler feedwater and/or condensate system, pumping it to the boiler, and shutting the openings. Boiler Iguana™ is typically compatible with other water treatment chemistries, so there is no need to drain the boiler before bringing it back online, helping workers get the backup heating system running on short notice. The Boiler Turtle™ is similar and can be used for wet layup of boilers that need to remain filled but do not need to be kept on low fire.
Stay Warm This Winter!
Staying warm in northern climates can be an issue not only of comfort but of survival. For large institutions, that puts a serious burden on those responsible for maintaining boilers for facility heating. Fortunately, for greater reliability, a wet layup with the Boiler Iguana™ or the Boiler Turtle™ provides a more effective level of protection for redundant boilers without constant monitoring. Contact Cortec® for further assistance implementing your facility’s wet layup redundant boiler strategy to stay warm this winter.
Keywords: institutional heating, facility heating, boiler heating systems, wet layup of boilers, redundant boilers, hospital heating systems, university heating systems, Cortec, Boiler Iguana, corrosion protection
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