The Ultimate Summer Shutdown Checklist New and Improved!

By:Warren Walborn

Complete this checklist even if you plan to keep your furnace running all Summer. Please note: If you use your outdoor boiler in the Summer, you must follow additional steps to protect your boiler. Read more HERE.

 

1.) First, watch this video HERE for a quick refresher of the

 "Summer Shutdown" process. 

Click HERE to watch Mindy explain "Summer Shut Down"!


2.) Be sure to follow all safety warnings!


Our customers are very smart and cautious when it comes to safety. Just please remember to be careful!

3.) Put in TWO Creosote Remover Sticks in the firebox THREE DAYS before shutting down your furnace.


Creosote Remover Sticks are SUPER EASY because they require no measuring and will simply dry up harmful creosote in your boiler. Click HERE for instructions, more info, and to order online.

4.) Allow the fire to completely burn down. 


You may wish to preserve your dry coals for Fall Startup. The reason many people do this is because if you start your furnace in the fall with a load of dry coals (instead of regular firewood), you will have far less condensation/moisture/creosote in your furnace as it heats up. Remember thatheavy condensation and creosote forms when the water jacket temp is below 140 degrees. Also, even well-seasoned wood contains at least 20% moisture and that will always complicate starting up a cold furnace, especially a GX model.

When starting a cold boiler and the water jacket temp is below 140 degrees, any moisture from the firewood will condensate on the inside burn pot and tube walls. Sometimes we get calls from customers who think they have a leak!

5.) Remove all the ashes and lightly scrape the firebox.

Be sure that all ashes are removed. Dry ashes are harmless, but if left in your outdoor boiler over the summer, these dry ashes will absorb moisture and create a caustic paste that will eat through your steel firebox.

We strongly urge you to use a shop vac to vacuum the remaining ash to be sure your burn pot is completely clean and no ash remains during the humid Summer months. Moist ash is dangerous and must be avoided.

6.) Clean the water filter


Remove the filter cartridge and clean it completely. If the cartridge is more than 4-5 years old, it must be replaced, even if it looks ok (read why HERE - "Filter Cartrige Life is Shorter Than You Realize"). Do not clean with the quick flush method (described HERE) but rather clean the cartridge completely. 

Do NOT over-tighten the filter housing. If you have not replaced your filter O-Rings in the last 2-3 years, replace them now. Click HERE to read "Why Is My Filter Leaking?" Order new filter o-rings HERE.

If you do not have a water filter, click here to read the article "Why A Filter Kit is Required for ALL Outdoor Boilers".

7.) Do A Sediment Flush

You must do one of the following flush procedures - you must EITHER:

A) Annual Sediment Flush - You simply open the rear drain valve for 5 seconds to do a quick sediment flush. OR,
B) Complete Water Flush - This procedure completely replaces the water in your outdoor boiler.

Which one is needed? Here is how to determine which one: The Annual Sediment Flush must be done every year. Many people don't realize this, but it is a critical annual maintenance item. This must be done before you take your water sample from the rear drain. (Please, never take your water sample from the filter.) Take 30 seconds to read more about this simple procedure in this article "How To Protect Your Boiler From Sediment Damage".

Or, is your boiler due for its periodic COMPLETE WATER FLUSH? If you have not FLUSHED your boiler water in the last four years, you must do this now. Other circumstances also require a complete flush, such as using unauthorized treatment chemicals in your boiler - click here to read the article: "When Is A Complete Flush URGENTLY Required?" This is a serious requirement and must be followed to ensure the longest life expectancy of your boiler.


8.) Your boiler must always be completely full of properly treated water. NEVER allow your boiler to remain empty - rust will form immediately unless it is completely full of properly treated water. 

Therefore, you must add the required amount of Liquid Armor water treatment.

You have made a big investment in your outdoor boiler, and if you don't properly treat your furnace water, 
it is similar to driving a car without oil. It will only be a matter of time and your furnace will be destroyed from corrosion. Click HERE for more information on water treatment

9.) Send a water sample to the Hawken Lab for your FREE water test. 

This is required to keep your warranty valid. Also, this will give you confidence knowing that your investment is protected! Instructions for submitting a water sample to the Hawken Lab are found HERE
 
10.) Make sure to REMOVE the chimney cap and clean out the chimney area! 

This is very important and often overlooked - remove the chimney cap, clean the inside of the chimney with a wire brush, then vacuum out the entire area with a shop vac.  Some customers report that the chimney is difficult to remove - that is to be expected if you fail to complete this important step every year.

Also, clean the deflector plate using the D-Plate Brush. Push the wooden handle down the chimney from above and push it towards the front until it stops. Then open the front door, reach up and grab the handle and pull the D-Plate brush through. Do this several times. Click HERE for more info on the D-Plate Brush. (GX Model furnace owners do this cleaning with the GX Cleaning Brushes available here.)

Then, from the front of the furnace, pull the pull rod to its stop, then turn it clockwise until you can pull it past the stop. Pull it towards you all the way until it scrapes off the entire deflector plate. For more info on Pull Rod Best Practices, click HERE(Not necessary for GX Model owners.)

Never leave your outdoor boiler without a chimney cap. So be SURE to replace the chimney cap for the Summer rainy days. Alternatively, you can secure a bucket over the chimney to keep rain out.
 
11.) Replace Door Seal 

Has your door seal been replaced in the last 2-4 years?  If not, replace the door seal as needed. Click HERE to read our article "6 Ways a Leaky Door Seal COSTS You Money".

12.) Turn power off at breaker/power source

Turn off the power to the outdoor boiler at the breaker. Or to protect and prolong the life of your pump, leave the power on and allow the pump to circulate. Your choice. If you do this, turn off the blower fan and unscrew the light bulb. Click HERE to read our article "Should I Keep My Pump ON All Summer?" 

Also, turn off power to your thermostats that control outdoor boiler operation - your indoor forced air extra thermostat, any unit heater thermostats, in-floor systems, etc.

Bonus: You should also check to make sure your pump is set at the proper speed. Take 60 seconds and become an expert with this article: "What Speed Should Your Pump Be Set At?"
 
13.) Check Owner's Manual for full details

There is nothing in the owners manual that we have not included here. But if you have any other questions, you can. click HERE to view your Owner's Manual.

Conclusion
By carefully following this New and Improved 2019 Ultimate Summer Shutdown Checklist, you are protecting and caring for your outdoor boiler so it will take care of you for decades and help you save thousands of dollars each year on your heating bills!