Regular Checkups Keep Boilers Safe

Inspections can catch problems early

Historically, explosions are a very real risk for buildings with boiler heat. However, today's boilers are designed with safety controls that can dramatically decrease the likelihood of a catastrophic event and provide years of safe service, if they are properly maintained.

If your church has boiler heat, you should work with a qualified professional to ensure that your boiler is in top operating condition. At the very least, have your building’s boiler professionally inspected prior to the start of each heating season.

While you should always rely on a professional to perform any type of maintenance on your boiler, here are some tips for in between annual checkups:

Relief Valve is Key to Boiler Safety

The most important component of boiler safety is a properly functioning relief valve. Its job is to protect the boiler against the dangers of thermal explosion. When pressure within the boiler rises to a dangerous level, the relief valve opens and releases excess water.

In order to work correctly, the safety relief valve must be the right size and pressure rating for the boiler. It should be professionally inspected and tested on a regular basis, to make sure it is clean and working properly. At the very least, boiler inspections should take place:

  • Every time the boiler is started for the heating season.
  • After maintenance is performed on the boiler.
  • At the testing interval recommended by the boiler manufacturer.

Other Controls Need Attention

Other boiler controls that require regular attention include:

  • Boilers are regulated by water pressure. When the water supply is too low, the low-water cutoff control alerts operators about the problem. This control should be regularly monitored to make sure the boiler is working properly.
  • The flame-safeguard control is designed to ensure safe starting, operation and shutdown of the boiler. Like the low-water cutoff control, this should be monitored on a regular basis.
  • A boiler system should be checked at least once a week to make sure all of the indicator lights and alarms appear to be working. This is one of the easiest steps in a boiler maintenance program, but it’s also one of the most overlooked.

When it comes to maintenance and repairs, boilers require the expertise of a qualified professional. While church staff and/or volunteers should never work on a large piece of complex equipment, it is a good idea to be aware of safety valves and controls that can alert members to malfunctions and other problems.

Professional maintenance and increased awareness can help decrease the risk of expensive and catastrophic accidents. In addition, Brotherhood Mutual offers Equipment Breakdown Coverage that can protect your church, should a boiler-related accident occur. Ask your agent for information about this additional protection. Need an agent? Check here.