Industrial Boiler Maintenance

Commercial and Industrial Boiler Maintenance

Boiler maintenance is critical for commercial boilers. It is the best way to prolong the life of your boiler and keep it running efficiently. Modern industrial boiler system maintenance requires extensive experience and training. Manley’s Boiler is a service company with technicians that are knowledgeable, hard-working, and know how to get the job done right.

We are fluent in all aspects of industrial boiler maintenance, from annual boiler inspection to emergency repair services. Our experienced technicians will ensure that your boiler runs safely, efficiently, and within California’s AQMD standards to help you save money and avoid costly penalties. At Manley’s Boiler, LLC, we’ve got your back!

Maintenance

Importance of boiler maintenance and cleaning

Boiler maintenance is crucial to ensure that your facility stays open, safe, and efficient. Boilers are necessary pieces of equipment at most facilities, and sudden boiler related emergencies can lead to extended downtime, missed revenue, and sometimes furloughed employees. Annual inspection prevents these costly shutdowns by checking for potential problems before they become large setbacks. Annual inspections of steam boilers are often done in conjunction with insurance inspections. Maintenance also ensures that your boiler is running at peak performance to reduce costs and increase the lifespan. Our technicians will identify ways to maximize the efficiency of the boiler while minimizing fuel and energy use. Regular maintenance will also keep your facility safe from boiler related accidents by correcting problems early. The #1 issue that causes significant damage to boilers is a lack of maintenance and inspection, leading to a build up of scale or calcium that clogs pipes and boiler tubes.

Scheduled boiler maintenance will save your facility money by minimizing downtime, preventing accidents, increasing efficiency, and extending its lifetime. It will also keep you in compliance with California AQMD standards and other boiler laws and regulations. It is vital to keep your facility up and running and is one of the most common services we provide- monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and/or annual maintenance.

Caring for Your Boiler: Best Practices

Caring for your boiler daily is essential to keep your facility operating safely and efficiently. For steam boilers, a daily bottom blowdown along with maintained water treatment can save you tens of thousands annually.

First, scheduling regular maintenance from certified and experienced boiler companies will ensure that your boiler system is running smoothly. Taking the time to professionally service 

your boiler at least every 12 months, likely more frequently, will minimize your risk of costly downtime and emergency services. Our trained technicians will be able to identify any potential problems with your boiler and carry out any necessary repairs or replacements before the situation becomes urgent.

Beside professional maintenance, boilers must be cared for daily so your system runs safely. To do this, employees must keep an accurate operations log to monitor potential problems. Keeping a daily record of pressure, fuel consumption, water temperature, gas temperature and other factors will help you identify a potential issue before it becomes more serious. Employees should also monitor the water quality of their system to detect hard water before it degrades your boiler system. While these tasks are time consuming, a boiler remote monitoring system will provide a simple way to track these factors. 

There is nothing more important than staying on schedule for your boiler maintenance. Regular maintenance and daily care is essential in saving your business time and major capital expenses.

Steam Boiler Maintenance Checklist

Following a maintenance schedule for your boiler system will ultimately minimize downtime and promote fuel and energy efficiency. These items should be done routinely by facility staff along with annual maintenance by a professional company.

  • Keep sight glasses clean for a clear view of the burner flame and carbon buildup on the combustion chamber
  • Keep air filters clean
  • Monitor any alarms
  • Maintain a system log to record routine boiler maintenance
  • Maintain boiler water chemical feedwater treatment program
  • Inspect and check last certification date of pressure-relief valve or safety relief valve
  • Check combustion, inspect burner controls, and burner operation (Local to California, NOx levels are critical)
  • Ensure the boiler room is clean and free from unnecessary objects

While these are key items to address regularly by facility employees, professional annual maintenance is necessary to inspect other parts of your boiler and ensure it runs smoothly. Manley’s Boiler LLC offers training for employees on how to most effectively care for your boiler system to keep your facility open.

Recommended Boiler Preventive Maintenance Program

Preventative maintenance is proactive maintenance which includes cleaning, repairs, and adjustments to keep your boiler system running smoothly to avoid downtime and emergency repairs. Most facilities rely on boilers to operate, so keeping them working is essential. To do this, we recommend following a preventive maintenance program on a daily, periodical, and annual schedule.

Employees must inspect the boiler system daily for potential problems that may escalate. They should check for unusual noise, leaking water, obstructions to the boiler system, and make sure that the boiler pressure and temperature readings are in the correct range. Any problems cited by the employee should be directed to a certified boiler company.

