Deaerator Troubleshooting and Preventative Maintenance

Mitigate risks to your critical equipment

Mitigate risks to your critical equipment


Deaerators play the critical role of removing oxygen and other dissolved gases from steam generator feedwater. The process is essential in minimizing equipment damage and business interruption. When left unchecked, gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide cause corrosion and resultant cracking, hindering a boiler's performance.

Cracks and other problems usually develop along a boiler's welded seams. Common issues include:

  • Excessive pressure fluctuation
  • High oxygen or CO2 levels
  • Low outlet temperatures
  • Unexpected storage tank level excursions
  • Water out of the vent
  • Presence of iron oxide in the deaerator

Once cracks develop, they spread quickly, leading to failure of the deaerator, and a potentially negative impact upon site operations.

White Paper: Assessing & Mitigating Boiler & Machinery Risk

Damaged Deaerators lead to costly problems

TÜV SÜD Global Risk Consultant’s (GRC) recently conducted a Deaerator Study revealing that potential business interruption associated with cracked deaerators totaled $27.7 million for the inspected facilities where cracks were found. That equals to $1.319 million per site. Approximately 4,000 Euro would be needed per site to adequately inspect the deaerators and take corrective action.


deaeratorRegular inspections and preventative maintenance are critical to the continued operability of deaerators and production. The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE)'s 1996 study reported that general cracking was found on 41% of inspected deaerators. NACE recommends frequent deaerator inspections, the first occurring 1-2 years following a deaerator's installation.


Following that, inspections should occur:

  • Every year or less if weld cracks were repaired.
  • One to two years if non-weld defects were repaired.
  • Three to five years if no cracks were found, and no repairs were needed.


TÜV SÜD GRC’s own Deaerator Weld Inspection Study examined 99 facilities within the cocoa, milling, oilseed, salt, starch, and protein industries. It concluded that minor and major forms of cracking had been found on 30% of deaerators.

The purpose of the study was to both expand upon the NACE study, and determine if the NACE study’s findings are still relevant to the global market. We believe the NACE study is indeed still valid, although there is still room for future expansion of this TÜV SÜD GRC study. 

Boiler and Machinery (B&M) RISK EXPERTISE

With data analysis, TÜV SÜD GRC's deaerator study exemplifies how predictive analytics can be key to preventing failure in regular business operations.

Our machinery breakdown services enable your organization to achieve its specific loss prevention goals and objectives. We support you in developing action plans to control losses and avoid breakdowns, while enabling you to identify, track and trend specific concerns. In addition to concentrating your resources on critical needs, we identify ways to improve operational efficiencies.

Contact Us for More Info

Next Steps

Site Selector