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What You Should Know About Your Boiler’s Water Level Gage Glass
Water gage glasses continue to be a vital instrument on power boilers that are constructed to comply with the requirements of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ (ASME’s) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. The code requires that all boilers must be equipped with at least one water gage glass for good reason in addition to the other level-indicating instruments operators rely upon from remote control areas.
The gage glass provides a ready determination of the water level for the operator, especially at critical times, including start-up, shutdown, and during testing of low water fuel cutout devices. A gage glass may also serve as a referee in the event two remote level indicators begin to disagree with each other. Causes for a dispute with the displayed level between multiple remote indication systems may include sludge buildup in sensing lines, restricted valves, or a component failure on one of the instruments.
Smart Technology Is Alive In Conductivity Type Boiler Drum Water Level Systems
Over the past 50 years, conductivity probe type level indication systems have become an industry standard for the continuous display of boiler water levels in control rooms around the world. Operators appreciate the reliable independent level indicator, which some users compare to a “traffic light” for monitoring the water level, among all the other plant controls that are monitored in the control room. As soon as the level indication deviates from normal water level, it gets the attention from the operator.
These conductivity type level indication systems often serve the functions of a remote (indirect) drum level indicator and often as an alarm or trip device. Users trust the conductivity probe technology because it is simply based on whether the conductivity probe (sensor) is in contact with water or not. Most modern systems are capable of detecting very low conductivity water.
According to The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, boiler controls account for the highest percentage of total documented boilerand pressure-vessel-inspection violations. There are many reasons for this, including neglect, improper maintenance procedures, isolation or elimination of necessary coderequired instruments and accessories, and piping modifications. This article will discuss proactive steps plant-level users can take to reduce the risk of violations related to water-level instrumentation, which threaten the safety of both personnel and equipment.