The Boilers Gauge Glass
The boilers gauge glass or sight glass as some may refer to it is an essential boiler room component. Boiler gauge glasses give operators a visual indication of the boiler’s water level along with an understanding of what’s occurring inside the boiler, or how the boiler is responding to certain changes within the system. The sight glass of a boiler is many times integral to what’s known as the water column and has the primary low-water cut-off installed. The low-water cutoff is what many would hail as the most important of all safety controls within a mechanical room.
A boilers sight glass should be changed at set intervals based on the operating conditions of the boiler. A nice clean fresh looking sight glass tube replaced annually at a minimum is among best practices simply to ensure that a safe and perfectly functioning glass is installed. Gauge glasses can become etched and have weak spots that are hard to notice until it has failed. Etching in a gauge glass can lead to the tube shattering resulting and an unsafe operating condition.
Sight glasses can sometimes become cloudy or stained through operations making the visual indication of the water level difficult or impossible for operators. Sound water treatment along with daily blowdowns are the key to getting the optimum life from an installed gauge glass.
Cutting the Glass
Now that the measurement is taken it’s time to score the glass and make our cut on the boilers gauge glass. A couple of the common methods are the chain-style cutters and a simple spring-loaded wheel cutter. Regardless of the method what’s most important is keeping the line to be scored straight and making a flush cut on the end.
The way that these tools function is to simply weaken the glass in a continuous run. After it’s scored a simple bend should deliver a nice clean break with very little concern of surface loss, fragmentation, or cracking.
After cutting the glass any minor imperfections can be smoothed out with the use of some plumbers cloth. The tube can then be installed and the brass hardware tightened. After opening the valves slowly to allow a steady rise in temperature and pressure. Monitor the tubing for leaks and snug up the brass hardware. If the leak persists, isolate valves and inspect the installation and repeat if necessary.
If you’re looking for any boiler gauge glass parts and accessories or cutting devices, contact Power Mechanical Inc. today. We have thousands of in-stock boiler parts and most are available for immediate shipment.