Boiler Tube Cleaning Services

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Boiler Tube Cleaning Services

Regular boiler cleaning can increase the efficiency rate of your entire plant’s infrastructure. Thorough cleaning can preserve the materials inside the cylindrical surface, reduce fuel consumption and extend the tube’s life.

Different boiler tube cleaning methods may be employed based on whether you have a firetube or watertube boiler. When cleaning firetube pipes, industrial companies use soot blowers, often adding environmentally friendly equipment like scrubbers before removing the soot inside the pipes.

With water boiler tubes, boiler tube cleaning methods can include brushes, hoses and other equipment. Water tubes have bends throughout their structure and scales that need removal, making boiler cleaning more of a challenge. Technicians will often use water treatment to clean the scale deposits.

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What Is a Boiler?

Boiler tubes are encased units that allow combustion heat to be transferred into water until it becomes heated water or steam. These vital parts of your HRSG system make the hot water or steam usable for transferring heat to a process.

The boiler tubes within your HRSG are arranged in racks that form boiler modules. Each module is categorized as either economizers, evaporators, super-heaters or reheaters and can be positioned vertically or horizontally within your system.

As mentioned above, there are two types of tubular boilers — firetubes and watertubes. In a watertube boiler system, water travels through the tubes and is heated until it becomes high-pressure steam. Firetube boilers are surrounded by water, and hot gases travel through the tubes.


What Is Industrial Boiler Tube Cleaning?

Industrial boiler tube cleaning aims to safely remove all deposits from inside the boiler tubes. In higher-pressure boilers, copper and magnetite are removed. Hard adherent scales like calcium carbonate are generally removed in low-pressure boilers.

Alkaline cleaning solutions composed of a surfactant and trisodium phosphate are often employed before boiler cleaning. These solutions eradicate oil-based compounds from tube surfaces and clear away materials that may interfere with the boiler cleaning chemicals and deposits.


Why Would You Need Boiler Cleaning? 

Regular industrial boiler tube cleaning will improve your boiler’s economic and technical performance, lower operating costs and fuel consumption and promote longer heating system life.

Annual boiler tube cleaning will dissolve and remove the rust, magnesium, calcium and other deposits while keeping your boiler’s components safe. 



Boiler Tube Ice Blasting

Over several decades, multiple methods have been developed for industrial boiler cleaning. While there are many effective methods, the industry’s most efficient and environmentally friendly method is dry ice blasting.

The process of dry ice blasting begins with producing frozen CO2 pellets, also known as dry ice. At Environmental Alternatives, Inc. (EAI), we generate these pellets on-site wherever we’re cleaning, allowing us to achieve a more thorough and effective cleaning. We use compressed air to blast the dry ice pellets onto the surface of your boiler tubes.

When the dry ice contacts your boiler tubes, they sublimate and lift contaminants away from the tubes. The gas from the ice evaporates, and we use a negative air recovery system to clean up the debris removed from the surface of your tubes. This process produces no secondary waste and is non-damaging to your system.


How Often Should You Perform Boiler Tube Cleaning?

How frequently you need to clean your boiler tubes depends on several factors, including how heavily you use your HRSG system, which types of tubes you have and the quality of your water or fuel.

Watertubes develop scale when water is heated and the suspended solids in the water precipitate out, adhering to the heating surface. A well-managed water treatment system can minimize these scale deposits and reduce how often you need to clean your boiler tubes. Similarly, firetubes can develop greater scale deposits more quickly with waste heat fired on lesser fuels. If your system runs on these lower-quality fuels, you may need to have your system cleaned more often.

The best way to determine how often you need to clean your boiler tubes is to conduct regular boiler tube efficiency testing and monitor your results.


Boiler Tube Efficiency Testing

Because built-up soot and scale can greatly impact your boiler’s efficiency, regular efficiency testing is critical to your maintenance program. These tests can help monitor multiple values from your system to indicate when your boiler needs a thorough cleaning.

Electronic combustion efficiency testers are considered the standard for a boiler maintenance program, though there is a wide range of models available to test many different values, including carbon dioxide, oxygen levels, net stack temperature, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and excess air.

Monitoring and comparing data from these tests can help you pinpoint maintenance requirements and ensure your boiler is clean and operating at maximum efficiency.

Why Should You Come to EAI to Clean Your Boiler Tubes?

Environmental Alternatives, Inc. (EAI) uses state-of-the-art equipment and technology to deliver customized solutions for your requirements. Since 1989, our team has been committed to ensuring optimal safety and productivity by providing quality turnkey industrial plant cleaning services.

With many reoccurring customers throughout New England and the Northeastern U.S., the EAI Industrial Cleaning Team has been successful in supporting outage and shutdown projects for various applications. Our client list includes leading industrial companies, federal government agencies and private and public energy utilities. We have cleaned a wide range of different boilers, conveyor belts, oven interiors and components.

In all cases, dry ice blast cleaning has proved to be a viable alternative to other cleaning methods to remove carbon deposits, flux, weld splatter, urethanes, plastics, general surface grime and other materials.

Benefits of investing in boiler tube cleaning services from EAI include:

  • Highly efficient cleaning capabilities.
  • No confined space entry required.
  • Decreased hazard exposure.
  • Precise tube indexing.


Contact EAI for Boiler Tube Cleaning Services Today 

Regularly cleaning your boiler will help you get the most out of its performance. Doing so can ensure it continues operating at maximum efficiency for as long as possible.

If you’re interested in industrial boiler tube cleaning services, look no further than EAI. Reach out to us online to learn more about our boiler tube cleaning methods or get yours serviced today.

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