The Boiler Room Newsletter - A look at boiler operations, maintenance and safety

From the Chief

    Are you an owner or operator of an antique boiler?

    If so, you need to know that the adoption of National Board Inspection Code (NBIC) Appendix “C” became effective January 1, 2006. In an effort to enhance antique boiler safety, the Washington State Board of Boiler Rules in conjunction with Department of Labor & Industries’ Boiler Section has adopted the inspection criteria for historical boilers in the NBIC.

    The following rule covers antique boiler safety: WAC 296-104-102 Inspections, What are the standards for in-service inspection? (2) The standard for in-service inspections of historical boilers of riveted construction preserved, restored, or maintained for hobby or demonstration use, shall be Appendix “C” of the National Board Inspection Code as referenced in subsection (1) of this section.

    The requirements from the NBIC, 2004 Edition, NBIC C2020, Recurring Inspection Requirements for antique boilers are:

  1. Annual visual internal and external inspection.
  2. Annual visual inspection of fusible plugs to determine the condition of the threads in the crown sheet and on the fusible plugs.
  3. Annual hydrostatic test at a pressure at least equal to MAWP up to 1.25 MAWP, but in no case shall the test pressure exceed 1.25 times MAWP by more than 6%.
  4. Every five years ultrasonic thickness testing.
  5. Additional testing and examination as deemed necessary by the inspector.

    Over the years, many of you have become accustomed to most of these inspection requirements and we have appreciated your much-needed cooperation. With the adoption of the NBIC Appendix “C,” we will also require all antique boilers granted a Washington State Special to have a third-party ultrasonic examination. This will be necessary every five years, so if your boiler has not had this non-destruction exam done in the last five years, you will need to make sure it is completed and documented.

    Please recommend the Boiler Room to other boiler professionals. They can sign up here to receive it via e-mail.

    - Linda Williamson, Acting Boiler Chief



2006 Washington State Boiler Operators Symposium

On June 8 and 9, the “Washington State Boiler Operators Symposium 2006” was held at the south campus of Bates Technical College in Tacoma. This symposium was put on by Bates Technical College, Renton Technical College, and The Western WA Stationary Engineers Training Trust.

The two-day symposium, which covered numerous topics ranging from boiler operations, safety, and energy efficiency, was well attended by more than 120 industry people. The featured speakers were college instructors and industry professionals, including two boiler inspectors from L&I, Tim Swanson and Mike Carlson. Tim and Mike delivered a thorough and educational presentation on common boiler/pressure vessel problems that inspectors encounter on a daily basis. This symposium was so well received that it will be scheduled as an annual event.


Upcoming WAC Changes:

A Public Hearing to receive comments on proposed changes to the Board of Boiler Rules will be held Nov. 8, 2006, at 10 a.m. in Room 3 at the Tacoma L&I office. The proposals cover the following items:

  • WAC 296-104-010 Definitions: Adds a new definition for “certificate of inspection” and revises the definition of “low pressure heating boiler” to exclude lined hot water heaters supplying potable water for external use to the system.
  • WAC 296-104-170 Inspections: When are shop inspections required? Deletes language requiring inspectors to hold a “commission issued by the state of Washington.”
  • WAC 296-104-200 Construction: What are the standards for new construction? Updates ASME CSD-1 to reference 2004 edition.
  • WAC 296-104-255 Installation: Clearance at top of boilers. Updates and clarifies the clearance requirements for replacing boilers or installing new boilers.
  • WAC 296-104-256 Installation: What are the required clearances for boilers? This section is deleted and language is incorporated into previous WAC (296-104-255).
  • WAC 296-104-255 Repairs: What are the requirements for non-nuclear boiler and pressure vessel repairs and alterations? Minor clarification changes only.
  • WAC 296-104-520 Repairs: What are the requirements for repair on non-nuclear safety devices? Updated for clarification and to reflect current requirements.
  • WAC 296-104-540 Repairs: What are the requirements for nuclear repairs of safety devices? Updated for clarification and to reflect current requirements.

For a copy of the complete text of the proposed rule changes, please contact Bobbie Hundley at 360-902-5271, or


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Board of Boiler Rules

Our next Board of Boiler Rules Meetings:

September 19 & 20, 2006 at 10 a.m, Room 3
Tacoma Labor & Industries
950 Broadway, Suite 200
Tacoma, WA

Future meetings will be November 7 & 8, 2006 (Public hearing on proposed WAC changes will be on Nov. 8). View the agenda and minutes from past meetings.


Washington State Boiler Inspectors Association (WSBIA)

Monthly lunch meetings:

The Washington State Boiler Inspectors Association (WSBIA) holds a lunch meeting on the first working Monday of each month to discuss current topics. The meeting is held at:

Andy's Diner
2963 4th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA

43rd Annual Washington State Boiler Inspectors Association Meeting

Thursday, March 15, 2007
Museum of Flight
9404 E. Marginal Way S.
Seattle, WA

Stay tuned for more information.

To receive an invitation to upcoming events, contact the association at:


As the Department of Labor & Industries Boiler/Pressure Vessel Program continues its personnel changes in our central office and in the field, we are working hard to continue providing you with quality customer service. We appreciate your patience. Sign up for our Listserv and receive safety bulletins and news.


Please see the L&I Boiler Inspector Web page to find the inspector in your area.

For questions about boiler regulations, fees and forms, please contact:

Tony Oda, Technical Specialist
Phone: 360-902-4983

Bobbie Hundley, Secretary Administration
Phone: 360-902-5271

Karol Conly, Customer Service Specialist (Supervisor)
Phone: 360-902-5273

Kay Piesch, Customer Service Specialist
Phone: 360-902-5272

Annabel Schmidt, Customer Service Specialist
Phone: 360-902-5267

Department of Labor & Industries
Boiler Program
Phone: 360-902-6400
Fax: 360-902-5292

The Boiler Room is a Web-based newsletter from the Department of Labor & Industries' Boiler Program.

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