Preventative Maintenance Schedule For Most Boilers

  • Daily: Check water level
  • Check oil level and make note of level {if gas, read gas meter}. Determine daily consumption
  • Check oil level in compressor {#4 and #6 oil burners}
  • Check water temperature and oil pressure gauges for correct readings
  • Make note of water addition {if any}
  • Take reading of stack thermometer
  • Check flame at high fire {#4 and #6 oil burners} for length and color
  • Once a week: Test low water safety cut off switch
  • Do a 15-second blow-down on the:
  • Column
  • Low water automatic water feeder
  • Surface valve
  • Oil preheater {for #6 oil burners}
  • Bottom emptying valve
  • Clean strainers and filters {#4 and 6 oil burners}
  • Once a Month: Clean spinning cup or nozzle
  • Clean fire eye
  • Clean smoke detection eye on chimney
  • Check pre-rotation veins for any oil residue
  • Check combustion chamber for any oil residue
  • Once every six months: Thoroughly clean burner and burner assembly
  • Clean tubes {#4 and #6 burners} {once a year if #2 oil or gas}
  • Test the safety relief valve on the boiler
  • Once a year: Have a complete burner overhaul
  • Conduct an efficiency test on the burner
  • Clean stack and breaching
  • Once every two years: Have a waterside boil out done
  • Once every five years: {#4 and #6 oil burners}
  • Have the oil tank cleaned and inspected
  • Have the oil lines to and from the boiler steam-cleaned

The above is a recommended schedule of maintenance. You should consult your boiler manufacturer just in case additional maintenance is required. Safety is always the first consideration in boiler operations. Efficiency is second.

Contributed by Peter Grech, a building operations consultant, and president of the Superintendent's Club of N.Y.For more information, email the Superintendents Club, which can be found at

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