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Boiler Maintenance: Tips for Equipment Longevity

When you refer to the term “equipment liability” in the laundry industry, naturally the first thing that comes to mind for most individuals is going to be washers and/or dryers. What about behind-the-scenes, though? It’s imperative that laundry operators not forget the one piece of equipment that ties it all together; their boiler/water heater.  In addition to properly insuring the business and its equipment with the right FabriCare Advantage Insurance Program, the following tips could help laundry owners avoid lost business or hefty costs due to a malfunctioning boiler or water heater.

Be Prepared. Service professionals are rarely available immediately, especially if something happens to your equipment on the weekend. This means that operators will need to self-diagnose and repair themselves when possible. That being said, it’s important to have essential parts on hand. Fulton Companies’ sales manager Mike McLean suggests the following parts to stock up on: ignition electrodes, water probes, UV scanner, handhold gaskets, site glasses, site glass gaskets, and other relative parts.

Know Your Equipment. The average water heater or boiler often comes with a warranty of about 10 years. In most cases, a water heater will last well beyond this warranty however it’s important to realize that their life expectancy is dependent on many factors; the local water chemistry, system use, operating temperatures, and maintenance provided.

Check Your Equipment. Do you know what to look for to troubleshoot boiler/water heater problems? A yellow flame on the pilot light is typically indicative of poor combustion conditions. Venting systems could have internal blockage, restriction, leakage, corrosion, or other deficiencies. Semi-annually, the boiler/water heater should be checked for scale buildup that is often caused by hard water.

Know the Signs. How do you know if a repair is needed or will be needed soon? Maintenance is key, but if you don’t know what to look for then you may not be able to maintain your equipment properly. Doug Ritchie, president of Danville, KY- based Sellers Manufacturing Co., recommends keeping an eye (or an ear) out for the following signs:

  • Knocking sounds
  • Short-cycling
  • Intermittent pilot light
  • Flow switch tripping
  • Hot spots
  • High stack temperature

It’s important to think about all aspects of your business when considering purchasing laundry insurance for equipment breakdown. For example at a coin-op Laundromat this will include hot water heaters and boilers in addition to the washing machines and dryers. At a drycleaning facility, this will include washing equipment, stills, tumblers, valves, filters, and more.

At Irving Weber Associates, Inc. (IWA), we offer laundry insurance programs such as the FabriCare Advantage  program as well as Coin-Op Advantage, both which offer equipment breakdown coverage. Please contact us today for more information at (855) 764-7406.