Asking the question “how long does a boiler last” will get you a long answer. While there are certainly averages and industry benchmarks to aim for, many factors affect the boiler’s lifetime, from capacity, materials, maintenance, and more. Read on to learn about the average lifetime of boilers, how to maximize your boiler lifetime and efficiency, and when it may be time to consider a replacement.
The Average Industrial Boiler’s Lifetime
Industrial boilers can withstand the rigor of industrial applications for years without issue. You can expect about 15-20 years of performance from your boiler, and if you treat it well, that lifetime can increase even more. The following factors are critical in determining if your boiler will stand the test of time:
- Correct size/capacity
- Correct installation
- Regular maintenance
Extending Your Boiler’s Lifetime
Like any machine, your boiler will start to lose efficiency and require maintenance as time goes on. By following these three tips, you can get the most out of your boiler system.
Install Properly with a Reputable Contractor
The high upfront costs of purchasing a brand new boiler are not fun. And neither are the costs of paying to install it in your facility. But, the alternative can be even pricier. Beyond the safety issues that can arise, an incorrectly installed boiler can dramatically alter the performance of your boiler and decrease its lifetime.
When installing a new boiler, choose a reputable contractor with experience in boiler installation who will do their due diligence to ensure that your boiler and its equipment are good to go.
Choose a Boiler with the Correct Capacity
Boiler capacity indicates how much steam your boiler produces. If you are using your boiler for a relatively small industrial application, you may not need a lot of steam production. But, if your boiler heats a large facility, it may need a much higher capacity.
Making sure your boiler capacity matches the output you require is essential to maximizing the lifetime and efficiency of your system. If your boiler is too small, pushing it to maximum output at all times can put a strain on your boiler and reduce its lifetime. On the other hand, if your boiler is too big, you have elevated upfront costs, and this size imbalance can lead to short cycling. Short cycling is when the boiler fires for a short time before turning off, alternating between short bursts of off-and-on states. Short cycling adds wear and tear to your boiler and increases fuel consumption.
Maintain Your Boiler Regularly
Automated cleaning systems like soot blowers that run on differential pressure will ensure that your boiler remains free of soot and other contaminants that can damage the boiler. Leak detection is another crucial process for maintaining your boiler. Testing with a photoreactive powder or a mechanical system that relies on sound frequencies can detect leaks that allow moisture into the boiler, which causes rusting and complications.
When Is It Time to Replace Your Boiler?
Replacing your industrial boiler certainly comes with headaches, from the cost of the system, installation costs, downtime, and more. However, the safety and efficiency of your plant rely on optimal boiler performance. Here are two examples of when it may be time to replace your boiler.
Constantly Paying for Repairs
Nearly every boiler will need replacement parts or repairs at some point. But, if you’ve noticed that your boiler is constantly needing repairs, then perhaps it is time to look for a new boiler. Of course, boiler replacement will have a much higher price tag than a simple repair or a new part, but spending significant resources and time on repairs and part replacements may be a more costly option than simply purchasing a new boiler.
The Boiler is Old
We get it – if it’s still working fine, why replace it? But if your boiler is fifteen years old, twenty years, or more, it may be worth evaluating to see if a new boiler would be the right choice. For example, new boiler technology is constantly improving the efficiency of boiler systems. Running an old system may work fine, but it may cost you significantly more than operating a current boiler system. Also, even if it is operational, years of combustion byproducts and other particulates could decrease the boiler’s efficiency.
Speak with the Boiler Experts
Industrial Boilers America is a manufacturer with over 20 years of experience developing and installing industrial boilers, heaters, blowers, fans, and auxiliary equipment.
Request a quote today to learn about the options for new industrial boilers. Then, let our team handle the hard work so that you can get back to what matters.