Clogged low water fuel cutoff posed danger for mushroom farm


While conducting a physical assessment of an existing high pressure steam boiler at a mushroom farm, a BCSA boiler safety officer discovered that both the low water fuel cutoff chambers were clogged with deposits and the devices were inoperative. It was also discovered that the blowdown piping was partially choked.

Low water cut out is a float device which shuts off fuel supply and burner when boiler water level drops below the lowest safe waterline. Without a properly functioning low water fuel cutoff, the burner can continue to fire allowing for intense heat to build. The result can be catastrophic failure – explosion, fires and possibility of severe injury to personnel and property.

The safety officer recorded a major hazard rating for this non-compliance. The owner was educated on the necessity of keeping low water fuel cutoff chamber and the blow off piping clear by blowing it down and testing it daily. The safety officer reminded the owner of his responsibility for the safe operation of the boiler. A follow up assessment was conducted and the boiler was made compliant.