Preventing a Commercial Boiler Breakdown – Tips and Advice
Boiler breakdowns are every commercial organisation’s worst nightmare. They can be costly, inconvenient and cause major morale issues with staff. But there are plenty of things you can do to look after your boiler to ensure minimal disruption and years of cost-effective operation.
In a commercial environment your boiler is important all year round, and you have a duty to your employees to maintain its functional operation for basic welfare needs as well as any additional requirements specific to your business. This means there are a number of things you can do in advance to prevent issues evolving into breakdown situations while also extending the life of your boiler.
Insulate pipes – A common problem with commercial boilers is the pipes seizing up when the low temperatures hit. Condensate pipes usually run outside and if they freeze up the boiler will cut out and breakdown. Pipe insulation comes in many different forms and is quick, easy and inexpensive to fit.
Turn the heating on – If you are only using your boiler for heating, you should turn it on for 10-15 minutes every few days during the summer months. This keeps the boiler ticking over and prevents it seizing up, causing more problematic issues later in the year when you come to turn it on for the winter months when you really need it.
Watch the pressure – General operation can cause the boiler to lose pressure, which can cause it to run inefficiently, or worse, to stop altogether. So make sure you know what the pressure should be, keep an eye on the pressure gauge and top it up as and when necessary.
Bleed radiators – A radiator that is cold at the bottom but hot at the top means that air is trapped in the system and needs releasing, otherwise a bigger problem is coming. Bleeding a radiator releases this air and means the heat is distributed more evenly. This enables the system to run more efficiently and will ultimately reduce your energy bills also.
Watch the flame – A ‘healthy’ flame should be blue and strong. If your flame appears yellow, weak or smoky there could be a problem in the system and you should react quickly by calling in expert assistance.
Housekeeping – Boilers are often tucked away in areas that get used for storage, whether intentionally or not. Ventilation is important for a boiler to operate effectively, so keep the area around it free from clutter and ensure there is easy access to all parts of it. The same applies to any external vents; make sure these are free from blockages or a build-up of debris.
Visual checks – A weekly visual check of your boiler for obvious warning signs can help prevent serious problems. These could be leaks, cracks, strange noises or black soot marks.
Annual service – Even if everything seems to be running in good working order, an annual service contract can give you peace of mind and ensure that your boiler is a cost effective investment for your business. A boiler service – usually carried out in September or October – ensures the boiler runs properly, is cleaned and inspected and is geared up to cope with the strain of operating throughout the winter months.
24/7/365 emergency callouts – Having experts on hand 24/7/365 is vital for a business, so while you can detect potential problems by carrying out all the checks and tests listed above, you need constant access to reliable, qualified help to deal with emergency issues should they happen, or to react to the remedial issues you have identified.
Robinsons Facilities Services can provide the expert lifeline you need to keep your business running, so contact us today and we can find a service, maintenance and emergency cover agreement that suits your business. Find out more about our boiler maintenance and repair service.