Renting a Temporary Boiler? Steer Clear of These 5 Red Flags

A temporary boiler rental can be a quick way to keep your operations on track while repairing or replacing your permanent steam plant. As you look into the numerous options for renting a temporary boiler, you'll want to steer clear of any rentals that show signs of impending trouble. The following lists 5 common issues to be aware of when choosing the right rental boiler for your facility's needs.

Older Boiler Units

While most boiler rental companies invest in the latest and newest equipment for both safety and reliability reasons, others may hold on to their equipment to amortize purchasing costs and maximize revenue. Some companies may even purchase older boilers and convert them into portable units. It's not out of the ordinary to see a temporary boiler rental that's several decades old.

To avoid problems that come with operating older boilers, you should opt for the newest available boilers the rental company has on offer. If there are any boiler log sheets available, you'll want to go through these to see if there are any long-term issues with the boiler that should be addressed.

Units with Signs of Rust and Corrosion

When there's rust and corrosion on a temporary boiler, it's usually a sign of either advanced age or poor maintenance. Depending on the conditions and the age of the boiler, small patches of surface rust can easily progress into widespread rust and corrosion that threatens the structural integrity of the boiler itself. This can pose a dangerous threat to workers and other people in the vicinity, since a boiler explosion can cause severe damage as well as severe injury.

It's important to inspect your temporary boiler prior to signing the rental agreement. If you spot a unit that has signs of visible rust (such as rust trails and bubbles beneath the paint), you should refrain from using it and request a unit that's in better condition.

Units Featuring Wood Walls and Flooring

It's not unusual to come across a temporary boiler that's been built into a converted semi-truck trailer or van body. It's a relatively cheap and expedient solution, but it's also one that comes with its own problems.

These boilers tend to retain the wood walls and flooring that originally came with the semi-truck trailer. All-wood construction can pose a fire hazard due to its flammability, which in turn could pose a fire hazard to your entire facility. For this reason, it's usually a good idea to stick with temporary boilers that offer metal walls and flooring.

Units without Exterior Flanged Connections

Exterior flanged connections make it easier for workers to connect portable boilers to local water sources as well as structures that require steam and hot water. However, some temporary boilers may not have that feature available, which could force your workers to rely on internal flanged connections instead. These connections are not as convenient to use as their exterior counterparts and they may take longer to set up, which could mean additional downtime for your facility.

Units without Combustion Air Louvers

To keep a boiler operating safely and efficiently, it's important to maintain a steady source of fresh air. Most modern boilers feature combustion air louvers that allow the unit to source air from beyond the boiler enclosure. However, many older units may not have provisions for safely drawing combustion air into the boiler. As a result, these units are often forced to operate with their enclosure doors open, making it harder for workers to navigate through the boiler area and other nearby spaces.

To reduce wasted space and keep your workers moving as freely as possible, it's important to choose temporary boilers that come with combustion air louvers for boiler ventilation.