With the fall heating season approaching, it is not too early to consider steps to take prior to starting boilers after a lay-up period. While the following list is not all-inclusive, it can serve as a guide for those responsible for boiler operation.

Before a boiler is placed in operation, boiler operators and other responsible personnel and/or supervisors must check the entire system and carefully review operating procedures.

Operating Manuals

All manufacturers of boilers and fuel burning systems supply operating manuals with their equipment. Unfortunately, many boiler rooms do not have manuals and operating instructions available. Most of these documents have either been lost or misplaced. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to obtain these publications and see that they are read, understood, followed, and available in the boiler room.

Maintenance During Summer Lay-Up

The summer shutdown period is a good time to accomplish necessary boiler and fuel-burning system preventive maintenance. A suggested checklist of such maintenance follows:

  • Drain and flush the boiler, open all handholes and mainholes, clean and remove soot and scale from the firesides. Examine the boiler for damage and corrosion.
  • Have the boiler inspected by an authorized inspector, as required.
  • Install new gaskets, replace all handhole and manhole covers, refill boiler, and perform a hydrostatic test, if required.
  • Institute a suitable boiler water treatment program to reduce scale buildup and corrosion.
  • Have the fuel-burning equipment cleaned and adjusted by a competent service technician. Verify operation of all operating and limit controls, interlocks, and gages. Have the technician disassemble the low-water cutoff and water-feeding devices, then clean, recondition, and reassemble them. Have the technician leak test all fuel safety shutoff valves.
  • Lubricate all mechanical equipment such as fans and pumps. Verify motor rotation. Check all boiler piping for leaks and missing insulation.
  • Make sure provisions are made for establishing and keeping a boiler log.