How to Prevent Commercial Boiler Issues

Providing employees with a comfortable indoor climate boosts productivity and helps improve their wellbeing while at work. A commercial boiler provides everyone (regardless if they work in the executive offices or basement copy room) with comfortable temperatures, especially during colder months. Commercial boiler issues can have a significant effect on the building’s indoor temperatures. As part of the overall HVAC system, a malfunctioning or underperforming boiler may leave some employees out in the cold, even when working inside an office or commercial building.

5 Commercial Boiler Issues – and How to Address Them

A myriad of studies has linked the performance of an employee to the temperatures experienced in their work environments. Ultimately, building and facility managers need to aim for a concept called thermal neutrality when it comes to the indoor environment. When commercial boiler issues arise, it undoubtedly leads to unhappy (and unproductive) occupants.

To assist with resolving problems quickly and getting all the occupants back to full productivity, let’s look at the five most common issues with commercial boilers.

1. Not Generating Heat or Noticeable Reduction in Boiler Thermal Performance

The primary function of the boiler is to add heat to the air and ventilation systems in the building. When it no longer functions as designed, it’s vital to act quickly to determine the cause of the issue. It could point to problems with the machine such as blocked burners from excess debris or dust. As this poses a fire hazard, getting a professional to investigate the cause as soon as possible is the best course of action.

2. Water Leaking from the Commercial Boiler System

A leaky boiler is another potential hazard that requires immediate attention. While a few drops below the machine may seem trivial, it likely means excessive corrosion of the water tank or any of the other components. Water build-up below the boiler is easy to spot and probably means the jacketing or insulating materials are deteriorating. Other possible causes of commercial boiler water leaks may include:

  • Corroded pipes, fittings, threads, or other components
  • A faulty pressure relief valve
  • Thermal fatigue of the system or a problem with the expansion tank

Regular preventative maintenance should help limit commercial boiler issues and identify water leaks early, allowing an expert to fix them before they become a major hazard.

3. Boiler Startup Process Leads to Persistent Lockouts

When the commercial boiler initiates its startup process but fails to complete it, it’s called a lockout. Usually, it’s possible to reset the system and restart the sequence to solve the problem but if it persists, it may indicate a larger issue with the machine. Causes may include a broken thermostat, insufficient pressure, or something as simple as a blown fuse. Modern boiler control systems will provide a fault code that building managers can use to trace the root cause of the problem.

4. Not Distributing Heat Evenly in the Building

Controlling how heat travels through the different areas of the building depends on the proper configuration of the zone control system. Once certain zones aren’t receiving enough warm air, a technician may need to reconfigure the settings to ensure enough heat reaches a particular zone in the building. Anything from floor coverings to types of walls can influence the thermal performance of a zone, which will require a certified professional to review and optimize the current settings.

5. Experiencing a Drop-In System Pressure

For a commercial boiler to operate effectively, it needs to maintain the ideal system pressure. Leaks, damaged feed pumps, or even a faulty steam trap can influence the system’s operating pressures. It may also point to undersized heating elements, issues with the on-off water feeding system, or exterior tank damage. When a commercial boiler system isn’t operating at its nominal pressures, ask an expert for assistance in identifying the problem.

Improve Operating Efficiency with The Severn Group

For any kind of commercial boiler issues, we can assist. Our technicians can help diagnose problems with any portion of a building’s HVAC system. We can also make recommendations for improved efficiency and performance of your system. To get help with any commercial boiler issues you may have, get in touch with The Severn Group today.