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Winter can be challenging for your boiler, and in recent years, a record number of homeowners have reported break pipes and broken boilers. There’s nothing more harmful than finding yourself without heating in the centre of winter, just when you need your boiler. Sadly, that’s when problems are most likely to occur.

However, you can use many boiler maintenance tips to avoid an increasing bill when you’re forced to hire someone to fix a broken boiler. 

Weekly inspection and maintenance to be performed by trained maintenance technician:

  • The boiler room should be maintained  dry and clean. Combustibles and stored materials shall be removed.
  • Note all steam leaks, trap issues, or other “open system” issues affecting system function.
  • A boiler blowdown should be performed when the water shows signs of dirt or impurities.
  • Locate the valve that controls the flow of water, known as the opening valve.
  • Open the Quick Opening Valve. The valve should operate with little resistance. Turn the valve until the flow line is running warm.
  • Repeat the Process after you refill the boiler with water. This second blowdown should clean out the remaining impurities in the system, and the water should return to a clear state. This process should be conducted periodically to ensure your boiler is working properly. System impurities may affect efficiencies and boiler maintenance life.
  • The safety valve should be tested for freedom of operation. The boiler must not be fired if the safety valves are inoperative or defective. These valves should be tested once a month while in service.
  • The low water cut-off and make-up water feeding devices should be tested once a week. Considerable changes in boiler performance before most mechanical failures. Call a licensed boiler professional for inspection. If you detect a change in boiler performance, like new noises, smells, rising stack temperatures. Continually resetting safety devices. 

When unexpected mechanical failures occur. One of the boiler’s safety or operational devices is likely preventing the boiler from starting. Most safety devices have manual reset buttons that need to be reset before boiler operation can continue. Continual resetting of secure devices is an indication of unsafe operating conditions. Immediately attention by a licensed boiler professional is required.

Annual Maintenance

  • Inspect the fireside for soot or damage and the waterside for scale or corrosion. Clean the boiler inside and out.
  • Verify and adjust burners and settings. We recommend quarterly tuning by a skilled technician.
  • Inspect all refractories for fallen, broken chunks.
  • Hydro test boiler for leaks (tube joints and piping).
  • Check gas regulator pressure settings.
  • Replace or re-certify safety valves.
  • Bubble test fuel train safety shut-off valves.

The Cost Savings Of Preventative Boiler Maintenance

Preventive boiler servicing will save you money by preventing the following objectives: 

Preventive Boiler Servicing 

Fuel Overuse If your boiler is not performing well, it will burn more fuel, boosting your bills. Mini problems can become major problems.
Out-ages Your organisation will likely lose revenue when out-ages arise due to delayed maintenance.
Safety Hazards Regular maintenance can minimise the risk of fire, pressure explosion. And CO2 emission buildup by ensuring devices are clean and adequately ventilated.

Recognizing Maintenance Needs

Recognising the signs that your boiler needs care is important for keeping your system from breaking down. Reducing failure, and avoiding expensive repairs. Even a cheap boiler could cost you around £1000, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s better to replace your old, inefficient boiler that needs a lot of maintenance. With a new A-rated gas boiler, which is better for your health and your energy bills. To see if you’re eligible, check out GrantBoilers and apply for the grant. Some common indicators that your boiler may need attention include: 

Common indications for maintenance needs

Lack of Hot Water If your facility experiences a shortage of hot water or inconsistent heating. It may indicate issues with the boiler’s heating elements, controls, or circulation system.
Leaks—Water leaks Water leaks around the boiler or within the system can lead to structural damage, corrosion, and reduced efficiency. Prompt leak identification and repair are crucial for maintaining system integrity. And preventing water damage.
Low Water Pressure A decrease in water pressure within the boiler system can result from leaks, blockages. And faulty pressure regulators. Addressing low water pressure promptly can prevent further damage. And ensure consistent heating performance throughout your facility.

