Regular Boiler Inspection: Why It’s Mandatory
Facilities managers and business owners who rely on boilers to heat their buildings place a lot of faith in these sometimes temperamental heating systems. Boilers are very common in medium to large commercial facilities, manufacturing plants and other buildings. The efficiency, performance and safety of these systems depend on consistent maintenance and repair and on having a regular boiler inspection performed according to state or local requirements. A malfunctioning boiler can not only interfere with operations at your business, it can also cause serious damage to your building, and in the worst cases, injuries or death.
Reasons for a regular boiler inspection
Boiler inspections are usually carried out by state-level inspection agencies. In some cases, there may also be county or city regulations governing boilers that will require an inspection by a local organization. Inspecting agencies are not responsible for boiler maintenance and repair; these tasks must be handled by qualified, licensed HVAC professionals or on-site building engineers or maintenance personnel.
- Safety: The safety issues surrounding boiler operation make a regular boiler inspection a critical need. Boilers heat water or generate steam to provide a generally large amount of heating for one or more buildings. The water and steam are under high pressure. Transport of the water or steam is controlled by complex valve systems. A malfunction or breakdown in the system could cause steam or hot water leaks, or in the worst cases, a boiler explosion. Employees could be severely scalded or killed if a boiler ruptures or explodes. The boiler’s safety devices must be kept in good repair to prevent catastrophic boiler failure.
- Damage: A boiler disaster can also cause severe damage to your facility from water leaks, steam damage or the force of an explosion. The boiler itself is likely to be damaged beyond repair and will require replacement.
- Operations: If your boiler stops working, your facility will not have heat. In the colder months, this could interfere with the activities of your business or could shut down all of your operations until the heat’s restored.
- Performance: Boilers consume considerable amounts of energy to produce heat. A regular boiler inspection will help ensure that your boiler is operating at its highest level of efficiency and providing the most heat for the least possible cost.
- Legal requirements: State and local laws often require boiler inspections. Failure to comply can result in large fines or other penalties.
What should be done during a regular boiler inspection?
A regular boiler inspection will involve detailed testing and evaluation of boiler operation and components, careful examination of the physical condition of the boiler and its parts and expert assurance that the boiler will continue to work properly. Some of the tasks inspectors should perform include:
- Test overall boiler operation and all controls, including pressure gauges, low-water cut-off controls, thermometers and temperature controls and pressure relief valves.
- Check and test all drains, valves, shut-offs, controllers and pressure relief components for proper function.
- Check for signs of overheating, corrosion, erosion, damage, cracks, component malfunctions, bulges, dents and related problems. Ensure any damage is corrected immediately.
- Check fuel system for leaks and make sure fuel filters are in place.
- Check that burners, flame scanners, sensors and other components are working correctly.
- Make sure the boiler is filled with the correct amount of water and that air has been vented out of the boiler.
- Check low-water fuel-cutoff control for correct operation.
- Check and test all safety valves, pressure regulators, shut-offs and associated systems to ensure proper operation, lack of leaks and correct settings.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information about the importance of a regular boiler inspection and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!
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