Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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Commercial Steam Boiler Maintenance: What to Do Between Professional Service Visits

Commercial Steam Boiler Maintenance: What to Do Between Professional Service Visits

The boiler is an essential part of large New York City properties because it provides both heat and hot water. Yet, it’s easy to overlook upkeep, which leads to problems that affect the way it functions. Here are some tips on commercial steam boiler maintenance from the professionals at Calray Boilers, experts for nearly a century at keeping boilers running in tip-top shape. While your commercial boiler should be serviced twice per year at the start and end of heat season, adhering to this checklist on your own in between professional appointments will reduce problems and extend the life of your boiler system.

Commercial Steam Boiler Maintenance Checklist

Look for leaks

A leak should put you on notice that something is amiss with your boiler, but often we find clients simply setting a bucket underneath and forgetting about it. Leaks can come from a number of sources:

  • The boiler tank itself, usually due to age and corrosion
  • Pipes and connections, which can wear through or become loose
  • Gaskets and seals that harden and crack, allowing water to drip

Assess pressure gauges

Our boiler experts can determine the optimum boiler pressure for your particular model and building anatomy. Run your boiler at its full operating temperature, and make sure the pressure is in the proper zone.

If the pressure is too low, you won’t produce adequate steam. If it’s too high, you have a dangerous problem on your hands. At this point, the boiler must be shut down until it’s fixed.

This is the perfect time to wipe all sight glasses and visuals on the boiler so they’re easy to read.

Watch for valve obstructions

Valves control the flow of liquid between two areas, and as such, they are subject to accumulating mineral scale from hard water and any sediment carried their way. This can create blockages that impair their function.

You need to clean or replace any valves that aren’t operating correctly. Minor amounts of hard water lime buildup can be removed by soaking the valves in vinegar or lemon juice.

If scale and sediment are common problems for your system, make sure you have strainers in the proper places along your water distribution lines. A water filtration system upstream from your boiler can eliminate unwanted minerals. You may also want to treat the water used in closed boiler heat loops.

Evaluate the burner and combustion process

Incomplete combustion with your boiler fire can produce carbon monoxide, which can cause illness and fatalities in the area of your boiler room. Your burner should display a blue flame, not yellow, and there should be no soot accumulating in that area. Flame patterns should be uniform too, otherwise, your burner needs cleaning.

Be sure exhaust pipes and vents are clear

Another way carbon monoxide can reach unsafe levels in the boiler room is if there is a blocked exhaust pipe, vent, or flue. Normally, combustion releases only minute amounts of carbon monoxide, but if it’s not removed from the space, it can build to dangerous amounts. Blockages also affect the efficiency of your boiler.

Make certain pumps are running smoothly

Commercial boilers tend to have at least a couple of pumps integrated into the system. You may have one to pump hot water to units, another to operate your steam traps to capture returned radiator condensate, and another to feed water to the boiler whenever it’s low. There are multiple things to review with these pumps:

  • Check that all wiring is not worn or frayed. Any plugs to outlets should fit tightly and not show any wear either. Use of pumps should not trigger your circuit breakers.
  • There should be no noise or excess vibration coming from the pumps. Check and tighten all mountings and straps. Interior noise should be addressed by a pump specialist like our partners at Antler Pumps.
  • As with the rest of the boiler system, seals, gaskets, and O-rings should be flexible and fit tightly, with no hardening or cracking.
  • Sensors and float rods that trigger the pumps should not be stuck to any surface and should operate properly.

Test steam traps

Most of our customers these days have a steam trap system to catch condensate that results from cooling radiator steam. Like the rest of your pipes, steam traps need to be free of leaks and clogs. This is another place where mineral scale can build up and impede the flow of liquid back to your boiler. As mentioned above, the pump that operates your condensate return mechanism must be operating properly too.

Run safety checks

Every commercial boiler system has its own set of safety devices that will shut down the boiler and/or alert you if the boiler heat or pressure gets too high or if the boiler is surging or running dry. Make sure all your pressure relief valves are running correctly and that your safety system is ready in case of a dangerous situation.

While you’re doing a safety check, test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors too. We recommend having a thermometer in the boiler room. Pumps, in particular, can be sensitive to too much heat and shut down if the room overheats. A thermometer lets you monitor the temperature and cool things down before that happens.

Calray Boilers

NYC’s hyper-local, blue-chip boiler experts

If at any point in your maintenance check you find a problem you can’t identify or fix, our staff at Calray Boilers welcome the opportunity to come out and help you with a diagnosis and repairs.

Also, if you feel routine boiler maintenance is outside your wheelhouse, or if you’re understaffed and overwhelmed with other tasks right now, we understand. We’re happy to educate you about the fine points of your unique commercial boiler system so you can do your own evaluations and small repairs in the future.

Don’t wait until the heating season is upon us to tend to your boiler. Now is the perfect time to run through the checklist above and schedule any work that needs to be performed by professionals. Call Calray Boilers at 212-722-5506, or use our online form to set up an appointment at your convenience.


Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of Sanitaryplumbing.com.

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of omniagroup.nyc (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with omniagroup.nyc).

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

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We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with Sanitaryplumbing.com.

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

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The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

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The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Omnia Mechanical Group, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

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The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Omnia Mechanical Group. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

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The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

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Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since omniagroup.nyc does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: info@omniagroup.nyc.