Can Prescriptive Maintenance (RxM) Make Tube Cleaning More Efficient and Effective?

For industrial plants using water or fire tube boilers, maintenance managers know that boiler shutdowns need to be planned in advance to minimize plant downtime.  When a boiler is cold the plant is not operating at full capacity so the fewer times per year the boiler is offline, the better. Usually what drives the need for a maintenance shutdown is diminished boiler efficiency from fouled tubes. 

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How Boiler Cleaning Increases System Longevity

A boiler is one of the hardest working and longest lasting pieces of equipment in your facility. When properly maintained, boilers can keep things warm for fifteen years and, with older cast iron boilers, that lifespan can be well over thirty. In order to keep your boiler working efficiently for many decades, proper service and cleaning is a must.

Maintenance of the pumps and burners are critical, but special attention should be paid to the boiler tubes that, if neglected, can lead to expensive and catastrophic failures. The boiler tubes are where the water is heated (water side) and the fuel is burned (fire side). Maintenance staff have to clean both sides of the tubes to keep the boiler working properly.

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Neglecting Proper Boiler Maintenance Can Mean Major Loss in Efficiencies

One problem you see with boilers in large institutions such as schools and universities is that cleaning and maintenance can be overlooked. This is often because boiler maintenance is not in the scope of work for HVAC maintenance staff and falls in the scope for the plumbing staff, who often don’t realize it’s part of their duties. It’s also often a misconception of staff that the highly intuitive controls that most new boilers have will prevent issues and send alerts when they occur, but controls are primarily responsible for boiler function boiler maintenance is still imperative for optimal operation. Otherwise, a boiler can sit for years, gathering scale and dirt that affects performance and can even cause premature malfunctions and breakdowns.

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Why Removing Calcite (Limestone) from Landfill Leachate Systems’ Lines Require Specialized Descaling Chemicals

Calcite clogging is a major problem in the industry. This type of scale is typically associated with pipes, heat exchangers or other water handling equipment in general industry but it is also true that landfill channels can also become completely clogged with limescale. Typically the problem is ignored in landfills until it is too late and leachate channel systems become clogged resulting in back-ups of leachate flow. Ignoring the problem when signs of clogging are starting to happen only creates bigger headaches down the road. 

When it comes to cleaning calcite deposits in your leachate lines, there’s no better option than an industrial strength, specialized chemical descaler.  According to Goodway’s Director of Liquid Solutions, Ray Field, “It’s well documented that an inhibited acid descaler is the product of choice in these cases.” The main advantage to a chemical descaler is its ability to permeate throughout the entire leachate collection piping system. Alternatives like high-pressure water jetting may reach inside the first 75 feet of piping, but after that the scale down the channel is so deep that water jetting can’t get to the worst areas of scale. It then becomes a pervasive problem within the entire leachate network in the landfill.

Other alternatives include commodity acids — for example, commodity grade and concentrated sulfuric acid. But this can make a limescale headache even bigger. When adding sulfuric acid to calcite-clogged pipes, you’re going to end up turning your leachate lines into gypsum (or calcium sulfate). That’s a million times worse than even the worst limescale problem!

Power plants (and any associated landfills) provide an additional challenge. Each involve massive amounts of water. What’s more, they share a symbiotic relationship with regard to methane gas. Power plants pay landfills for their methane gas. When their leachate lines become clogged, methane metering from the landfill slowly chokes off — along with the amount of revenue going to the landfill from the power plant. That’s a direct result of letting calcium carbonate build up and going unchecked in a landfill leachate collection system. 

Certain chemical descalers are not only safe, but also dissolve mineral deposits extremely fast. For example, Goodway’s Scalebreak Liquid Descaler is biodegradable and dissolves calcium, lime, rust and other deposits from your systems. This particular descaler can be applied in a variety of environments that contain different materials, including steel, brass, copper, plastic and rubber. Thanks to Goodway’s customizable capabilities, Scalebreak products include special formulas specifically for stainless steel, maritime applications and potable water systems. Goodway also offers alkaline neutralizing crystals which allows lowering descaling acidity to meet your needs.

 Not only will specialized chemical descalers make systems operate more efficiently in the here and now, they will also increase the overall life of your systems with efficient and non-interrupted operation.

In the end, removing calcite from leachate lines requires customizable chemical liquid solutions for descaling — and maybe an aspirin or two if you’ve put it off for a while.

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How Chemical Descalers Clean and Maintain Boilers, Chillers and Cooling Towers

In this “Just Venting Podcast,” Ray Field, the Director of Goodway Liquid Solutions, discusses the physical and financial impact of scale build-up on boilers, chillers and cooling towers. Ray also provides tips on how to avoid expensive repairs, improve energy efficiency and decrease electrical costs by implementing an effective maintenance plan.

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