Boiler Maintenance: The Comprehensive Guide

To get the most of any equipment you own, it is essential to ensure that they are serviced regularly. The regular checkups, not only bolster the longevity of the building’s heating system but also minimizes operating and energy costs in the long term.

Boiler Servicing: What to Expect?

All boiler maintenance is conducted by experienced engineers and most of these maintenances lasts around half an hour. They typically start with a visual check before checking the inside of the boiler. The visual check is done before so as to ensure that the associated pipework is installed and positioned correctly and that the boiler is working properly. The engineer will be able to identify some superficial problems just through this first check itself. To inspect the inside of the boiler, the engineer will remove the boiler casing and examine each of its components. This second inspection will confirm whether the boiler is working safely and efficiently.

Engineers who maintain boilers will typically have a list of that they will have to check. This checklist will include some of the following:

  1. Check the gas pressure and gas flow. Correct if necessary.
  2. Use a flue gas analyzer to confirm that the boiler is burning the appropriate amount and mixture of gas and air. Ensure that the flue is not blocked. 
  3. All safety devices must be checked.
  4. Check water and gas pipework to ensure that there is no blockage.
  5. Ensure that all electrical connections are in good condition.
  6. Check the fans. It is essential that the fan and other key components of the fans are working efficiently.
  7. Ensure that no seals have been damaged or ripped off. The seals must be intact.
  8. All electrodes must be in good working condition.
  9. Ensure that the condensate trap and pipe are not blocked. Clean if necessary.
  10. Clean all components inside the boiler.

Once the maintenance is over, the engineer will inform you if any building and safety legislation and regulations have been breached. Do not be afraid to ask questions, especially when they are recommending changes and repairs. Make sure that all parts that have to be changed are replaced by parts from a reputable manufacturer, ideally from the boiler manufacturer itself. The engineer will also give you a full-service report that you have to sign once the checks are over. Only sign this report if you are happy with every element of the service your boiler has received.

But How Often Must a Boiler Be Serviced?

Generally, boilers have to be serviced every 12 months. But if you just got a new boiler, talk to the manufacturer and confirm when you must get the first service done. This is mostly because you’ll have to ensure that you meet the terms of your warranty.

There are several problems that can arise if the boiler is not properly maintained and regularly serviced. One such problem is gas leaks that can actually lead to the deadly gas carbon monoxide seeping into the building. This is especially important if your house is not equipped with a carbon monoxide alarm. Engineers who service boilers would detect if there is a risk of a gas leak when they conduct their maintenance. But since carbon monoxide is virtually impossible to detect, consider getting such an alarm even if you regularly get your boiler services – as an added measure of precaution.

Things You Can Do Yourself

Even though people recommend getting your boiler maintained at least once a year, it does not mean that you have to wait for that once a year’s appointment to make sure the boiler is in good condition. There are a few things you can do on your own, on a daily basis and on a monthly basis.

Boiler Maintenance: Things You Can Do on a Daily Basis

  1. Ensure that there is no water leaking from the boiler.
  2. Conduct a visual inspection of air piping and flue gas vent piping to ensure that there is no sign of blockage.
  3. Inspect around and under your boiler equipment to make sure that the area around the boiler is unobstructed. The vent termination must also be free of any object that may block the vent.
  4. Your manufacturer must have recommended a designed range for temperature and pressure for the equipment. Check that these read within the recommended range.
  5. If there is a display panel, ensure that there are no error codes being displayed. If you see one, jot them down and immediately contact the service contractor.
  6. Ensure the combustion air opening is not blocked.
  7. There must be no unusual vibration coming from the equipment. If you hear strange noises, don’t wait for the next scheduled service. Get in touch with your service contractor.