Dec 12, 2018
Preventing boiler and generator breakdown

{Sponsored} Electrical breakdown is the most prevalent cause of loss in a greenhouse. Poor electrical power quality and harsh operating conditions like dust, high humidity and heat can all contribute to equipment breakdown.

When damage caused by a sudden breakdown to a critical power source or heating equipment occurs, your business faces exponential costs — the cost of replacing the boiler or generator if replacement parts are not available, crop loss and loss of business if plants cannot be replaced.

Real Property coverage applies to both buildings and greenhouses, covering the equipment contained in those structures including boilers, generators, coolers, benching systems, irrigation equipment, heat retention curtain systems and environmental control computers. This may have you covered for the equipment itself, but what about losses due to these breakdowns?

That’s where Equipment Breakdown insurance from Hortica® comes in. Equipment Breakdown insurance responds when equipment is damaged by mechanical breakdown, electrical arcing, artificially generated electrical currents, centrifugal force, or bulging, cracking or collapse of pressure vessels.

Consider installing a monitoring system to receive alerts when sensors for temperature, humidity or ventilation detect a reading outside of an optimal range. Notifications from the monitoring system can help you take action to prevent damage or loss to flowers, plants or crop that is are sensitive to heat or humidity.

Perform thorough maintenance checks on furnaces and boilers each year, especially before the winter season. The University of Massachusetts Extension provides a checklist to keep boilers functioning. Here are some tips:

Protect fuel oil tanks: Twenty percent of service calls result from dirty fuel. Tanks should be located away from dusty locations, and watertight fittings should be used. They should also be enclosed or protected to keep fuel from getting too cold.

Remove soot from inside the furnace or boiler: A 1/8″ soot deposit can increase fuel consumption as much as ten percent. Surfaces should be wirebrushed and vacuumed or special cleaning compounds used.

Change fuel filters: Uniformly clean fuel delivered to the burner results in more efficient combustion. Make sure fuel supply line connections are tight and replace oil filters each time the furnace is cleaned.

Make sure to record all maintenance and repairs for future reference.

Providing a backup power source, like a generator, can also prevent systems or equipment from shutting down if you experience sudden power loss. Work with a licensed electrician to determine your power needs and help you choose a generator with matching power output.

North Carolina State University Extension offers the following suggestions when selecting a backup generator:

  • An overhead valve engine for longer life and quieter operation
  • An automatic idle control to reduce noise and fuel consumption
  • A large gas tank (a 5-10 gallon tank may last only 5-10 hours)
  • A low oil shutdown feature to prevent engine damage
  • A wheel kit for easy transport. Generators larger than 3,000 watts can weigh more than 100 pounds.

Don’t forget to confirm your coverage every six months. Contact your Hortica agent or visit for basic coverage information.

Hortica® property and casualty coverages are underwritten, and loss control services are provided, by Florists’ Mutual Insurance Company, Florists’ Insurance Company, and Florists’ Insurance Service, Inc., Edwardsville, IL, members of the Sentry Insurance Group. For more information, visit Policies, coverages, benefits and discounts are not available in all states. See policy for complete coverage details.

© 2018 Hortica


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