In the event of Boiler Servicing or Boiler maintenance, the following sequence need to be followed to

prevent loss of equipment, critical failure, and danger to personnel:

  • Shut off the power supply at the boiler disconnect panel or boiler switch.
  • Turn off the gas supply at the boiler gas supply line.
  • Shut off the water supply at the water supply line. In the case of leaking, system pressure can be

relieved by opening the boiler valve (bottom of boiler casing) and diverting water to the boiler drain. WARNING: Scalding water/steam will likely be present. If a boiler or gas valve has been flooded or submerged, contact a certified boiler technician before attempting to restart the unit.

Why is boiler service and maintenance important?

It is essential to schedule regular boiler maintenance to ensure optimal performance of your boiler system. Regularly cleaning and servicing your boiler can catch any potential problems before they escalate. Saving you time and money in the long run.

 The following steps recognise your boiler servicing is necessary:

  • Safety: Safety is essential when it comes to boilers. Regular maintenance helps identify and fix potential safety hazards such as leaks, corrosion, or faulty components that could lead to accidents or carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Efficiency: Well-maintained boilers operate more efficiently, consuming less fuel to produce the same heat or steam. This reduces energy costs and minimises environmental impact by lowering emissions.
  • Reliability: Scheduled boiler maintenance helps prevent unexpected breakdowns and ensures that the boiler remains operational when needed. This is particularly crucial for industries reliant on continuous steam or hot water supply for their processes.
  • Compliance: Compliance with regulatory standards and manufacturer recommendations is essential for maintaining warranties. And meeting safety requirements. Regular servicing by qualified professionals helps ensure that boilers adhere to these standards.

vector image for boiler servicing

How do you maintain a boiler?

It would help if you got your boiler serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered expert. Remember to contact someone once a year or consider investing in boiler cover. Not only does cover provide peace of mind from your boiler failing at a critical moment. (say, in the depths of winter), but most plans also contain a free annual boiler checkup.

Tips for maintaining your boiler

The following strong tips can be performed to help to keep your boiler system running effectively:

  • Ensure your boiler is serviced at least one time in a year.
  • Check your radiators to see if they need maintenance at least once a year.
  • Perform other radiator checks: if they’re hot at the top and cold at the bottom. They’ll need a power flush (get this done during its next service or call out an engineer). 
  • If the radiator valve is open all the way but the radiator is not working well, the valve may need to be replaced.
  • Check that the boiler flame is blue. If it’s not, you may have a gas leak. Make sure the boiler is well ventilated. Avoid loading stuff around it, and make sure it’s fitted with at least 60 mm clearance if it’s housed in a cupboard.
  • Check the boiler’s pressure gauge on the readout. It should be between 1 and 2 bars. Check your boilers manually to see how to adjust this manually if required.
  • Check the external condensate pipe. If it’s dripping water, contact a local heating engineer to check the pressure release valve.
  • Ensure your boiler flue is accessible. Regulations require it to be visible and recognise that many faults (cracks, loose joints) can be detected.
  • Never repair a boiler yourself.

Conclusion

Boilers Maintenance and service are important for making sure they work well and safely in a variety of settings. Stakeholders can reduce downtime, boost efficiency, and lower the safety risks of boiler operation by following a careful maintenance plan that includes checks, cleaning, testing, and fixes done on time. Putting money into regular maintenance not only saves valuable assets but also helps the environment by cutting down on emissions and energy use. Boilers can keep making heat and steam for years if they get the care and attention they need. Making boiler service a priority is important for getting the most out of these important pieces of equipment, making sure they are safe, and extending their life.

FAQ's

The timeframe can vary depending on the workload of your chosen installer and the availability of boilers. However, once your application is approved, you can expect the installation in a few days.

Anyone who has a boiler installed before 2005 or has an inefficient boiler can qualify for a boiler grant in the UK. To meet the requirements, you must be a homeowner or private tenant of the home in the UK.

The ECO4 Scheme is a government-funded program that provides grants and funding to homeowners in Scotland, who want to install energy-saving measures in their homes. The aim of the Eco4 scheme is to help people reduce their energy consumption and save money on their energy bills.

Yes, it’s quite easy. You should regularly check that the evaporator and air intake grill are clear of leaves and other particles.

To be eligible for a first time central heating grant, you must not have prior central heating installed in your homes. Also your home’s EPC rating should be lower than D.