Information Bulletin: Recommended maintenance and inspection for low pressure steam boilers

Information Bulletin

Information Bulletin: Recommended maintenance and inspection for low pressure steam boilers

July 12, 2013

Information Bulletin
Boiler, PV and Refrigeration

Reference Number:



Lack of routine inspection and proper maintenance for small low pressure (not exceeding 15 psig ) steam boilers is widespread and one of the major causes of accidents, breakdowns and repairs. The BC Safety Authority recommends that owners of low pressure steam boilers put into practice a routine maintenance program and establish a regular, periodic safety-testing program Such programs will help prevent accidents, repairs and operating problems and result in operating cost savings.

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Most boiler manufacturers will recommend maintenance and testing practises for their equipment which can be used to develop a program and checklists. As a minimum the following maintenance, inspection and testing should be carried out:


  • Blow down and test low water cutoffs of steam boilers
  • Blow down make up feeder
  • Blow down boiler
  • Check boiler control linkage
  • Visual check of burner flame
  • Record feed water pressure and temperature, flue gas temperature, steam pressure and make-up water usage


  • Check flame failure cutoff, safety and interlock controls
  • Check operating and limit controls
  • Check indicating lights and alarms
  • Check pilot and main flame fuel shutoff valve closing
  • Check burner operation
  • Check boiler and system for leaks, noise or vibration


Have a licensed contractor:

  • Inspect burner components
  • Carry out combustion analysis
  • Check flame failure system components
  • Check piping and wiring of all interlocks and shutoff valves
  • Inspect burner control linkage and cams
  • Lubricate pumps and other equipment
  • Open, inspect and clean low water cutoff and perform a slow drain test for low water cutoffs (steam)
  • Inspect combustion control system, burner, refractory and casing for hot spots
  • Inspect for flue gas leakage
  • For oil -- check atomizers and strainers
  • Test boiler safety/safety relief valves in accordance with ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Sections VI and VII


Have a licensed contractor:

  • Perform the SEMIANNUAL maintenance procedures
  • Clean boiler firesides
  • Drain boiler, open manholes and hand holes, inspect and clean waterside surfaces
  • Replace gaskets
  • Leak-test all fuel valves
  • Test operation of all controls and safety devices
  • Have fuel-burning system adjusted using combustion test instruments


  • Make a record of all maintenance and parts replacement in the maintenance log




Ed Hurd P.Eng.

Provincial Safety Manager, Boilers




Safety Standards Act

Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel & Refrigeration Safety Regulation

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