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  • Commercial Boiler Servicing and Repair

    Commercial Boiler Servicing is something that very few people would think much about. It’s unlikely to be top of anyone’s list of things they love to organise, but neglecting it, can be a very expensive decision in more ways than one.

    What happens if you don’t service your commercial boiler?

    In this article,

    • We’ll look at the potential legal issues you could face if you fail to service your commercial boiler.
    • We’ll look at the damage that can be caused to the system from neglect and how this can be prevented with regular maintenance
    • We’ll then look at what a regular service entails and why you shouldn’t try it yourself, unless you are fully certificated
    • We’ll look at the issue of error codes and why they may not always be the most helpful indicator of boiler health
    • And finally we will look at which commercial boilers we work with and who has given us approved supplier status.
    A new commercial boiler installation

    Why Service your commercial boiler?

    There are four key reasons to service your commercial boiler

    • Legal
    • Operational efficiency
    • Damage prevention
    • To prevent nuisance breakdowns

    Firstly, legal requirements

    If you are the landlord of a commercial premises, whether it’s an office, industrial, retail, residential, hotel, educational, hospital, care home, licensed outlet or even a prison, you have a legal duty to protect your staff and guests whilst they are on site.

    You should service any commercial gas appliance in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the manufacturer. On top of this, It is your legal obligation to have an annual gas safety inspection carried out by a registered engineer.

    You also need to ensure that you retain copies of your gas safety certificates for a minimum of two years.

    The Health and Safety Executive now have the power to issue criminal proceedings if you do not comply with Gas Safety Regulations. If you are the landlord or managing agent it is your responsibility to ensure you comply.

    It’s not the tenants and it’s certainly not your staff or customers.

    The penalties, in the worst cases, can be extremely harsh.

    • The standard penalty is a £6,000 fine for each breach and/or 6 months imprisonment.
    • If, through your negligent non-compliance, someone is killed, charges of manslaughter could be brought.
    • Your Insurance cover would almost certainly be invalidated for non-compliance leaving you exposed as directors and Officers to the legal ramifications.

    Operational efficiency

    A boiler that is serviced regularly will run more efficiently, be less prone to breakdown and generally last longer.

    You must have your commercial boiler serviced according to the manufacturers guidelines, or you will invalidate the warranty. Like car servicing, increasingly these service intervals are not a set time, but more about the time a boiler has run for and how efficiently it has run. We are seeing more recommended service intervals being extended out to up to three years, but this long service interval does NOT void your legal requirement for annual safety certification.

    Servicing to save lives

    Whilst rare, there are still too many instances around the world where guests have been harmed from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning through a faulty boiler.

    It has the potential to affect anyone in a commercial space too. As more buildings are almost hermetically sealed for energy conservation, the risk of CO in the system grows. The gas is odourless, colourless and tasteless, meaning that most people would never know they are being poisoned. A regular service programme will ensure your commercial boiler is burning fuel safely and efficiently.

    Servicing to save money

    Correct maintenance will invariably save you money in the long term. The cost of maintenance can be dwarfed when compared to the capital cost of having to install an entire new system after an irrevocable breakdown. In addition to the capital cost, there is the obvious potential for major business interruption too.

    Commercial boiler servicing on a new commercial boiler

    Damage prevention

    With more boilers being built out of a mix of metals, we are seeing some failure due to galvanic corrosion.

    Over time, this galvanic corrosion can cause pitting on the inside surface and ultimately failure of the heat exchanger. It is normally be caused by a swarf of dissimilar metal (often considered most likely to be copper) settling on the surface of the aluminium.

    This failure would indicate insufficient cleaning and/or flushing of the system before the addition of an approved inhibitor into the system.

    A galvanic failure of a heat exchanger will not be seen as a result of a manufacturing defect in the components used in its construction and cannot therefore be the subject of a warranty claim.

    This could be prevented with regular maintenance. We recommend that boilers are isolated from the system and that the system is cleaned with a neutral pH cleaner, thoroughly flushed and then refilled with mains water and a suitable neutral pH inhibitor containing high performance pH buffers to maintain a fixed system pH of 6.5-8.5.

    What does a commercial boiler service entail?

    A commercial boiler has to be dismantled during a service to access the working parts.

    There is a common pattern for these tasks along these lines.

    • Read any error codes to highlight any specific issues to address
    • Check and clean the burner, heat exchanger and combustion fan
    • Clean the condensate siphon
    • Clean probes
    • Clean any strainers
    • Check the water pressure
    • Check the ionisation current
    • Check the flue gas outlet and air supply connections
    • Check the combustion
    • Check the air vent (automatic or manual)
    • Check any non-return valves

    Sometimes this may entail specific replacement parts with one of the most common being the replacement of the ionisation/ignition electrode.

