The Industrial Boiler Maintenance Checklist
Routine boiler maintenance is strongly recommended and can result in operational efficiencies, cost savings and safer work conditions for your company. Unfortunately, many companies are reactive and wait for something to malfunction before attending to their boilers. While it may seem like an added expense, preventative maintenance practices could reduce boiler emergencies and costs, and moreover, increase the lifetime value of your equipment. If your company can establish routine boiler maintenance into its policies and procedures, then there will be both short and long-term benefits for your business.
How often should a boiler be serviced?
It is important to continually monitor your boiler system to help you identify any unsafe or operational inefficiencies. Preventative maintenance practices can be broken into daily, monthly, periodic and annual services as a means to ensure that your boiler system is performing efficiently and effectively. If you notice a larger issue with your equipment during an inspection, be sure to schedule repair services to handle before it becomes a bigger problem.
Boiler Maintenance Checklist
We created a boiler maintenance checklist that is separated by daily, monthly, periodic (or quarterly) and annual services for you and your team to incorporate into your policies and procedures for preventative maintenance practices. Should you notice any boiler system problems during these routine checks, be sure to contact your service technician to help resolve the issue.
We strongly recommend that you consult the manufacturers’ guide and implement their best practices into your routine maintenance plan. It is also suggested that you should schedule an annual inspection and cleaning with a professional boiler technician. Powerhouse can help you with those services.
There are several things that you should inspect on a daily basis to ensure your boiler system is running smoothly, including:
- Boiler equipment, components and piping for water, leaks or obstruction as well as for unusual vibrations or noises
- Venting system to make sure it is not blocked with debris, ice, or snow
- Boiler’s sight port and examine the flame for any evidence of damages or possible soot
- Exhaust temperature, boiler temperature and boiler pressure to make sure all readings are within the desired range
- Water softener, dealkalizer and chemical feed system to make sure it meets required levels of salts and chemicals
- Display panel for error or service codes
Additionally, we recommend doing a blowdown of the boiler and water column via the bottom blowdown valves and column drain valves, respectively. This helps to remove water that was intentionally removed from the boiler system.
While you may not need to check the following items every day, it is important to keep an eye on these boiler parts every month, including:
- Combustion air piping and flue gas vent piping for leaking, deteriorations or signs of blockage
- Relief valve discharge pipe and boiler relief valve for leaking or weeping
- Burner’s diffuser for burning, cracking, or deforming; burner’s pilot tube for pilot ignition; and burner valves for wear, slip and/or proper action
- Operating and modulating controls for proper set point operation
- Lights and alarms for proper function
During your monthly inspections, we also recommend that you clean the fireside surfaces as required and take water samples for comparison to the manufacturer and local chemical expert to make sure the levels are within the desired range.
Periodic tasks can also be described as quarterly or seasonal inspections. As you would expect, each season brings its own quirks to the boiler systems. We have more information on best practices for boiler procedures in the summer and winter if you are interested, but, in the meantime, we have prepared a list of periodic tasks for you to incorporate into your preventative maintenance plan. Here are things you should check in your quarterly inspection:
- Boiler hydronic piping for leaking
- Burner flames for appearance changes (if flame looks different from normal, then report)
- Condition of wiring and switches
- Gaskets on front and rear doors and replace as necessary
- Water levels using low water cutoff devices to make sure they are within manufacturers recommended levels
- Check pump alignment on all base-mounted pumps
For your periodic maintenance, we suggest that you clean the plugs in the control piping by removing, inspecting, cleaning and then reinstalling to keep things running smoothly. Additionally, you should reset combustion using a combustion analyzer in order to read oxygen, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.
It is more than likely that you will be required to have an annual inspection of your boiler system, so we have listed the final few things you should check and test to be in a good spot, including:
- Heating system and resolve any issues
- Venting system for deteriorations, corrosion, blockages to ensure pipe and joint connections are secure
- Auxiliary systems which provide fuel, air, water, or chemicals to the boiler
- Metal for oxygen corrosion and waterside for heavy scaling on tubes, tubesheets and shell
- Refractory for cracks, patch and wash coast as required (1/8" or less is acceptable)
- Water pH levels and ensure in the proper range
- Gas valves and conduct safety test as recommended by the manufacturer as well as safety valves for leaking
- Control settings and then test safety and operating controls
- Electrical connections and wiring are intact
For an upcoming annual inspection, we recommend cleaning the burner assembly including flame sensors and igniters along with the boiler furnace, tubes and tube sheets. Additionally, you can clean the handhole and manhole plates by removing then flushing boiler with water to remove loose scale and sediment.
Routine Boiler Inspection
In addition to maintaining your boiler, it is recommended that you schedule an annual inspection by an independent, certified member of the NBBI (National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors). During this process, the inspection agency will shut down, drain, and disassemble your boiler to ensure it is up to the standards set by the NBIC (National Board Inspection Code), so it is important to prepare for this procedure far in advance.
In the meantime, the experienced technicians at Powerhouse are prepared with thorough boiler maintenance checklists for these inspections. Contact us today to schedule an appointment that fits your schedule.