Iowa bill would eliminate boiler inspections in thousands of public buildings

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BETTENDORF, Ia. (KWQC) - A new bill would eliminate annual inspections for nearly 8,000 water heating boilers in the state of Iowa. According to the Iowa Division of Labor, year inspections are required in most public buildings, including churches, schools, nursing homes, and day cares. Single family homes and restaurants are exempt from this requirement.

Right now, boilers labeled 'inactive' require an operating inspection before they are turned back on. That inspection checks for several safety requirements. However, this bill would eliminate the need for the operating inspection before inactive boilers are turned back on. Chief Boiler Inspector, Bob Bunte said it could pose a greater risk to the public.

"It's a fair statement to say if no one is looking at a piece of equipment the percentage of something going wrong that we don't know about increases 100 percent," said Bunte. "What does that equate to as far as damages or problems? Nobody can really tell you that because every piece of equipment is different."

Don Deem is a residential HVAC manager at TMI and inspects both residential and commercial water heating boilers daily. Deem said boilers with cracks, discoloration or rust indicate a replacement is needed.

"Any rust or corrosion on the top of a boiler, furnace or water heater near the vent piping is a sign that something could be wrong with the venting, possible [carbon monoxide] definitely needs to be addressed as soon as possible."

The bill, House File 2297, will return to the house due to an amendment adopted by the Senate. If the amendment is accepted, it will head to the governor to be signed.