Freezing conditions pose a risk to boiler equipment not properly protected from harsh elements. To ensure that your unit continues to operate in freezing temperatures, Nationwide Boiler, Fremont, Calif., recommends the following:
  • Enclose both the front and rear of the boiler area and use an external heat source to minimize freezing conditions.
  • Install heat tracing with insulation to protect exposed stagnant water lines.
  • Use an appropriate heat tracing method (electric or steam tracing) to all your main lines and piping components. In freezing temperatures, the following lines should be heat-traced even if the boiler is not in operation: sensing lines (steam drum to CMR, high steam and steam gauge); auxiliary low water cut-off; water column; and level-control blowdown. Depending on the length of piping runs, the main and continuous blowdown should also be heat traced.
  • Drain the lines and fill them with a 50/50 water/glycol solution, making sure to reconnect the lines.
  • Completely drain the boiler and stagnant water lines when extended boiler downtime is expected.
The above are recommendations, however, Nationwide urges operators to use sound engineering judgment whenever there is worry that equipment may be freeze damaged.