Commercial Boiler Servicing
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What constitutes a commercial boiler?
A commercial boiler works in much the same way as a domestic boiler. The main difference is the output is higher than 70 kilowatts, and the boiler has been classified as commercial by the manufacturer. A commercial boiler’s exact output will depend on your premises’ size and efficiency and your heating/hot water requirements. Commercial boilers are usually supplied by gas pipework with a diameter of over 35 mm. This means a commercial Gas Safe registered engineer must maintain commercial boilers.
Commercial boilers can be found in many business premises, including schools, hotels, warehouses, factories, leisure centres and churches. Most businesses depend on their heating and hot water to be in constant use, 24 hours a day – think of a hotel, for example. For this reason, there can be big problems should something go wrong. For health and safety reasons, all businesses must provide a warm and hygienic environment for their employees. To keep your commercial boiler in tip-top condition and running efficiently, it needs to be serviced regularly. This way, even minor issues will be identified before they have a chance to become a significant problem.
The average lifespan of a commercial boiler is 10-15 a year. Proactive maintenance helps extend lifespan, minimise business disruption, and reduce monthly energy bills. The risk of safety issues is also significantly reduced.
How much does a commercial boiler service cost?
The cost of a commercial boiler service depends on the type and kilowatt output, however, you should expect to pay around £200 (ex VAT) for a commercial boiler service (not including spare parts).
How often should your commercial boiler be serviced?
Commercial boiler manufacturers insist on annual servicing to maintain the boiler warranty. However, commercial boilers are especially susceptible to wear and tear, therefore we recommend six-monthly servicing. This minimises the chance of a major breakdown. Sudden loss of critical systems like hot water and heating can be damaging to business.
From a legal perspective, it’s usually the business owner who has responsibility for ensuring gas appliances are in safe working order. It’s also their obligation to service boilers with the frequency required by the manufacturer. You must also have an annual gas safety check conducted by a commercial gas safe registered engineer.
In addition to boiler servicing, several signs indicate a boiler needs to be looked at urgently. Any signs of leakage or changes in operation, such as the development of unusual noises – whirring, ticking, or clunking – or the system failing to heat as usual could be an indicator of a boiler issue. And as mentioned earlier, rising gas bills should ring alarm bells, as an inefficient boiler will use more energy. So before you switch gas suppliers to try and reduce your bills, make sure your boiler is running correctly.
What does a commercial boiler service entail?
A boiler service includes checking all internal and external components. The service engineer first ensures the boiler, pipework and flue are all installed correctly and looks to see if proper ventilation is in place, plus check the boiler flame, leaks and any signs of corrosion. Next, the boiler casing is removed to take a closer look at each internal component – burner, heat exchanger, main injector, spark probe, electrical connections, fans, seals, gas pressure and flow, flue and combustion, electrodes, condensate trap and pipe, safety devices. And then, the inside of the boiler is thoroughly cleaned to remove any blockages or grime.
Below is a sample service checklist containing some of the tests that will be performed:
- Checking for any signs of leaks or corrosion
- Clean all parts to maintain efficiency
- Conduct combustion analysis after cleaning the burners
- Check for emission compliance
- Conduct AQMD monitoring
- Check and clean water gauges
- Perform tests on safety features
A commercial boiler should also be checked against existing regulations that cover non-domestic establishments. Some laws and regulations have implications: a performance test needs to be carried out to ensure the boiler is working in accordance with The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, and businesses and landlords are legally required to give tenants a copy of the building’s Gas Safety Certificate.
When the service is completed, the engineer will provide an extensive report, including any significant issues, such as repairs or replacement parts. It should be looked over carefully before signing to see if all the notes are accurate, and a copy of the report should be requested as most insurance companies require this document for the warranty.
Most modern commercial boilers are highly efficient and hard-wearing, but you must have them serviced by a qualified gas engineer regularly to avoid any unwanted disruptions.
Regular servicing will:
- Keep your boiler running efficiently for longer
- Minimise costly breakdowns
- Prevent gas leaks or carbon monoxide poisoning
- Reduce the likelihood of flooding
- Ensure compliance with regulations
- Give you peace of mind
- Keep your boiler warranty valid
At MHL, we recommend a six-monthly commercial boiler service and would usually expect it to take 1-1.5 hours, depending on the size and type of your boiler.
To make sure you’re looking after your commercial boiler and keeping downtime to a minimum contact MHL for more help on 0800 061 4567 firstname.lastname@example.org