Tips For Preventing Commercial Boiler Breakdown and Boiler Maintenance
April 17th, 2018
Last updated: May 31st, 2023
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, which will also help your business save resources.
Fortunately, commercial boiler maintenance doesn’t have to be complicated, and can be delegated to a facilities management company. With the right professionals who know how commercial boilers work looking out for your business premises, you can rest assured that you are getting the most out of your boiler, and ensuring it stays effective for years or even decades to come.
Risks of Boiler Breakdown
It’s easy to understand why people are so concerned about boilers breaking down, especially in business settings.
Not servicing your commercial boiler comes with the risks of boiler breakdown, which include:
- Expense. It can be much more expensive to replace a boiler that has broken down that maintaining an existing boiler.
- Lost trade. A broken boiler may mean you have to stop trading temporarily. For example, if the premises become dangerously cold, or if you run an environment where you need hot water, from hotels to commercial kitchens.
- A safety risk. Depending on the type of boiler, it can cause a carbon monoxide leak or even an explosion in extreme situations.
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.
Tips For Preventing Boiler Breakdown
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 commercial boiler maintenance schedule 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.
It is easy to see why maintenance is such a crucial consideration. As well as preventing a potentially dangerous situation, looking after your boiler can help you to save money on your energy bills while enjoying reliable heat as you need it.
In the Event of a Breakdown
24/7/365 emergency callouts from Robinsons Facilities Services. Unfortunately, sometimes, the worst can happen and your boiler may breakdown. Commercial boiler life expectancy sits somewhere between 15 and 30 years depending on how much use the machine gets, and how well it is maintained.
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.