    If fitted, the magnetic filter also needs to be checked and cleaned. We often test the system at this point to ensure inhibitor and PH levels are correct.

    When this is done, the service interval indicator and any error codes are reset and the boiler is reassembled.

    Why you need a qualified engineer to service your commercial boiler

    With gas, electricity and water mixing in close proximity, there is always a risk. Our team of engineers are not just qualified, they are experienced too.

    There are many reasons not to attempt to service your own commercial boiler, with a few of the very strongest ones being…

    • You are risking your life and all of those around you
    • You will invalidate your warranty
    • You will be breaking the law as you will not be able to obtain a Gas Safety Certificate
    • You have the potential to cause irreparable damage to the system

    Regular servicing is relatively inexpensive and causes very little business interruption, when compared to the cost of replacement of an entire system.

    Commercial Boiler Servicing - What you don't need with commercial boilers is for them to be condemned
    What you don’t need with commercial boilers is for them to be condemned

    Error Codes vs. Experience

    Error Codes are now common on almost any boiler – commercial or domestic. They can however lead to a whole series of further errors by an inexperienced engineer merely taking it as read that the error code being displayed is the actual issue that’s causing it.

    We believe that the experience of the Kimpton Engineers enables them to take better decisions and ultimately save you time and money in the process.

    Colin Swanick, the Kimpton Service Director sums this up. “An error code is just a start point. It may simply tell you to replace a PCB. This is an expensive and aggressive approach and may well not solve the actual underlying problem. It’s also a part that can’t be returned if it doesn’t solve it, so it makes sense to find the issue first.

    It could be an electrical short elsewhere, or some other issue that’s causing the problem and fitting a new board will only ever be a short term fix before it fails again.

    Our approach is to analyse, understand and then methodically work though the potential causes, as the best way to solve the issue. It’s what I did when I worked in the field over 20 years ago and we still approach a commercial boiler repair in the same way – which is to solve the underlying problem first.”

    Approved Service and repair partners

    Whilst this isn’t an exhaustive list, we have approved supplier status with many of the major commercial boiler suppliers. Commercial boilers are generally 70kW and above.

    We are both qualified end experienced in servicing and repairing most brands of Commercial Boilers, including the following:

    This isn’t an exhaustive list as through the years many of the commercial boiler suppliers have merged, closed or just changed their names. But, over our 50+ year history, many of our engineers have worked on some unusual and interesting boilers and heating systems. So if in doubt, please do call us and we would be happy to discuss your particular set-up.

    Commercial Boiler servicing and repair by Kimptons

    The Kimpton maintenance team are the team you can rely on for commercial boiler servicing and repair.

    We’d be happy to give you a quote for our work

    The emergency repair team are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All of our mobile engineers are highly experienced, fully qualified and carry enough of the common service parts to solve most issues first-time and will get you back up and running in double quick time.

    Call us today on 0151 343 1963.

    Interested in our services?

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    What our customers say

    • Kimpton Energy Solutions have provided a reliable and helpful service at Dover and Philharmonic Court since they were opened in 2014 /15. A good working relationship is maintained with the service engineers and having a key account manager who is responsive and maintains regular communication has been a key factor in service provision.Having a…

    • Kimptons provided a ‘planned maintenance schedule’ to suit our academic year requirements and maintained the dates set out. Their engineers were always well presented and aware of how to conduct themselves within our environment. They were all trained and knowledgeable on the various items of equipment they came to work on. Mr Mike Pickles,…

    • We are happy with the service Kimptons have provided over the years. Their engineers are local and have great knowledge of our systems. We have built up an excellent working relationship with service engineers along with their office staff. Mr Kevin Foy, Notre Dame College

    • The Kimpton engineers on site are always accommodating to requests from the estates team with regards to heating, ventilation and air conditioning issues. The planned maintenance schedule has developed over the years and works well throughout the year. Having a key account manager who attends site on a weekly basis provides an excellent line…

    • The installation will improve the comfort conditions in several areas of the school servicing both pupils and staff. We are very experienced in undertaking projects in these conditions were flexibility and careful scheduling is key and this was crucial to our appointment on this contract.

    • We have been using TKR Services since their inception and during that time they proved to be not only commercially competitive, but also, looking from an Engineers point of view they have strived to provide the highest quality work.

    • The Plaza is a showpiece building for Bruntwood in Liverpool and we have since made it our own headquarters in the city. To reflect this, we needed to ensure that the fit out was of the highest quality, whilst maintaining the high levels of service our tenants expect from Bruntwood.