The work involves responsibility for monitoring and regulating automatic steam producing boilers. An employee in this class is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of automatic high pressure steam producing boilers at the Onondaga County Correction Facility, or the County District Heating and Cooling Plant. The boilers may be of either the fire tube or water tube design powered by either gas or oil. Internal pressures of the various boilers range from 15 to 250 pounds per square inch depending on assignment. An incumbent in this position is often alone on an assigned shift and, therefore, is vested with the responsibility of monitoring the operating boilers and all auxiliary equipment such as pumps, compressors, generators, and motors for safe and efficient operation, and further, ascertaining whether a problem exists, diagnosing the cause, and correcting the malfunction. Only after the Boiler Operator has performed a range of predetermined tests to no avail is a higher level employee called to review the problem. Work is periodically reviewed through both casual observation of powerhouse operation and specific checks of boiler flame level, and the level, pressure and flow of waters, steam and fuel. Incumbents may also spend some worktime serving apprentices in the areas of plumbing, steamfitting and minor electrical repair work. Supervision is received from a Power Plant Supervisor or a Control Room Supervisor. Supervision may be exercised over a small number of Power Plant Workers. Does related work as required.
Monitors visually gauges and meters on boilers, water tanks, fuel tanks, air compressors, generators, and other boiler room auxiliary equipment for proper boiler flame level and proper level, pressure and flow of water, steam, and fuel (oil or gas), using standard operating procedure and one's own knowledge and judgment to determine safe and efficient operation of equipment.
Corrects routine malfunctions of boiler or auxiliary equipment such as pumps, compressors, generators, and tanks, by manipulating valves to adjust the boiler flame level and the level, flow or pressure of fuel or water.
Removes boiler water samples and applies standard pre-designed chemical tests by adding reagents and observing the results; based upon manufacturer's instructions and the chemical test results, determines the amount of solids, the findings, adds a pre-determined amount of chemical compounds such as caustic soda, sulfite, or phosphates to the boiler-fed water to correct water condition.
Tests boiler and generator alarms and safety control devices by monitoring alarm light board and sound alarms while pushing buttons and manipulating valves to activate the safety controls and alarm systems.
May perform minor preventative maintenance and repair tasks on boilers and auxiliary equipment, such as oiling, changing oil and greasing machine parts, changing belts, nuts, bolts, may repair ruptures in hoses.
Removes sludge and sediment from boilers by opening valves to allow boiler water to flow through the bottom half of boiler to flush out.
Blows soot from water tube boilers through the smoke stack by lowering pressure by manipulating a valve to slowly open steam lines to soot blower to pass steam through the exhaust system.
Reads meters and gauges for the flow and consumption of water, steam and fuel; computes daily usage through simple arithmetic and post readings and amount of usage in the simple log book.
Cleans oil burner atomizer gun by disassembling and cleaning with brushes and a heavy degreaser; may replace boiler tip on the oil burner.
Cleans fuel oil filter daily by dipping in a prepared solution.
On water tube boiler, cleans boiler tubes by driving an air turbine through the tubes; cleans internal feed line, baffle plates and surface blow line by disassembling and scraping with a wire brush; on a fire tube boiler, pushes wire brushes through flues to remove loose soot and accumulated materials; uses a high pressure hose to break away accumulation of chemicals and scale from the water side of the tubes; flushes with low pressure hose to remove vanadium; on all boiler types, visually inspects fire brick for holes, breaks, cracks and may make refractory repairs.
Starts and stops air compressors and water, fuel and vacuum pumps by activating power switch, checks for safe, efficient operation through sight, sound and touch, visually checks oil level, adds oil as necessary, and drains water from compressor as necessary.
May visually monitor the complex's Fire Alarm Light Board and call the proper authority in case of fire alarm.
May occasionally sweep or mop boiler house floor and related areas and must keep assigned areas clean.
May assist higher level personnel in performing building maintenance such as plumbing, steamfitting and minor electrical repairs.
May perform emergency building maintenance on the evening and night shifts, such as emergency electrical or plumbing repairs performed to ensure the personal safety of the facility residents.
When assigned to the Onondaga County Correction Facility:
The Boiler Operator is responsible for hot water type boilers; makes minor adjustments to ventilation system controls; and monitors emergency generation devices.
When assigned to the Onondaga County District Heating & Cooling:
Operates, monitors and performs minor maintenance on steam turbine generator(s) for producing electricity; operates and monitors emergency generators(s); and may maintain pumps, filters, etc. associated with the emergency generator(s).
Good knowledge of the principles and practices of the operation of steam generating and hot water type boilers and auxiliary boiler room equipment such as water, fuel, and vacuum pumps, air compressors, generators and water and fuel tanks.
Good knowledge of the methods, materials and tools used in routine maintenance and repair of boilers and auxiliary boiler room equipment.
Good knowledge of the methods and tools used in the routine repair and maintenance of associated electrical and mechanical equipment.
Good knowledge of the occupational hazards and safety precautions of the work.
Working knowledge of steam turbines and generators.
Ability to perform routine repair and preventative maintenance tasks to the boilers and auxiliary boiler room equipment.
Ability to perform moderate to heavy manual labor.
Ability to use a variety of hand and power tools and motorized equipment.
Ability to post basic information such as usage of water, steam and fuel on a simple, pre-printed log.
Ability to understand and to carry out written and oral instructions.
Physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.
Six (6) months of work experience, or its part time equivalent, in the operation or maintenance of steam and/or high temperature hot water pressure boilers or auxiliary lines conveying steam or high temperature hot water and equipment rated at 15 pounds per square inch or more.