It’s Time for Your Boiler Inspection

Boiler inspections


An annual boiler inspection is an important (and required) step to ensure the safe operation of your boiler, and ultimately, safety for your facility. These inspections are required by most states and some local jurisdictions for all high-pressure boilers used in commercial service. Taking the time now to prepare your boiler for inspection will allow for a more effective inspection, helping to save time for the inspector and your personnel.

The pre-inspection activities must be performed by personnel properly trained on the boiler, auxiliary equipment, controls, and safety devices.

Be sure to document all of your pre-inspection activities and share them with the authorized inspector at the time of inspection. The following information provides guidance for suggested pre-inspection activities. Remember, all activities should follow your organization's safety procedures.

Pre-outage inspection

The purpose of the pre-outage, which is done while the boiler and its auxiliaries are in operation, is to detect conditions requiring maintenance or investigation during the scheduled outage. Some conditions can be corrected prior to the inspection. Some conditions can be corrected prior to the inspection. For other problems, parts can be ordered and arrangements with repair companies made so that outage time is minimized.

The pre-outage inspection should include examination of all water, steam, exhaust, and gas or oil piping for leaks. Look for any unusual conditions such as discoloration or hotspots on the boiler casing. Inspect the casing insulation. Damaged asbestos insulation must be replaced with non-asbestos insulation following approved OSHA and EPA procedures. The safety relief valve should be examined for leaks and the valve’s data tag should be readable. The relief valve and low water cutout should be tested following the manufacturer’s recommendations. The burner flame should be examined for proper color and shape. Examine auxiliary equipment such as pumps and fans for unusual noise or vibration.

Personnel safety cautions

Your personnel should take safety precautions when preparing for the internal jurisdictional inspection. Precautions should include proper lockout/tag out and confined space entry procedures, and personal protective equipment. Check with your safety manager to assure compliance with all OSHA regulations.

Boiler preparation

There are also a number of things you can do to prepare the boiler itself. Allow the boiler to cool down to 150-200°F before draining. When a boiler is in a battery with other operating boiler(s) and common blow down piping, secure the blow down piping of the operating boiler. The operating boiler’s blow down valves must not be operated until the blow down valves on the shutdown boiler are blanked off or closed and locked. The main header stop valve on the boiler to be inspected should be closed, padlocked, and tagged. Lock and tag the fuel supply and power. The feed water supply should be locked out and tagged.


Documenting your boiler review and pre-inspection activities will greatly aid the inspector. Provide the authorized inspector with the following documentation at time of inspection:

  • Records of past outages
  • Records of welded repairs
  • Water treatment log
  • Boiler operating log



When the boiler is properly prepared, the authorized inspector can perform the job in an efficient and thorough manner to the benefit of all parties. Preparation and documentation are key to a thorough, efficient and safe inspection.

To schedule a jurisdictional boiler inspection, please identify your GuideOne policy effective date and find the appropriate equipment breakdown reinsurer below:

  • Policyholders with policy effective dates prior to 5/1/2020 can call Hartford Steam Boiler at 800-333-4677 to schedule a boiler inspection.
  • Policyholders with policy effective dates after 5/1/2020 can call Travelers BoilerRe at 800-425-4119 to schedule a boiler inspection.








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Brian Gleason

Brian Gleason

Senior Risk Manager

Brian Gleason, MBA has spent most of the past 30 years working with and for churches, schools and nonprofits as an employee, consultant and board member. His experience includes insurance, occupational health and safety, human resources issues and emergency management. Prior to his career at GuideOne, Gleason spent 20 years as the risk manager of a university in southern California. He earned his MBA, is a Certified School Risk Manager, and speaks and writes regularly on a variety of topics related to risk management.

© 2024 GuideOne Insurance. GuideOne® is the registered trademark of the GuideOne Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.