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Did your boiler break down? Ours did, too

Anybody’s equipment can fail, here’s how to help prevent a loss in cold weather

Hartford Steam Boiler’s boiler sprung a leak after a long period of severely cold weather.

You might chuckle — go ahead, we don’t mind — but the failure tells a story that every equipment operator should know: heating equipment often breaks down when you need it the most.

Cold is hard on equipment

Extreme cold weather is hard on heating systems and last winter’s cold snap caused plenty of breakdowns. In Hartford, a deep freeze began on Christmas Day and continued into January as temperatures dropped to as low as minus nine degrees F.

Feeling the heat

The two boilers in HSB’s 24-story headquarters were operating at maximum levels for weeks to keep employees and other building tenants comfortable. It had not been so cold for so long in decades and the demand kept increasing for more and more heat.

HSB’s boiler breaks down

The section leak in HSB’s No. 2 boiler was discovered during one of the routine boiler checks that are conducted daily. After consulting with a contractor, the unit was shut down and two of the 14 boiler sections were replaced to prevent a sudden failure.

Yours could, too

HSB’s building services crew is fastidious about boiler testing and maintenance. Still, the boiler leaked and would eventually break down. Yours could, too.

Repairs can be expensive, disruptive

Commercial boiler breakdowns are common and can lead to expensive repairs, extra expense and business interruptions.

Building tenants could be upset

A loss of heat and hot water can strain relationships between building owners and tenants, between tenants and their employees, and their customers. A building owner also could violate a tenant’s lease, which typically requires a landlord to maintain comfortable interior temperatures.

Three steps to help prevent a breakdown

Any business can take simple steps to help keep the heat on when they need it most. Start with a boiler tune-up by an experienced professional. Then follow these simple steps:

  • Look for leaks. Spotting minor leaks early can prevent a big repair bill later.
  • Listen for changes in the way the boiler is running. Are there unusual sounds, vibrations, or rattles?
  • Keep a list of operating conditions. Simple forms called “boiler logs” list the dates and details of checks so you can schedule maintenance. Get free boiler logs here on HSB’s website.

HSB’s insurance coverage and inspections

Most states require jurisdictional inspections to ensure that a boiler is operating to code. An experienced inspector can identify conditions that could reduce efficiency or lead to a boiler breakdown. Jurisdictional inspections are included with HSB’s TechAdvantage™ equipment breakdown coverage.

Get more information on loss prevention

HSB is one of the world’s leading equipment breakdown insurers. Visit our website for more information about boiler loss prevention and maintenance.

Did your boiler break down? Ours did, too