7 Things To Consider Before Replacing Your Steam Boiler

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017
the benefits of industrial boiler maintenance with allen's tri-state mechanical

Replacing the steam boiler in a hospital can be complicated. Hospital boilers are large, expensive, and complex, but they perform critical functions that could mean life or death. This necessitates careful coordination of multiple departments within the hospital to ensure a seamless transition from an old boiler to a new one. During the replacement process, you must be aware that the equipment will operate at reduced capacity and you may have increased periods of downtime. It is critical not only to coordinate the replacement of the boiler, but to ask for input from all of those who will be affected.

1. Make a detailed plan

If you run a hospital, you most likely already excel at planning complex operations down to the most minute detail. If you don’t, you risk catastrophic problems and possibly even patient deaths. When you plan to replace the steam boiler in your hospital, consider who relies on the heating and electricity provided by it. You should also know what an interruption of service could mean.

For instance, if your hospital supports a neo-natal unit or other high-risk services, you should consider the associated risk of replacing the steam boiler. You may need to install backup boilers that can provide heat and electricity to these critical departments during the transition.

2. Budget carefully

Installing a new steam boiler involves two forecasting methods: immediate installation costs and future maintenance costs. While the cost of installing a boiler can be tremendous, do not overlook the cost of long-term maintenance. The upfront cost of installing a high-efficiency boiler will be more than a lower-efficiency model. However, the long-term maintenance costs could be substantial over the life of the old boiler.

When you consider a boiler replacement, take into account the cost of gas, water, consumption, and overall efficiency. An expensive model may provide longer-term benefits like increased efficiency and long-term savings.

3. Know the steam boiler size

Consider the operational requirements of your boiler before you replace it. What are its power outputs? Is there flexibility in the system and is your current boiler too small or too large? If you are considering replacing your boiler, it is most likely very old. This means that it is probably struggling to meet the requirements of your hospital, which has likely continued to incorporate new technologies and services.

When you get bids for a new steam boiler, make sure to include input from your maintenance team. Your team will be familiar with the volume needs, steam pressure, quality requirements, and cycles of the boiler loads. Use boiler logs to track changes in usage, so you have a clear picture of the demands on your boiler system. The maintenance team should be your first point of contacts when you are thinking about replacing your boiler.

4. Understand pollution

Hospitals are also becoming increasingly interested in the pollution costs of boilers. Boiler exhaust emits numerous contaminants and gases including carbon monoxide, particulate matter, sulphur oxides, and nitrous oxides. The EPA and many state and local agencies impose emissions regulations on the flue gas emitted from boilers. Make sure you coordinate with your mechanical engineer and manufacturer to produce a boiler that is compliant with all codes and regulations.

5. Get help with laundry

Steam boilers were once the primary providers of laundering services for hospitals. However increased demands on sterilization procedures have caused some hospitals to outsource some or all of their laundering. Outsourcing allows a hospital to streamline its laundry services while reducing costs. When you replace your boiler, take into account the possibility that you could save money by outsourcing your laundering.

6. Understand sterilization of medical tools

Sterilization of equipment uses a combination of high temperatures and high water pressure. Hospitals that rely on outdated boilers outsource this service to reduce demands on their boilers. However, if you are replacing your boiler, considering using point-of-steam generators for sterilization. These generators are ideal for hospitals with low-steam requirements.

7. Get flue economizers

Steam boilers are usually last on a list of things a hospital needs to replace. If you are unable to replace your steam boiler, consider improving its efficiency by introducing stack economizers to recover some heat from flue gases. This recovered heat is used to preheat water for domestic heating.

Find the best boiler maintenance in the Tri-State area

Hospitals need expertise and experience to replace their steam boilers. Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, Texas has been in operation for over 50 years. Our team of experienced engineers can help you replace or maintain your steam boiler. If you would like to schedule an appointment, call us at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email today. You can also stop by our office located at 404 S. Hayden St. in Amarillo to learn more about our Industrial, Commercial, and Residential services.