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Why Preventive Boiler Maintenance is Essential

Why Preventive Boiler Maintenance is Essential

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To ensure energy efficiency of your commercial boiler, as well as prevent interruption of service, it’s imperative to regularly conduct preventive maintenance (PM) checks. Because regular audits of your system are imperative to your business, we will answer the following questions:

1. What are the benefits of regular Commercial Boiler PMs?
2. How often do I have to get my boiler inspected?
3. What is involved in a Commercial Boiler PM?


1. Safety
Since boilers are volatile systems using very hot water or steam under varying degrees of high pressure, as well as the use of gas and oil in some instances, boilers can explode causing serious injury, death and extensive property damage. To ensure safety of your employees, as well as a healthy working environment, regular maintenance of your systems is necessary to ensure the boiler is clean and working properly. Also, during these regular PMs, all built-in safety systems are checked and tested for functionality.

2. Compliance
The National Boiler Codes specify that all commercial and industrial boilers must be checked by a licensed boiler contractor at least once a year for High pressure steam boilers and low-pressure steam and hot water boilers every 2 years. That’s a good start, but with high efficiencies of boilers such as condensing, full-modulating system (burners), it is recommended by boiler manufacturers that you have preventive maintenance checks, again by a licensed boiler contractor, at least twice per year. Keeping up with these PM’s will not only prevent breakdowns and production loss, but ensure a positive experience during state inspections, as you will need to show certification of inspection on each boiler. 

3. Insurance
Because of the potential risks involved to employees and property within range of the commercial boiler systems, insurance also requires compliance of current codes laid out by National and State Compliance laws, as well as additional checks that may be stated in your policy. Check with your current business insurance provider to ensure you are meeting their standards and requirements for continued insurance coverage.

4. Energy Efficiency
With regular maintenance, a checklist of each boiler system parts are analyzed to ensure the highest efficiency of your system, including but not limited to: cracks and integrity of the tubes and tube sheets, lime deposits or buildup, faulty electrical connections to prevent overheating, gaps in the spark rods, hairline fractures in the ceramic retainer, and irregular flue gas operations. All of which can decrease efficiency, utilizing more fuel, water or electricity to maintain needed heat or pressure, as well as cause additional problems down the line. When you regularly ‘tune’ your boiler, you ensure the burner and combustion are modulating correctly, thus preventing waste of gasses going up the flue. The annual preventive maintenance checks may even discover ways to increase efficiencies.

5. Prevention
Prevent production downtime, loss of heat and comfort for your staff, and costly repairs or replacement, not to mention the cost and danger involved in a boiler room disturbance (or explosion). Granted there is a small cost involved to ensure regular maintenance of your commercial boiler, but it is worth the peace of mind and continued safety of your commercial facility. Ensuring a properly functioning boiler also provides benefits by increasing the life of the boiler, maximizing efficiency and energy use, and reduced chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.


We inspect, maintain and repair all types and brands of Commercial Boilers. We take the Preventive Maintenance process seriously, which begins with detailed record keeping and meticulous examination of all parts and processes of your system. For larger Scotch-marine boilers, TSP provides complete boiler re-tubes and vessel work including tube sheet dye penetration tests and tube sheet repairs that require welding (R-stamp).

The process of inspection begins with the careful opening and closing of the boiler system in a safe and controlled way, so we can inspect the tubes and tube sheets for cracks or lack of integrity, inspect the fouling of water treatment, lime deposits on the tubes which decrease efficiency, and brush out any deposits with our special equipment that cleans out the tubes efficiently. Opening and closing of the boiler system is imperative to the safety and increased lifespan of the equipment, which is why we include it on all our annual or semi-annual maintenance appointments. If hairline cracks, that cannot be detected otherwise, are not repaired they can pose a detrimental safety risk including a boiler room disturbance.

Depending on the type of boiler and brand there are different types of audits, maintenance and tuning of certain items that should be done. It is best to follow each manufacturer’s specific recommendations.

Some of the more common checks include:
  • Check and test low and high gas pressure safeties
  • Inspect and clean all burners of any modulating-condensing boilers
  • Inspect all manhole gaskets for leaks
  • Inspect all refractory systems
  • Inspect and test all safety valves
  • Clean and rebuild low water cut-off
  • Recalibrate all operating controls
  • Inspect and tighten electrical terminals
  • Inspect all flue chimneys and examine the flue gasses
  • Tune boiler for optimal boiler efficiency
  • Examination of all flame-sensing rods, spark rods to ensure they are properly gapped
  • Check all fans and blowers for building of dirt
  • Check all electrical connections
  • Check block valves and bleed valves for any leaks
  • Monitor oxygen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide levels
  • Winter start-up
This is not a complete list but well illustrates the need for regular examination of your commercial boilers to increase safety and the lifespan of your system, as well as prevent any costs of extreme repairs or production downtime.

Call TSP today at 713-644-9296 to get started, or email us at

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