Biomass Boiler Maintenance Tips
If you have a biomass boiler, then you know that it needs regular maintenance to keep it working efficiently.
These boilers are complicated and need to be maintained properly to work well. You can’t just ignore them or hire any old person to service them for you.
We’ve created this page of tips to help you keep your boiler running smoothly and avoid unnecessary problems.
- Always Obey Manufacturer’s Recommendations for Service Intervals:
Biomass boilers can save you money on your fuel bill and reduce your carbon footprint, but they require regular servicing to maintain their efficiency.
Failure to keep up with recommended maintenance will result in a reduction of the boiler’s efficiency, which means higher fuel bills and greater wear on moving parts which, in turn, increases the chance of a breakdown. Correct servicing is also a mandatory requirement if you are receiving support through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme.
A professional service can save you time and money in the long run by ensuring that your boiler is running at its highest efficiency.
- Service Your Boiler Before Winter, to Avoid the Winter Rush:
Boiler breakdowns can cost you time, money and peace of mind.
In the winter months, there are few things worse than a boiler that doesn’t work.
We recommend that you arrange a service prior to the main heating season in order to minimise disruption during the service and reduce the chance of needing emergency call outs and express delivery of replacement parts.
- Always Use the Correct Fuel for Your Boiler:
Your boiler has been designed to burn a specific type of fuel. Failure to burn the correct fuel not only risks damaging the boiler, but also risks emitting dangerous pollutants and can result in loss of Renewable Heat Incentive Accreditation or, in extreme cases, prosecution.
If you are unsure of the correct fuel specification, consult your boiler manual, installer or qualified maintainer.
Many boilers are able to burn a wide range of fuels but often need adjustments to be made by a qualified person when switching from one specification to another.
- Conduct Weekly Checks:
Basic weekly checks are important to spot potential issues before they become major problems. Dealing with them early will minimise costs and disruption.
- Check system pressure – low water pressure suggests a leak somewhere and can result in air being drawn into the system which promotes corrosion and can damage pumps. High water pressure can be the result of a failed expansion vessel.
- Look and listen – just watching the flue gases for a moment and listening to pumps, motors, gearboxes etc will give you an early indication of problems. Dark smoke suggests poor combustion which needs investigation. Unexpected noises could mean bearings are failing or there is air in the system.
- Check for leaks – in a complex hydraulic system, leaks will happen. Keep your eyes peeled for small leaks, often showing encrustation where water has leaked and then evaporated, around air vents, valves, joints etc. If dealt with early, these are easily sorted, but if left, they can cause corrosion of pipes, fittings and components leading to costly repairs.
- Check ash – when you empty the ash box, check for partially burnt fuel or clinker as the presence of either suggests inefficient combustion which could be a result of a deeper problem or just need some settings adjusting.
- Get to know your boiler – you are the one who knows your boiler best. Take note of its normal performance – how long a load of fuel lasts, what a normal flue gas temperature is, what the oxygen level is in the flue gases when it is running. If things change for no good reason, investigate!
- Check Your Building Connections:
Building connections are an integral part of the biomass system and a well-designed connection will match the energy requirements of the building to the energy circulated from the biomass boiler.
Check that control valves and sensors are working correctly and, as with the biomass plant room, keep an eye out for leaks and unexpected noises.