Boilers are used all year round, so as an important piece of equipment in a commercial environment, and one of the most valuable assets, they are required to run as efficiently and economically as possible. It is easy to neglect a boiler and simply have an emergency breakdown procedure, but for commercial use a boiler is essential for employee and customer welfare and may even be needed for protecting stock in a warehouse or for plant and machinery.
It is recommended that a boiler is serviced annually and while you might see an engineer arrive and be surrounded by dismantled parts for half an hour or so, before he leaves by saying everything is fine, it is worth understanding what is involved in a standard commercial boiler service, and whether you are getting value for money.
Usually the first thing the engineer will do is carry out a visual check of the unit, casing, pipework and surrounding area, to see if there are any signs of problems or something that could be effecting performance.
A visual check of the flame in the boiler can tell the engineer several different things. It should have a distinctive blue colour, and its appearance will identify immediately if there are problems and usually what they are.
Open the unit and inspect
The engineer will then open up the unit to inspect inside it. He should turn off the gas by disconnecting the gas valve and he can then inspect the internal components and pipework. He can clean the inside of the unit to pick up any loose dirt or debris that could affect the internal parts. He will then remove the burner and inspect it for any cracks or deformations, or anything that might cause uneven burning. Then he can inspect the heat exchanger to check there are no leaks and that ignition is OK, before cleaning it with an air duster. When the engineer puts the parts back together he will check the seals for damage or anything that could prevent a good combustion seal. He will then reconnect all the gas pipes and valves.
The engineer will then run the system and test the components, primarily to ensure the boiler is operating to its full potential and efficiency. He will turn the temperature up to check there is an even burn and a good colour flame, and he will check the gas pressure also. The flues and air intakes will be inspected to check there are no blocks or leaks, and no unsafe emissions. Then the engineer will turn to the header, which protects the boiler from thermal shock and any foreign materials going back into the boiler. He will bleed the air from the system so that it is running at 100% capacity.
Any problems found at any stage will be reported to the customer and any remedial actions agreed upon. The engineer will leave a full checklist to indicate what has been done and on this he will note all issues discussed.