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Commercial Steam Boiler FAQs

Q: How DO I KNOW IF THE BOILER IN MY COMMERCIAL BUILDING IS A STEAM BOILER?

A: Steam boilers are controlled by pressure and will have pressure gauges and pressure controls. They also are not full of water like a water boiler, so they have a gauge glass that shows the water level in the boiler. See our video on how to identify a steam boiler 

Q: HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU FLUSH A STEAM BOILER?

A: It depends on the type of steam boiler and the usage. At a minimum a Commercial steam boiler should be blown down (flushed) at least once a week to keep your steam boiler repair to a minimum

Q: HOW DO YOU FLUSH A STEAM BOILER?

A: Steam boiler maintenance is best performed by a heating professional. Flushing or what is commonly called blow down is performed by draining a small amount of water at the drains located at the base of the boiler, water gauge glass and low water safety controls. Steam boiler annual maintenance should include completely draining and refilling.

Q: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THERE IS TOO MUCH WATER IN A STEAM BOILER?

A: Too much water will prevent the water from turning to steam and will create a banging noise in the piping.

Q: HOW DO STEAM BOILERS WORK?

A: A commercial steam boiler heats water and converts it to steam. Commercial steam boiler owners sometimes request steam heater repairs. Several parts of a steam system could be considered a steam heater. The boiler generates the steam which is sent to other equipment such as radiators and fan coil units to distribute the heat.

Q: HOW DO YOU CONTROL THE TEMPERATURE ON A COMMERCIAL STEAM BOILER?

A: Steam boilers are not controlled by temperature. They are controlled by pressure limiting controls. It is essential that steam boiler annual maintenance include a check of all operating and safety controls. Commercial steam boiler maintenance should include a check of these controls at least twice per season and industrial boiler maintenance may be as often as once per week. Space temperatures are usually controlled by thermostats in each area which control the output of the heat emitters in the area.

Q: WHY DO THE PIPES BANG WHEN THE BOILER IS ON?

A: The banging noise is caused by steam meeting water in piping or radiators. Some of the reasons for this are steam traps not working properly, improperly pitched piping and flooding of the boiler.

Q: MY HEAT WORKS BUT THERE ARE SOME STEAM AND WATER LEAKS. IS THIS OKAY?

A: NO. One of the most harming things for a steam system is the addition of fresh water to make up for leaks. The oxygen is the fresh water will create acidity in the heating system which will destroy valves, traps, piping, and the boiler itself, sometimes in a short period. Leaks should always be corrected as soon as possible. For all commercial steam boilers, we recommend installing a water meter on the water supply line and monitoring it on a regular basis. This simple step can save a lot of trouble and expense. 

Q: HOW CAN I DETERMINE WHAT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR MY BOILER NEEDS NOW?

A: Contact us today for additional guidance on how to maintain your steam boiler