Starting up a boiler can be just like landing a plane

Starting up a boiler can be just like landing a plane

Even though I’d never been in anything like this situation before, the sick feeling was familiar. It was like trying to get a boiler to start up when: The building owner or homeowner is screaming “Emergency!” (I know, no one ever died from a boiler going down, but try to tell the owner that.) Whatever is wrong shouldn’t be happening. It’s the middle of the night. There is no instruction manual or troubleshooting chart. There’s no one else around, so it’s all up to me. Yikes!

Photo: iStock/ThinkStock.

It was 2 a.m., and I was working my all night shift in emergency communications — known as MacOps — at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. As usual a

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