Boiler sludge.

It’s something that any boiler deals with over time, and part of a well-rounded maintenance effort is ensuring that it is properly managed and eliminated. To keep the boiler up and running efficiently and effectively, you’ll need the right tools to get the job done. There are two pieces of equipment that are used for similar purposes yet function very differently: blow down tanks and blow down separators. In this post, we’ll break down the key differences between them both so you can decide what’s best for your boiler.

Blow Down Tanks

Blow down tanks and blow down separators perform alike functions in that they work to receive intermittent blow down to cool materials to a safe temperature for proper disposal. Blow down tanks commonly perform intermittent bottom blow down. This occurs when water is drained from the boiler, and the bottom of the boiler is cleared of the sediment and debris that has settled within it. The blow down tank will then store the water, usually over a six to 12-hour period to allow proper cooling. These tanks tend to have a higher ecological footprint, however, are very effective and designed to meet or even exceed the stringent standards from various governing bodies.

In addition to preventing sediment buildup within the boiler, blow down tanks also help to ensure good steam quality and boiler operations. They do this by meeting specific water quality requirements to reach certain temperature levels.

Blow Down Separators

The biggest difference between blow down tanks and blow down separators is how they both work to cool boiler water. Though smaller in footprint, separators often need to be equipped with a special aftercooler unit to properly cool the boiler water and then route it so that it drains to the outside. They work to immediately dispose of blow down water, as opposed to the six to 12-hour period that blow down tanks use to store and treat the water. There are two types of blow down separators — a boiler blow down and a continuous, or skimmer, blow down. The former drains water out of the bottom of the boiler, which typically works to also rid the boiler of any sludge at the bottom of the tank. Continuous blow down separators work more to maintain a high level of water quality within the boiler.

The Bottom Line

While both blow down tanks and blow down separators work to achieve the same goal of cleaning out the boiler and promoting good water quality, it’s often boiler tanks that offer the better all-around performance. They tend to be more reliable, work better, and ensure that boilers are working effectively for longer. Though they often take up more space on the floor than blow down separators, it’s a small modification for a more effective piece of equipment.

For more information on the difference between the two pieces of equipment, and why blow down tanks are often the preferred option when it comes to keeping boilers working better for longer, contact Rema Dri-Vac today.

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