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Boiler Safety: Annual Inspection Checklist


States and municipalities require boiler inspections. While some inspection requirements are becoming stricter, they do not cover the entire boiler system, and managers should consider them to be absolute minimum requirements.

Safe operation requires managers to go well beyond these minimal, legally mandated requirements to establish comprehensive inspection and testing programs. For example, at least once each year, operators should inspect all water-side and fire-side surfaces and remove corrosion, scale, and mud. They also should inspect refractory surfaces.

Annual inspections do more than meet the legal requirements of states and municipalities. They help to detect problems that are developing before they can cause costly damage to the boiler.

In addition to the mandated requirements, managers should ensure operators and technicians complete a number of regular tasks:

  • They should examine the boiler or domestic water heater for code compliance at least once each year.
  • They should identify and correct all installation deficiencies.
  • They should inspect and test all safety and interlocks for proper operation.
  • They should test the operation of the boiler’s control system over a range of loads.
  • They should test all shutoff valves annually to confirm they close and do not leak.
  • They should check all interior surfaces during the boiler’s annual inspection to ensure no localized overheating, erosion, or corrosion formation occurs.

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