Keeping a boiler properly maintained is important for avoiding major repair bills, and is also important for safety. While boiler accidents are rare, they do happen if a boiler is neglected or is operated with faulty parts. Maintaining a boiler is not difficult but it is something that needs consistent attention, even when the boiler is not in use. If you own or manage a facility that uses a boiler for heat, consider some important tips for keeping it in good repair.
1. Run it in during the off-season
As with a car, the internal parts of a boiler can settle and allow for dust and sediment to collect if not run consistently. This in turn can cause major wear and tear once you start to operate it. When you put a car in storage it's good to run it on occasion so that you circulate the oil and other fluids and keep it in good repair. Do the same for your boiler; even during the summer months when it's not in use, turn it on for ten to fifteen minutes once per week and let it run. This will keep the fluids circulating and keep dust and debris from settling on the boiler's parts. In turn, you may see it needs less maintenance overall.
2. Inspect it for cracks and leaks every month
Cracks and leaks are the most common causes of boiler accidents, as steam and pressure build up inside the boiler and the cracks and leaks can then allow it to explode along these weaknesses. The best way to check for cracks and leaks is to fire up your boiler and let it get warm. You can then note if you see water or steam coming from any area and can very carefully run your hand along the outside of the unit, just a small distance away. If you notice a very hot area, this may indicate a crack and it should be checked immediately by boiler professionals like Schweitzer Brothers Inc.
3. Don't treat the boiler room like a storage room
It may be tempting to store items around your boiler simply because it's unused space but often a boiler is installed with a certain needed clearance around the whole unit. Never put anything up against the boiler or even near it since it does get so warm, and this can cause a number of items to melt or conduct heat back to the boiler. This can put undue pressure on the boiler and cause damage. Keep the entire unit clear and keep the boiler room clean to reduce the risk of damage to your unit.