Summertime is Boiler Maintenance Time

It’s hard to think about facility heating when we’re in shorts and t-shirts, but your winter comfort depends on your summer planning.

Particularly now (summer 2023), lead times on boilers are 12 (condensing boilers) to 30 (steam boilers) weeks out. This means you could find yourself out in the cold – literally – if your boiler needs replacing. Even boiler parts are experiencing longer-than-usual lead times. And, according to the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, most boiler incidents are caused by poor maintenance practices, operator error, and defective low water cutoffs. This means routine maintenance is essential to keeping your boiler operating safely and efficiently.

Obviously 😉, we think the best solution is to call in a professional, but here are some tips compliments of the CM3 Maintenance Team and the U.S. Department of Energy, if you’re doing your own boiler maintenance.

Daily Maintenance

  • Turn off/sequence unnecessary boilers
  • Complete overall visual inspection
  • Lubricate components per manufacturer recommendations
  • Check steam pressure, unstable water levels, burner, motor condition, oil filter assemblies and boiler water treatment.
  • Check air temperature in boiler room
  • Inspect oil heaters as required
  • Verify boiler blow downs are occurring

Weekly Maintenance

  • Check flue gas temperatures and composition
  • Check all relief valves for leaks
  • Check water level control, pilot and burner assemblies, boiler operating characteristics
  • Inspect system for water/steam leaks and air leaks
  • Inspect linkages on combustion air dampers and fuel valves

Monthly Maintenance

  • Check blowdown and water treatment procedures
  • Conduct flue gases monthly comparison
  • Check combustion air supply and dampers
  • Check fuel system, belts, blower belts, gaskets, and packing glands
  • Check for air leaks
  • Inspect boiler insulation
  • Calibrate steam control valves
  • Check for proper operation of valves
  • Perform water quality test

Annual Maintenance

  • Clean water side and fire side surfaces
  • Inspect refractories
  • Remove and recondition/ replace relief valve
  • Clean and recondition feedwater pumps, condensate receivers and deaeration system
  • Clean and recondition fuel system
  • Clean and check electrical terminals and controls
  • Check hydraulic, electronic, and pneumatic valves
  • Optimize flue gas composition
  • Inspect tubes for leaks

CM3 provides boiler maintenance and replacement services. Please reach out for more information.

Source: Department of Energy, Operations and Best Practices Guide Release 3.0, August 2010, Chapter 9.2.12