How and when to inspect heating equipment systems?

Because there are many types of heating systems, the details of inspection necessarily vary. The most favorable time for this inspection is in the spring when the plant is shut down for the season.

Automatically controlled equipment such as oil burners, gas-fired boilers, mechanical coal stokers, and hot-water heaters should be maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s directions. In some communities public service companies offer limited maintenance, but in any event, adjustments and repairs should be made by trained mechanics.

The smoke pipe should be taken down in the spring, cleaned, and put in a dry place until fall. Ashes should be removed from the firebox and ash-pit, and soot from the chimney. The ash dump of the fireplace should also be emptied. The baffles in the hot-water boiler above the fire box also require frequent brushing to remove soot. The hinges of the boiler doors should be oiled and the doors left open during the summer.

If the grates are warped or broken, or if the walls of the fire box are cracked, new parts should be ordered and repairs made promptly. Boilers should be examined for possible cracks or leaks. The coating on the boiler may need patching, or some of the heating pipes may require covering.

Examine the chimney to see whether the cement is sound around the smoke pipe where it enters the chimney. Notice whether woodwork adjoining the chimney requires fireproof covering to lessen the fire hazard. Stoves and stovepipe should be carefully inspected during the summer and necessary repairs or replacements made before the cold season begins.