Any boiler operators here?

Discussion in 'The Water Cooler' started by slickbilly-d, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. slickbilly-d

    slickbilly-d Weekend Warrior

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    I’m a boiler operator at Indiana University, and while setting here on my 3rd 16 hour shift of the week, I got to wondering.... I wonder how other plants have their shift schedules set up and overtime works.

    We work 6 days and then have two days off, and our days off rotate through the week. So week one is Monday Tuesday off, then the next week I’d have Tuesday Wednesday. This progresses through the week, until the sixth and seventh week and they are three day weekends. Fri sat sun....sat sun mon...then it starts back at Monday Tuesday.
     
  2. Shocker99

    Shocker99 Grizzled Veteran

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    Not a boiler operator I’m in electrical dept. but work with our building maintenance who consist of millwrights and stationary engineers. We work straight overlapping 10hr shifts. A,B,C shift with a weekend shift also. Weekend shift is 2 shifts 12 hrs. You work 5 16’s? That’s brutal


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  3. slickbilly-d

    slickbilly-d Weekend Warrior

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    If we pick up an overtime or if somebody calls in, we work 16 hours. We have 3 shifts, midnight to 8am, 8am-4pm, 4pm-12am. I’m on the 4-12 shift, but like last night, somebody on the midnight-8 shift called in, so I worked 4pm-8am. We run a minimum 4 man shift while burning coal or when 3 or more boilers are on.

    I have worked 5-16’s though. It’s not safe! Lol
     
  4. gri22ly

    gri22ly Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Not a boiler operator, but work 12-14 hours a day, 12 days straight, then get 1 or 2 days off. Then right back at it for 12 more days. Been averaging around 75 hours a week for 15 year's now.
     
  5. slickbilly-d

    slickbilly-d Weekend Warrior

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    Ain’t nobody got time for that! I was just wondering what other plants do.
     
  6. Shocker99

    Shocker99 Grizzled Veteran

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    Our shifts just run an hr ahead of yours. 1st(7am-3pm) 2nd(3pm-11pm) 3rd(11pm-7am). We run very short handed though so a lot of guys get mandatory 12 hr shifts mixed in along with weekends and staying late if something going on. Avg. maintenance guys around here is 60-70 hrs/wk.


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  7. mhouck06

    mhouck06 Weekend Warrior

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    I'm an Operator at a Power Plant, our schedule is as follows.

    We work 12's

    4 Days On
    7 Off
    4 Nights On
    3 Off
    3 Days On
    1.5 off
    3 Nights On
    3 off
    Then back to the 4 days leading into the 7 day break

    Its a 28 day rotation, we work 14 of them.. So really we work 14 of 21 days and then get 7 off.

    I really like the schedule, especially when you take vacation on the 4 days or 4 nights before the 7, you have 14 days off only using 4 vacation days.

    We very rarely stay and work later than the 12 hour shift. If guys are needed they are called in for the whole 12 hour shift. Our call out sheet goes in order of hours worked + hours refused. Least total hours gets called first.
     
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  8. slickbilly-d

    slickbilly-d Weekend Warrior

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    How many person per shift minimum do you guys run and how many total operators do you have?
     
  9. mhouck06

    mhouck06 Weekend Warrior

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    We run with 4 operators and 2 control room operators per shift. 4 shifts total. One of the operators is a fully qualified Control Room Operator and fills in for vacation and helps with start up or shut down. So right now we have 16 operators and 8 control room operators.
     
  10. slickbilly-d

    slickbilly-d Weekend Warrior

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    That sounds like a pretty good deal. We run 4 operator minimum on coal and 3 people if we’re on gas with one or two boilers. We also picked up operating chilled water....I’m just trying to see if we’re stretched thin compared to other plants, and even though we’re a small plant, it sounds like we are, especially trying to keep all our late 1940’s and 50’s technology up and running.
     
  11. mhouck06

    mhouck06 Weekend Warrior

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    Yeah we are a 2 boiler / 1 turbine plant. Full load is 525 mw which is small for our area. The older coal plants are around 1000-1500. We were built in the mid 2000s and burn waste coal. A lot of our plant is automated so we definitely have a smaller compliment than other coal plants around here.
     
  12. Shocker99

    Shocker99 Grizzled Veteran

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    Mhouck that’s what the steel mill shifts are like around here. I wouldn’t even know my own name if I rotated like that


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  13. mhouck06

    mhouck06 Weekend Warrior

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    It definitely took a lot to get used to! The hardest part for me is getting the sleep in that I need. Our shifts run 5 to 5 so on daylight I am getting up at 3:45am. That starts to wear down on you after a while.
     
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  14. KY72

    KY72 Weekend Warrior

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    I work a very similar schedule to mhouck06. Unit Operator at a 9 unit 150 mw per unit plant. Off time is great. Otherwise it can play havoc on your sleep cycle.
     
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  15. slickbilly-d

    slickbilly-d Weekend Warrior

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    We stay on a shift for a year. We have a little upright carrier micro turbine but mainly we supply steam to heat campus. I was a millwright for 7 years before getting a boiler operator job....loved it, just too much traveling
     
  16. Shocker99

    Shocker99 Grizzled Veteran

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    Yea I got to make my hrs so I work 6am-230pm. But 8 isn’t enough to get my work done so I come in early rather than stay late and fight traffic. Alarm goes off at 3am and I clock in at 430am. It’s rough.


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  17. kb1785

    kb1785 Weekend Warrior

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    Don't mean to hijack the thread and perhaps we could move this topic but you guys working with boilers and turbines in power plants have some experience that could answer some rudimentary questions for me. I purchased a piece of property that I acquired with three producing gas wells on and have been flirting with the idea about installing a micro gas turbine in a co-generation application (making electricity and using the exhaust to heat water for heating water used for residential purposes). Kind of an off-grid type of application. I have looked at some of the micro-turbines such as Capstone but they are inordinately expensive and have looked at trying to build based upon the DIY turbo style turbines. The Capstone's use a high frequency generator with inverters to convert to usable electricity. Just looking for some ideas and if I am completely off base or out to lunch with my musings.
     
  18. slickbilly-d

    slickbilly-d Weekend Warrior

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    We have a Carrier micro steam driven turbine at IU. It’s the only experience I’ve had with micro turbines. We’ve had many problems with it, but it’s a lot different than the capstones.
     
  19. boilerman

    boilerman Weekend Warrior

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    Boiler operator here as well. Our shift runs 2 days(12 hrs), 2 nights(12 hrs) and 4 days off. It is a 6 week rotation., so you get weekends off for a bit then you work some as well. Pretty good shift in my opinion as it works good for hunting season as less vacation used in prime time hunts.

    We have 4 operators on and a maintenance guy with a boiler ticket so that also helps with vacation and overtime. The chief will cover a few shifts but not many. We also have a few spares that are retired but cover the odd shift.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018

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