industrial boiler maintenance man working on some pipes

Industrial Boiler Maintenance 101: Everything You Need To Know

09/12/2022

An industrial boiler is one of the most valuable assets for any warehouse, manufacturing facility, or large building. These commercial boilers are essential components to the daily operation of these types of facilities. Regular industrial boiler maintenance is the best way to protect this sizable investment. By carrying out frequent inspections you can identify issues before they result in a total failure.

Most building owners and managers understand why commercial boiler maintenance routine is valuable. It allows you to keep your boiler operating as safely and efficiently as possible. If you’re interested in finding out how to inspect and maintain your boiler – you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss industrial boiler care and why it’s important.

Why Is Industrial Boiler Maintenance Important?

Depending on the type of boiler you have at your facility, it will need an internal and external inspection every 12 to 24 months. These mandatory periodic inspections are required by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

For certain types of boilers, your insurance company may require more frequent inspections. It’s important to understand that these inspections are the bare minimum for boiler inspections.

By inspecting your boiler more regularly you can identify problems early on. Most industrial boiler problems do not happen overnight and can be easily identified during an inspection. This allows you to do preventative maintenance and avoid the inconvenience involved with a lengthy repair.

How to Inspect Your Industrial Boiler?

When you consider the costs involved with replacing an industrial boiler it makes sense to conduct a daily inspection. This is particularly important for commercial building owners and senior living facilities managers that have a responsibility to keep their buildings safe and warm.

To find out the temperature ranges of your boiler and what components you should routinely inspect check your manufacturers’ guide. They will provide a detailed recommendation covering what you should monitor.

As a general guideline you can follow these steps:

  1. Check the display panel for error codes
  2. Make sure the boiler temperature, pressure, and exhaust are within limits
  3. Confirm the venting system is free of any obstructions
  4. Look through the gauge glass to check the water level
  5. Ensure the chemical feed system has sufficient water softener and dealkalizer
  6. Examine all the piping for leaks and rust
  7. Verify the relief valve is not leaking
  8. Inspect the burners’ diffuser for cracking or deformation
  9. Listen for any unusual noises or vibrations

Once you become familiar with how your boiler looks during normal operation it’s much easier to identify any abnormalities. It’s a good idea to keep a daily record of the temperature, pressure, and how much fuel your boiler has used. This makes it easier to notice any deviation from the normal parameters.

As soon as you notice any changes you should contact a professional boiler maintenance service to inspect your boiler.

How to Do Simple Boiler Maintenance

When your boiler is not in use you can open the lower blowdown and column drain valves. This water has the highest concentration of impurities and you need to regularly remove it from the boiler system. By doing this you can help prevent the build-up of scale.

It’s also a good idea to frequently test the quality of your water. Take a water sample from your boiler and have it tested to make sure that the chemical levels are within the desired range.

You can also test that your boiler is responding in the correct way to any malfunctions. Check the low-water-cutoff-control (LWCO) by draining water out of the blowdown valve. Your burner should automatically stop before you lose sight of the water through the gauge glass.

Common Issues Associated with Industrial Boilers

The most frequent problem with boilers is usually water leaks. These may occur in the piping or from the main tank. Whenever this happens you need to find out what the problem is immediately to prevent further damage. Leaks often indicate a corrosion problem.

If you find that your boiler is producing less heat and using more fuel than normal you may have a build-up of hard scale. This forms around the internal pipes of your boiler and reduces their ability to transfer heat.

To prevent scale and sludge from appearing in your boiler system you need to filter the impurities out of your water. Once scale has started to form the best way to clean it is by using a water treatment solution. There are a few different ways to remove scale depending on how severe the problem is.

Scale often forms around the temperature probes and sensors in a boiler. This can lead to serious problems if they cannot accurately measure the water temperature. If you suspect that your boiler may have a build-up of scale it’s vital to have it professionally inspected.

Benefits of Contracting an Industrial Boiler Service Professional

Your boiler plays a vital role in keeping your business and building operating smoothly. Boiler failures are seriously disruptive and can be dangerous. Let’s look at some of the reasons why appointing a boiler service professional is money well spent.

The biggest advantage of having your boiler regularly inspected is to mitigate the chance of ever having an emergency break-down. This can be catastrophic for your building and make it impossible to run your business.

It’s also crucial to keep your boiler operating as efficiently as possible. Boilers consume a huge amount of fuel. An inefficient boiler not only costs more to run but also delivers less heat. Identifying issues before they become a problem can only happen with regular professional inspections. By keeping your boiler operating in good condition you can greatly increase its lifespan. Well-maintained industrial boilers can last for up to 25 years. Whereas a poorly maintained boiler will need replacing after as little as 15 years.

With replacement costs of between $25,000 and $60,000, it’s worth making sure you get the most out of your boiler. Regular professional boiler maintenance can save you a considerable amount of money in the long term.

Are You Looking for an Industrial Boiler Maintenance Service?

If you’re in need of a reliable boiler maintenance service provider then Industrial Mechanical Contractors has you covered. With over 50 years of experience, we have the knowledge and skills for all your industrial boiler maintenance requirements. We work with all types of boiler manufacturers and pride ourselves on first-time fixes for all service calls.

You can contact us online or call us at 800-280-IMCI. We’re open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week – including holidays – to assist you with any boiler problems.

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