How not to fill a boiler with water in a power plant

From: Jannice


I was working as an operator at Hunters Point Power Plant about twenty years ago. My foreman was the stupidist person our crew or I have ever come across.

One of our boilers had been off line for repairs and we were to refill the boiler with distilled water. On the 7th floor is a gauge glass that shows where the water is supposed to kept at. Too little water and the boiler burns up. Too much water and the superheaters will have water in them which is a huge no no. On the roof about 50 feet higher than the water gauge glass on the 7th floor is a water vent to the boiler. Our idiot foreman ordered us to fill the boiler until water came out the water vent on the roof. We did, all of us thinking this guy is crazy but he would not listen when it was suggested that was not how to do it. So at his direct orders we kept filling the boiler and filling the boiler. We never did get water out of the vent on the roof but we did flood the boiler, the superheaters and secondary superheaters. He wasted about ten thousand gallons of distilled water before the main bossed came over and asked how it was going. The foreman explained to the bosses that he was going to get the water to come out of the vent on the roof to make sure the boiler had enough water in it.

What is really maddening. He did not even get in trouble for it. he was a pet of one of the bosses.

The plant dumb operator sat in a chair with the most pleased and surprized look on his face. He said the foreman made him look smart plus a few other things about the foreman.

We spent our time on his watch in disbelief at the stupid things he did constantly.