Laundry Boilers and the Need for Periodic Inspections

July 28, 2014

Laundry boiler maintenance ensures the pressure vessel at the center of the machinery meets its intended operational specifications. Biennial, quarterly and annual inspections check for a trend of deterioration over time by recording critical data as the inspection is conducted, building a picture of the operational condition of the boiler. By analyzing the data, an engineering company versed in the characteristics of high and low pressure vessel fabrication can monitor critical characteristics as defined by manufacturing codes, going as far as being able to model a realistic life cycle assessment.

Boilers dedicated for usage in the laundry industry tend toward upright models powered by gas or oil burners. They're typically assembled from parts designed for low pressure applications, with the core vessel rated anywhere between 105 pounds per square inch to 110 pounds per square inch of operational pressure, a trim of 125 PSI. This is a steam supply, a necessity considering the efficiency of modern laundry centers. These are facilities ruled by high-speed drying tumblers and washers with huge capacities. Industrial laundry establishments depend on productivity, the constant supply of water and heat to drive their washing and drying cycle. In fact, an industrial system as employed within the lower floors of a hospital or uniform cleaning establishment may dispense with oil or gas burners and employ heat exchangers instead, providing another component of pressure-driven fabrication to inspect.

The question of whether the system is an industrial model or a smaller variant designed for lower load conditions is a critical aspect in evaluating the annual divergence between the current condition of the pressure vessel and the engineered limits of the component over the course of its projected life cycle, but there are more components and sub-systems to inspect. The heat exchanger has to be thoroughly cleaned and inspected, an essential labor in an institutional environment. Look for access openings somewhere under the jacket to gain entry to maintenance points. Visually inspect for signs of corrosion throughout the unit, as this machinery is defined by both water and heat, prime environmental factors for producing life-reducing rust on essential parts.

Operating systems may fall within the realm of other disciplines, the plumbing professional or the electrician, but safety concerns regarding the vessel come within the engineers influence. Refer to the technical specifications for the vessel and the associated pipes, locating probes and gauges, checking their accuracy, the integrity of weld joints, the integrity of the actual vessel, and the current condition of any safety release valves. Assessing the pH level of the water, the hardness of the water supply, may fall under the purview of another discipline, but matching load capacity is an engineering concern, and testing safety valves comes under the canopy of that concern. Test low-water cutoff limits. Activate supplied test points on safety valves, and test the operation of critical safety sub-systems such as the low water probe. Laundry boiler issues need to be addressed fast, and there's little margin for error regarding operational limits within the pressure vessel.

Contact Details

Fusion - Weld Engineering Pty Ltd
ABN 98 068 987619

1865 Frankston Flinders Road,
Hastings, VIC 3915

Ph: (03) 5909 8218

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