A PERFECT STORM
What started out as the perfect job, suddenly morphed into a perfect storm.
Anybody can look good when things are going well, but trust and respect are earned – and reputations validated – through rapid service response at critical times.
W. C. Rouse & Son, a boiler room equipment and service provider based in North Carolina, was awarded a contract to replace three aging water tube boilers at Presbyterian Hospital in uptown Charlotte. The hospital selected high efficiency Superior Boiler 750 HP Super Seminole High Pressure Scotch Marine boilers. The first two boilers were successfully installed and performed per specifications, and a third boiler was planned for a future installation.
At this point, it was blue skies and vapor trails. Then came an approaching perfect storm which would be joined by an occurrence never seen before.
On Friday, December 18, 2009, a weather system with below-freezing temperatures and snow began to move into the Charlotte area. A painter working in the central energy plant of the hospital draped plastic sheeting over one of the newly operating boilers. The plastic sheeting was sucked into the fan causing the boiler to backfire. Human error. Fortunately, no one was injured, and the boiler maintained steam pressure, but there was significant damage to the gas train and trim.
This incident left the hospital dependent on only one functional boiler to fire the entire hospital with 18-20 degree temperatures forecasted for that night and throughout the weekend.
After consulting with W. C. Rouse & Son’s branch manager, a decision was made to not immediately repair the compromised boiler, but to ensure safety with a quicker solution – doing an emergency replacement with the third Superior boiler that was on the property awaiting installation.
The W. C. Rouse & Son service team immediately jumped into action by coordinating needed resources and an expert service team from their Charlotte, Greensboro and Columbia offices. They manned the job continuously from Friday to Monday morning – 72 hours straight, and had fire in the third boiler on Sunday.
Result – the first Superior boiler fired at 100% continuously through the whole weekend, and patients, staff and visitors throughout Presbyterian Hospital were able to weather the storm without experiencing any disruption.