The boiler should also be more thoroughly inspected every month to ensure that it is still working properly. Some items to check for include combustion air piping, flue gas vent piping, leaks, visible signs of wear, blockages in the lines and drainage system, and other signs of corrosion.

Professional annual maintenance is also necessary in the upkeep of your system. Our trained technicians will check your boiler for signs of potential problems and repair them. We will ensure that your boiler is running smoothly and efficiently.

Waterside Cleaning

There are two sides to a boiler: the fireside and the water side. The water side is where cool water enters and is heated to hot water or steam. In the process of heating this water, minerals are deposited in the boiler forming a hard crust called scale. The scale build-up blocks heat transfer inside the boiler and therefore makes the boiler system much less efficient. It must be cleaned off by an experienced technician with a chemical aid to allow your system to run smoothly.

Fireside Cleaning

The fireside of a boiler, where fuel combustion occurs, also must be cleaned regularly by a certified technician to maximize your system efficiency. The soot resulting from fuel combustion inside the tubes builds up and prevents heat transfer. Cleaning and inspecting the heat exchanger professionally will boost your systems efficiency, saving your facility money.

Common Failures Resulting From Negligence

Proper care and routine maintenance of your boiler is crucial to ensure that your boiler is running efficiently to avoid costly repairs and downtime. Neglect of standard boiler care regimen will drastically reduce the lifetime of your system.

One such common failure is poor water treatment. Proper feedwater is necessary in avoiding scale build-up on the inside of your boiler. The minerals from hard water deposit in the boiler and form a layer which prevents efficient heat transfer. If left untreated, the buildup will cause the tubes to overheat and fail.

Another common mistake is improper start-up and shut-down of the system. As boilers are made of many different parts and materials, they heat at different temperatures. Allowing for a gradual warm up will maximize the lifetime of your boiler and prevent failure.

Finally, low boiler water level conditions are extremely dangerous if unmonitored. The steel of a boiler needs water to absorb heat. If water is not present, or if new water is introduced, the possibility of boiler explosion increases. Facilities must prevent buildup and install low-water trips to ensure low water conditions are avoided.

3 Tips for Better Boiler Safety and Maintenance

  1. Keep your boiler’s interior clean through annual maintenance. Overtime, residue build up can drastically decrease your boiler’s efficiency. Professionally cleaning it at least one a year will save you money and increase your boiler’s lifetime.
  2. Monitor the water quality. If water is not monitored, it may deposit minerals on the inside of your boiler and form scale. The scale layer decreases the boiler’s efficiency, costing your facility money.
  3. Keep an up to date and accurate operations log. Employees should use this log daily to monitor things such as steam pressure, water temperature, fuel consumption, and gas temperature. This log will track any discrepancies in your boiler to catch problems early.

Complete Boiler Room Maintenance

Your boiler is connected to other critical and related equipment that affects the performance of the entire system.

Steam Traps

  • Extend the life of your system, reduce maintenance costs, and decrease fuel consumption
  • Should be replaced every 5 years to optimize efficiency – 3/16 in. leak can cost your facility up to $18,500 a year
  • Annual steam audit recommended

Steam Piping and Leaks

  • 1/8 in. leak at 100 psig cost $3,600 a year in lost energy
  • Insulations saves your facility money
  • Condensate return piping – save treated hot water and return to feed tank

Heat Exchangers

  • Service, repair, cleaning, and inspection recommended annually
  • Common brands we work on:

Feed Tank / DA Tank / Blowdown Tank 

  • Cleaning and maintenance necessary annually
  • Neglected tanks eventually ruin system – must be maintained

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can a boiler last 30 years?
    • Yes, some hot water and steam boilers can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance, cleaning, and repairs. An annual maintenance plan is important in maximizing the lifetime of your boiler system.
  • What happens if you don’t service your boiler? 
    • Neglecting boiler service can lead to a less efficient boiler and eventually, boiler failure. Annual, periodic, and daily maintenance is necessary in ensuring that your boiler has proper operation.
  • How long does it take to service a boiler?
    • Depending on the size of your boiler, scheduled professional maintenance can take from about 2 to 6 hours.
  • How much should boiler service cost
    • The service cost of your boiler depends on the size of your system. In any case, the cost of annual maintenance is much less than emergency services.