Don’t get into Hot water this winter with a busted boiler

Boiler room blog post

Understand some of the major conditions that can affect the operation of your heating boiler this winter.

From Lakewood to Cleveland Heights, Greater Cleveland has some beautiful older apartment buildings. Most of these apartments are heated with cast iron boilers either using steam or hot water to operate the systems.

Hartford Steam Boiler, one of the leading insurers for these devises has pinpointed two of the most common conditions that cause failures in these units. With winter a couple of months away now is the time to have the heating boiler in your apartment building inspected.

The first thing to make sure of is that the return water temperature is at least 140F during normal operation. Make sure the boiler is not operating outside of the limits specified by the manufacturer. You also need to verify proper sequencing and activation of heating zones, valves, and pumps.

Next verify that operating supply temperatures, burner turndown rates and the water return mixing valves are operating properly. Ensuring the return water temperature is imperative for hot water boilers. Most boiler manufacturers recommend a return temperature above 140 F.

Regular low water cut-off tests should be done on the boiler monthly. By testing this regularly you will detect any malfunctions and allow for repair or replacement before the boiler suffers a catastrophic failure. If operating a steam heat boiler, a bottom blowdown test should also be performed per the manufacturer’s specifications. This test will reduce sludge buildup that can accumulate in the float chamber. Bottom blowdown tests will also help remove sediment that accumulates when fresh water is added to the boiler.

Cast iron boilers also need to be checked regularly for leaks. These may be detected by larger than normal usage of water, a drop in the condensate return temperature and the water level within the tank.

Typically, in Ohio, your heating boiler must be inspected by a licensed inspector on an annual basis. This inspection can be done by a representative of your boiler/mechanical breakdown insurance company or a licensed provider. If the inspection is done by a licensed inspector many insurance companies will reimburse you for the cost. Many insurance companies are using new technology to continuously monitor boilers (see our previous blog on the internet of things IoT). This will help ensure your boiler is always operating at peak performance.

Owning some beautiful apartments in Greater Cleveland can be a lot of work but the Trusted Choice agents at Richey-Barrett Insurance can assist you in making the purchase of your insurance easier. So, before you renew your policy give us a call.

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