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A rude awakening

retiredguy Member Posts: 906
edited March 2021 in Strictly Steam
Anyone interested in viewing the results and report of a boiler explosion due to very poor maintenance, can search for "the Dana Corporation June 18 2007. I saw this same poor maintenance many times and was told by the building owner that our maintenance program was way too expensive and that they would call when there was a problem. Well, i guess that the Dana Corporation finally had to call someone.

I was involved in at least 3 boiler explosions and witnessed melt-downs of steel boiler fire tubes, tube sheets, and stay-bolts, and the melting of boiler sections of at least 3 H B Smith cast iron boilers due to mistakes or poor maintenance. What does it take for people to get some common sense.


    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,841
    Does Tennessee mandate annual state inspections? If not, maybe they should. 
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,543

    From what I saw in the report it looks like they do but some inspections were not done. The insurance company and maintenance personal failed miserably. Both ends of the boiler blew 100 feet away. One man in the boiler room had 75% burns. Lucky no one else was hurt

    MA has always required a licensed fireman on duty 24/7 if there is pressure on the gauge your in the boiler room and their must be a bathroom there.

    Some think it's stupid and want to change the law. This is for steam over 15 psi
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,843

    ...... What does it take for people to get some common sense.

    That would require fixing stupid.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,583
    Our philosophy is that the boiler room must be maintained to be the safest room in the building.

    That said, It is really hard work, sometimes tedious, and expensive. Those three things make it easy to ignore and even avoid the boiler room.

    Some people don't realize that steam is what made Mt St Helens blow up. Rain water hitting hot lava, building pressure under a dome of hardened lava.

    Recently, I think in St Louis, a boiler blew. It was captured on a nearby security camera. It launched through the roof and crashed through the roof of another building killing people. I think I timed it at seven seconds going up and coming down. That was a lot of hang time!

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,669
    It takes putting people in prison when it happens.

    Also, that is my birthday.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,627
    mattmia2 said:

    It takes putting people in prison when it happens.

    Also, that is my birthday.

    I dunno. Somehow, I get the feeling that the bean counters, c-level execs, board members, etc. who are running the show aren't the ones who would be going to prison. Then again, I could be mistaken.

    & Happy Birthday!

    delta T
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,669
    The board members are the ones that ultimately are responsible for the decision and are the ones that should be made responsible...

    I mean 6/18 is my birthday, the date of the explosion.
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 1,007
    Most of you have seen my warnings about low pressure gauges being permanently installed without protection. I fear some of the OPs are not technically inclined and have no appreciation for the risk, even though it is minimal, but not zero.

    The experienced guys on this site have plenty of experience and can provide sound recommendations for such things, hopefully at little to no cost.

    I encourage all to speak up when someone uninformed wants to do something that is too risky.


    Steaming At Mohawk
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,215
    Mattmia, I agree. However, its going to take the success of the current social and economic revolutions that are just starting to brew before that happens. When you have systems that are purposefully putting police and other communitys at odds, moving the publics focus of crime from "street crime" to the massive corporate crime that is occurring every day is tough to do. It's the classic diversionary tactic, provide something else for the public to focus on, so they don't notice the massive crime occurring everyday in thier midst. Dr. King expressed it very clearly in his conversation with his jailers that have been recorded.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    delta T
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 887
    Luckily I have never been involved with a boiler explosion.
    I am retired from the NYCHA 29 years, I was the Lic. Master Plumber plate 492 responsible for work that 12 supervisors of plumbers and 150 plumbers and and helpers did in our plant that housed 250,000 people over the five Boroughs of NYC.

    One day before thanksgiving in 1987 at Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn New York in the high rise building where two 300 horse power boilers were being replaced boiler #1 melted down. Cause of the melt down was improperly wired LWCF and feed combination fortunately the firematic shut down the burner, but that baby was installed in wrong place or the cable to the burner was not installed correctly.

    Again fortunately the boiler operated at 8 Psi and the 3 boiler safety valves blew.
    This saved the building and the tenants from drastic harm.

    The contractor was supposed to supply a fireman to operate the boiler room while under construction but no one was on duty when the melt down occurred.

    I was tasked to get heat for the building ASAP. Working for a big agency and having to purchase many things on special order I had many contacts out in the supply house and mechanical fields.

    So I rented 250 H.P. mobile boiler and with my staff of plumbers, welders and electricians installed the boiler and had it fired up for thanksgiving eve.

    What was really nasty about this job was, I did not get three bids from vendors to rent a boiler at $10,000 per month or have the authority in writing to employ 14 men (HA staff) around the clock and for the next three months man the temp boiler 24/7 with my plumbers and electricians.

    Amazingly the contractor was not sued for not supplying a fireman to watch and operate the plant while the boilers were being replaced. Oh I forgot to say both boilers had be removed and replaced.

    Government works in funny ways, the doers get punished and the incompetent are rewarded.

    One can ask Dan about the New York City Housing Authority, he helped me out with high rise hot water heating problems and did some teaching for the heating section of the Housing Authority,

    CLambAlan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,478
    The sad truth is - Its not what you know and how well you do it, it's who you know that makes unacceptable work just fine and dandy. Thank God nobody was hurt.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846

    What does it take for people to get some common sense.

    They can have some of mine. I got some I haven't even used yet!
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24