In the boiler room at a local preschool during a recent energy assessment, HEET Building Assessor Jason Taylor didn’t like the look of something about the building’s steam heat.
When a steam system runs out of water, the boiler can blow up. This boiler’s low water cut-offs were both filled with sludge, so they couldn’t shut the system off if it ran out of water.
Jason couldn’t see the sludge, but he’d seen that the water sight glass was empty—a bad sign. The building’s maintenance man had hurt his back a few months before, so the system’s weekly service hadn’t been done in a long time.
“There’s no water in this system,” Jason said and called a plumber.
Anyone else might have assumed the valves to the sight glass were turned off. What were the chances he’d be looking at the sight glass just when the system ran out of water? Anyone else would have continued with the assessment as usual, but Jason doesn’t let go when he thinks something isn’t right.
Meanwhile, little kids are running through the building. It’s another day at preschool for them, and they’re busy playing.
“The preschool was really glad I called the plumber. They’re cleaning the low water cut-offs weekly now.” Jason also advised them to replace the mechanical cut-offs with electronic ones that only need service once a year.
“I don’t think I saved children’s lives that day but who knows? If the system had operated with low water for while, it might have needed some real expensive repairs.” With his typically mischievous smile, Jason admits, “Of course, I told my wife I saved an entire day care from blowing up.”
We’re lucky to have Jason on our team. His knowledge, attention to detail, and care for others make HEET great.