A Preventive Maintenance Checklist

Grainger Editorial Staff

Preventive maintenance is defined as regularly scheduled inspections, tests, servicing, replacements, repairs and other tasks intended to help reduce the impact and frequency of equipment failures. This includes scheduled preventive maintenance, predictive maintenance and inspection activities.

The objectives of a preventive maintenance program are to help:

  • Identify maintenance actions on important equipment and incorporate that into the preventive maintenance program activities that result in the greatest benefit within the available budget.
  • Minimize corrective and breakdown maintenance, maintain satisfactory equipment conditions and improve plant reliability

A preventive maintenance program should be well defined, periodically reviewed and adjusted as necessary. To help ensure proper implementation, procedures should be written in sufficient detail for each piece of equipment in the program.1

Why is preventive maintenance important? The purpose of preventive maintenance is to try to maintain the equipment in optimum working condition and to help prevent any unplanned downtime due to breakdowns. Because components start to wear over time, replacing items prior to failure can cost you far less than the potential consequences of failure while in service. Some people see maintenance as an expense and it can often be one of the first departments to suffer from cuts during difficult times, however, this is very much false. Preventing problems from occurring will almost always be far less than the costs you will incur due to actual failures.2


Preventive Maintenance Checklist

Use the list below as a guide to help ensure you are doing everything you can to maintain an efficient facility.


  • Inspect at regular intervals, with group relamping when lamps begin to fail.
  • Any luminaires that have transformers, control gear or accessories, such as spread lenses, glare baffles or color filters, should be routinely checked.
  • Check exterior lights to make sure cables aren’t torn; all screws and hardware should be in place and working. Gaskets can be replaced to help provide a better watertight seal.
  • Replace any burned-out lamps and consider group relamping (to create your relamping schedule, calculate lamp life and how often lamps are used).
    • Ensure that each lamp has the same color temperature.
    • Re-aim adjustable lighting if necessary.
    • Dust lamps and clean lens surfaces to enhance lighting performance.
  • Check all exit lighting for proper installation and function.
  • Check all interior lighting for proper installation and function.
  • Check all exterior lighting for proper installation and function.






  • Clean the air intake as needed.
  • Change all air filters as needed.
  • Check blower motors in operation for excessive noise or vibration.
  • Clean motors and ductwork as needed.
  • Check the condensate drain pan for proper drainage.
  • Check the flexible duct connectors.
  • Secure any loose guards and panels.
    • Inspect the condition of all electrical hardware and connections.
    • Test the safety controls and equipment.
    • Check for proper operation of the interior unit.
  • During the cooling season,
    • Inspect the condenser motor bearings for excessive noise or vibration.
      • Inspect the condenser air intake, discharge and coil as required.
      • Check the condition of all refrigerant piping and insulation.
      • Secure any loose guards or access panels.
      • Check the operation of the exterior unit.
    • Inspect compressed air lines regularly; investigate any leaks in piping, tubing or fittings.
    • Replace or clean air filter elements at least quarterly, or as necessary depending on the application.
    • Monitor oil levels on air compressor pumps and replace as necessary depending on usage.



  • Examine the condition of floors, ceilings and walls for evidence of deterioration.
  • Check for visible signs of leaks.
  • Inspect for hazards (electrical, mechanical, structural, physical, tripping, etc.).
  • Check the condition and operation of toilets and showers.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Test the fire alarm system.
  • Check the firefighting equipment.
  • Check all doors for proper operation; ensure that exits are not obstructed.
  • Inspect the condition of door locks and closures.
  • Ensure work areas and walkways are properly marked.
  • Check for accumulation of trash in storage areas.
  • Check for evidence of insect infestation.
  • Inspect wear on cart casters and that shelving is properly labeled, organized and secure.



  • Examine the condition of the paint and walls.
  • Check for broken windows and doors.
  • Examine the condition of all railings.
  • Check for plants growing on the building or its foundation.
  • Clean the roof as needed. Use care when working in high places; employ adequate fall protection.
  • Clean roof drains and gutters as needed. Test drains and downspouts by flushing them with water.
  • Inspect the condition of the roof.
  • Inspect gutters for adequate anchoring and tighten if necessary.
  • Inspect the stack and all roof penetrations.
  • Remove any plant life growing on the roof.
  • Clean up any debris found.
  • Check the grounds for broken glass and debris.
  • Examine the condition of the sidewalk.
  • Examine the condition of the driveway and parking area.
  • Check the storm water drains.
  • Check the condition of plants and lawns.
  • Examine the condition of trees; verify that no branches are about to fall.
  • Check for cleanliness around the dumpsters.
  • Examine the condition of any fencing.



  • Inspect plumbing at least annually; investigate any leaks or unusual noises.
  • Domestic water booster and circulation pump systems require bearing lubrication at least annually; inspect couplings and check for any leaks.
  • Domestic water heaters and boilers should be fire-tested periodically, using flue-gas analysis to adjust the flue draft and combustion air input to help optimize efficiency.
  • Remote drinking water chillers need condenser fan motor bearings lubricated annually. Check all contacts for wear and pitting, and run system control tests. Pump down the system and remove the refrigerant according to manufacturer instructions. Drain and replace oil in the compressor oil reservoir, including filters, strainers and traps.
  • Sump and sewage ejection pumps are replaced on an as-needed basis, but should be checked for function. Exposed pumps should be lubricated annually.



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