Commercial Boiler Maintenance

Travelers umbrella logo.
By Travelers Risk Control
2 minutes
Properly maintained commercial boiler.

Before the cold season arrives where ever you may reside, preparing your boiler with regular preventative maintenance for the heating season is critical to efficient and safe operation. The frequency of common boiler issues, such as inefficient burner operation, cracking, dry fire, and pilot failure, may be reduced with proper attention. Their dependability and efficiency is contingent upon these tasks being performed both properly and regularly. With the rising costs of fuel and equipment it pays to be proactive in caring for your boiler. Following are some important tasks you and your qualified technician can perform to aid in safe and successful heating boiler start-up and operation.

Qualified Boiler Technician Responsibilities (Pre-Seasonal)

  • Check all safety valves and devices for proper operation. Disassemble the low water cutoffs and inspect the wiring (remove the probe and clean if applicable). Remove sediment from the low water cut off cross piping. Perform a slow drain test of the low water cutoffs.
  • Inspect the sight glasses. Clean and replace as needed.
  • Remove and clean atmospheric burners or clean the blower fan if a power burner is used.
  • Test the air switch.
  • Perform a combustion analysis.
  • Clean, set and inspect the pilot assembly, controls and pressure switches.
  • Perform pilot turn down test if an infrared or ultraviolet flame scanner is used.
  • Drain the boiler water and remove the scale from the vessel.
  • The boiler water side and fire side should be opened, cleaned and inspected for defects and damage.
Three illustrated boilers that provide tips on how to maintain boilers

Owner Operator Responsibilities (Pre-Startup)

  • Remove any debris and stored items from around the boiler.
  • Verify that the outside air damper is not obstructed.
  • Visually inspect the boiler water level. If it is not visible then shut down the boiler and contact a service technician.
  • Confirm the fuel level is adequate if the boiler is firing on liquified petroleum gas (LPG) or fuel oil.
  • Upon the boiler’s first cycle, observe the pilot light and ensure the flame is stable and not flickering.
  • Look at the main flame (from low fire to high fire, if applicable) making sure the flame is not dirty with excessive soot.
  • Test the low water cutoffs.
  • Provide freeze protection, if necessary.

Maintaining Actions (Post-Startup)

  • Inspect for leaks in or around your boiler.
  • Have a chemical vendor or qualified technician test the boiler chemical levels. Properly treat boiler feedwater and perform daily boiler blow downs as directed by a qualified boiler water specialist to prevent scale accumulation.
  • Test the low water cutoffs and safety valves.
  • Inspect the burner flame for proper combustion.
  • Fill out the boiler log on a regular basis to help identify detrimental trends.
View of a commercial roof.

Top Stories

Building a Commercial Roof Inspection Plan

Routine roof maintenance and inspection can help prevent damage to your commercial property and keep your business safe.

Related Products & Services

Travelers offers a broad package of specific coverages for nearly every equipment loss scenario.

Travelers offers tailored property protection solutions for high value, complex risks across a wide array of industries.

More Prepare & Prevent

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can help keep you safe in a fire while you wait for help to arrive. Get fire extinguisher tips from Travelers.

Fire extinguisher.

More Prepare & Prevent

Fire Hazards in the Workplace

Equipment overheating and electrical problems are a couple of workplace fire hazards you need to be aware of.

Worker in safety goggles using tool creating sparks and fire hazard.

More Prepare & Prevent

Vendor Risk Management Guidelines

Outsourcing to third-party providers for facilities management can increase risk.

Facility service provider doing work in the ceiling.