You’ve been keeping your commercial boiler well maintained, however the unforeseen has happened – it’s failed. It’s freezing cold and your staff and customers are relying on your provision of heating and hot water. Your first point of call is probably your trusted commercial boiler servicing company who have rushed to site to investigate the breakdown, but they are unable to get your boiler back up and running due to the nature of the failure. If the problem is not resolved soon, it could significantly cost your business and your reputation.
Commercial Boiler Contingency Plan – Heating & Hot Water without Disruption
Having a contingency plan in place will save you time and much stress, whilst protecting your business from unplanned downtime.
By surveying your site, equipment and requirements in advance, a bespoke contingency plan can be created, so that in the unfortunate event of a commercial boiler failure, your temperature control partner can respond quickly to deliver, install, commission and test contingent equipment – getting heating and hot water switched back on quickly.
Do you need the full capacity of the installed heating plant in the event of a failure or can you cope with less. The demand on a building in the winter will be very different from mid-summer, so why waste money hiring more than you need? It may also be the case that only critical heating is required ensuring that the most important or most vulnerable areas are provided with heating in an emergency.
It is vital that any temporary boiler plant is positioned correctly to take into consideration a number of factors. The most important is to ensure that the products of combustion (POC) are safely dispersed and cannot cause harm to the occupants of nearby buildings. The boiler must be located a safe distance away from any building with openings such as doors, window and vents that could allow the ingress of fumes into the building. This distance increases with the heating output of the boiler. It may be necessary to extend the flue of the boiler to ensure the safe dispersal of the POC.
The location must also be safely accessible for delivery and collection vehicles with the minimum of disruption. The delivery vehicle(s) may be very large so you may even need to review the route to your premises to avoid narrow streets and low bridges.
Most rental boilers are capable of running using diesel or natural gas. Natural gas is currently both cheaper and cleaner, however diesel is often quicker to install in an emergency. It may be possible to install a diesel unit for rapidity and then change the fuel over to gas later for economy. If using diesel, then consideration must be given to access for the tanker delivering fuel as well as ensuring any local fire regulations are adhered to when siting the fuel tank. Also, short-term solutions often end up being on site longer than anticipated, so fuel efficiency can become very important, therefore it’s important to choose a boiler hire company that has energy efficient equipment it’s fleet.
What is the best place to break into the buildings hot water system(s)? Can existing expansion, pressurisation, top up, heat exchangers and other ancillary equipment be utilised or are these required as part of the hire package? Is there a natural access point into the system or are modifications required to allow interface?
Is there a suitable power supply for the required hire equipment? Bear in mind that there is already a power supply for the incumbent heating plant but this may need to be used for repairs and test running simultaneously, while the rental equipment is in use. Also, the hire plant may need a different electrical supply than the installed equipment.
As well as the POC, issue and Fuel Tank siting, there are a number of additional safety considerations to be reviewed when preparing a contingency plan. For example, is there a safe route from the plant laydown area to the system interface that avoids creating unnecessary trip hazards? Also, leaving a plant room door open to allow hoses to enter could allow access to unauthorised people.
It may be necessary to carry out enabling works to ensure a fast, safe and secure connection of hire boiler to your building. Carrying out enabling works may save you a great deal of time and stress in the event of an equipment failure. Simple measures like fitting an electrical isolator and bringing hard pipework to the plant area or creating a safe route for hoses by fitting purpose built hatches can increase safety and reduce fitting time.
Choose a supplier to work with that has relevant experience and open an account with them in advance, so if you need them there will be no “red tape” to cut. Document your plan thoroughly and ensure that everyone understands their responsibilities in the event of a catastrophic boiler failure. The plan should provide clear instructions regarding equipment locations, routes for running hoses and cables and access requirements for delivery vehicles including safe access for HGVs. Remember that “a picture is worth a thousand words” so drawings and photographs may be the best way to communicate important information.
Things change in the real world, extensions are built, old walls are knocked down, new walls are built, what was once a good location for the hire equipment can become unsuitable, so carry out regular reviews with your rental partner to ensure your plan is up to date and effective.
Packaged Boiler Plant Hire – The Ideal Back-Up Solution
ICS Cool Energy has commercial boiler plant from 3kW up to 2MW ‘ready for hire’ as well as dedicated equipment set aside to fulfil customers’ contingency plans.
Our industrial range of reliable and highly efficient packaged commercial boilers are housed within steel containers to provide weather resistant protection – enabling external positioning and increased protection from environmental elements. The container design also allows for easy positioning and a fast rental set up with sturdy forklift holes, large swing door for easy unit access and ISO corners for lifting. We specify Viessmann boilers wherever possible and use Weishaupt burners for their efficiency.
ICS Cool Energy can support you with a contingency plan and the equipment to ensure that heating and hot water does not compromise your operation. Call our team on 0800 840 4210 for more information.