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

From the Chief

    Welcome to The Boiler Room!

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    -Robb Marvin, Boiler Chief


January 1 rule changes won't affect L&I inspections

Here’s a wrap-up of changes to Chapter 296-104 WAC. They were made by the Board of Boiler Rules at its September 21, 2004 public hearing and took effect January 1, 2005.

The changes were edits that will not affect L&I inspections:

WAC 296-104-200: Adopted the 2004 edition of the ASME Code with addenda’s for Section I, III, IV, VIII, and X. The Board also adopted NFPA 85 Boiler and Combustion Systems Hazards Code 2004 edition for use with boilers with fuel input ratings of 12,500,000 BTU/hr or greater.

WAC 296-104-300: Renumbered for clarity

WAC 296-104-502: Rewritten to only allow an organization in possession of a valid Certificate of Authorization to use of the “R” symbol stamp, issued by the National Board to provide repairs/alterations within the scope of the authorization.

WAC 296-104-701 (2): A new paragraph was added for civil penalties to Inspection Agencies.

WAC 296-104-700: The Board also approved an additional fee for Washington work cards.


Steve Prideaux is new board member

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Steve Prideaux, our newest member of the Board of of Boiler Rules. Steve fills the vacated position of Stationary Operating Engineer vacated by Jim Olszewski of the Boeing Company. Steve is the Chief Engineer for Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, WA and bring with him more than 30 years of experience.

Welcome aboard!


The Technical Corner


The Board of Boiler Rules recently adopted new requirements for controls and safety devices for automatically fired boilers, in WAC 296-104-303. The installation of a manually operated remote shutdown switch and identification is required. What types of shutdown switch and identification markings/tags are acceptable?


The preferred shutdown switch is the “mushroom button” type with a properly sized identification tag that is easily readable (pictured). If there is more than one door to the boiler room, there shall be a switch located at each door. The emergency shutdown switch or circuit breaker must disconnect all power to the burner controls.



When domestic hot water tanks are subject to inspection, WAC 296-104-320 specifies that the discharge piping from the safety pressure relief device must be directed to a safe point of discharge. If the installed temperature/pressure (T&P) relief valve has no discharge piping but the discharge opening of the T&P relief valve is facing the wall, can this be considered a “safe point of discharge”?


No. A discharge pipe, (black pipe or copper), shall be installed on the outlet side of the T&P relief valve (pictured). The discharge pipe must be full size, short as possible, with minimum elbows and fittings. The discharge pipe should terminate just above the floor. Flexible hoses are prohibited. The discharge pipe may not be installed in an uphill orientation.


Part 1: According to ASME Section IV, Part “HLW”, and WAC 296-104-302, hot water heaters of all BTU input are exempt from the requirements of ASME CSD-1. Why is the Boiler Section requiring full compliance with CSD-1 when these heaters are used for commercial hot water supply or heating?

Part 2: The manufacturers of the above mentioned “HLW” stamped water heaters design specific models to be installed in a stacked or piggybacked configuration (pictured) with minimum clearances. Why are the factory specified clearances not acceptable, since the heaters were designed to be stacked on top of each other?


Part 1: “HLW” hot water heaters are designed to supply “potable” hot water. If used for that purpose, they would be exempt from CSD-1 requirements. However, if “HLW” hot water heaters are used for supplying non-potable hot water or heating purposes, then they are not being used for their intended purpose, and shall be considered Low Pressure Boilers and all requirements of WAC 296-104-300, 301, 302, and 303 would apply.

Part 2: Installations as a minimum shall be the manufacturers’ recommendations, but in no case less than 18”. Clearances less than 18” are in violation of WAC 296-104-256. Corrective action: The owner will have to move the object(s) or may request a variance under WAC 296-104-271.

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Board of Boiler Rules

Board of Boiler Rules Meetings:

  • May 17 & 18, 2005
  • September 20 & 21, 2005

Meetings take place at L&I's Tacoma Service location, Room 3.

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


March 18 Annual meeting of WA
Boiler Inspectors:
The 41st Annual Washington State Boiler Inspectors Association meeting will be held March 18, 2005 at the Embassy Suites Hotel, Tukwila, WA. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. Information about the meeting and a registration form can be found on our Web site at: tradeslicensing/boilers.


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

Eldolyne Gibson, 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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