steam training


            Quite often, today's maintenance managers and maintenance mechanics are overwhelmed by the multitude and complexity of problems which they have inherited.  Faced with more complicated buildings, limited staffing, insufficient funding, and inadequate training, they sometimes resort to stop-gap, quick fix measures to deal with such problems.  Steam related problems are a great example of this scenario.


A dramatic example was an October, 1989 New York City steam expansion joint explosion which killed 3 persons, seriously injured 2 others, and caused tens of millions in property damage, clean up, and relocation costs.  The cause of this catastrophe was failure to blow down a steam main.  This was due to an inoperative blowdown valve which tragically had not been properly maintained.  Numerous other steam explosions have occurred since.

 Two recent ones occurred in 2007.  One was at an electric power plant in Boston where two men were killed.  The other was in Manhattan where another persons was killed and atlest 35 persons were injured. This latter accident was captured on You Tube.  Notice the fantastic steam geyser from many blocks away.  The bottom line is that steam is extremely powerful and it can kill or maim maintenance personnel who have not been properly trained and are not properly focused!  Steam explosions can kill you!

2007 New York City explosion that killed 1 person & injured 35 others.

ny-steam explosion

Much less publicized but much more common and costly than these steam explosions are the steam piping related problems that plague the many thousands of colleges and universities, manufacturing plants, processing plants, military bases, hospitals, and office buildings which utilize steam.  Because inside steam piping problems are typically much more difficult to recognize than dramatic New York City outside steam main explosions, poor steam heating performance is often tolerated with remarks such as that's the way it's always been.  The root causes of steam-related problems and failures frequently go unrecognized and uncorrected.


steam exp


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