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

A message from the Chief


Thank you for your interest in The Boiler Room. I hope these topics provide you with a better understanding of the work we do here in L&I’s Boiler Section.


    Boiler Inspectors busier than ever

    I am often asked why the Boiler Section is so busy and continues to grow. These questions stem from a common misconception that boilers are a thing of the past and are being phased out of modern industries.

In reality, nearly 1,000 new boilers and approximately 5,000 new pressure vessels were installed in 2006. All totaled, the Boiler Section oversees the inspection of nearly 105,000 boilers and pressure vessels.

To give you an example, Sierra Pacific Industries recently installed a boiler in a new mill in Burlington. This 105-foot boiler assembly has 27,690 square feet of heating surface and is designed to provide steam to the plant and to produce 30 megawatts of power.  It is fired with 40–50 tons of hog fuel (wood waste) per hour.  It is estimated 15–20 megawatts will be going to the grid and the rest will be used by the plant itself. This boiler operates at 900 psi, 900 degrees Fahrenheit and has a water capacity of 17,000 gallons.

The photograph shows the Sierra Pacific boiler house.

While not many new boilers are this size, earlier in the year, Hampton Lumber Mill in Darrington installed a boiler with 23,819 square feet of heating surface – not quite as large but designed for the same type of operation.  

Boilers have many varied uses, such as in-floor radiant heat, cooking salsa, cleaning clothes, curing bacon, brewing beer, sterilizing hospital equipment or compost, providing power, etc. To ensure safe operation, they require an initial installation inspection and periodic in-service inspections.

I hope this short explanation helps everyone understand why we in the Boiler Section are so busy with inspections.

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

- Linda Williamson, Boiler Chief


    Board of Boiler Rules

    L&I will be requesting that the Board of Boiler Rules revise several boiler codes in 2007.  The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) will be updated to clarify definitions, how interpretation requests to the board are submitted, fee schedules for variances and review low-pressure boiler requirements and clearances. The Board of Boiler Rules meets five times a year. The 2007 schedule is posted on the boiler web page along with meeting agendas. The public is invited to attend.


Boiler rule amendments adopted

The latest amendments to the Board of Boiler Rules became effective on Jan. 1, 2007. See the Laws and Rules web site for more information.


Welcome two new boiler inspectors

Please join me in welcome two new boiler inspectors. Dan Brown, who works out of the Kennewick office, and Don Sage, who works out of the Tukwila office in Region 2. Both came to the jobs with a wealth of knowledge and experience.


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

Board of Boiler Rules

Our next Board of Boiler Rules Meeting will be held:

March 20 & 21, 2007 at 10 a.m, Room 3
Tacoma Labor & Industries
950 Broadway, Suite 200
Tacoma, WA

Future meetings will be May 8 & 9, 2007. 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

To receive an invitation to upcoming events, contact the association at: wsbia14443@yahoo.com


As the Department of Labor & Industries Boiler/Pressure Vessel Section, we are working hard to provide you with quality customer service. 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
E-mail: odaa235@Lni.wa.gov

Alicia Curry, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 360-902-5271
E-mail: curb235@Lni.wa.gov

Karol Conly, Customer Service Specialist (Supervisor)
Phone: 360-902-5273
E-mail: conk235@Lni.wa.gov

Kay Piesch, Customer Service Specialist
Phone: 360-902-5272
E-mail: piek235@Lni.wa.gov

Annabel Schmidt, Customer Service Specialist
Phone: 360-902-5267
E-mail: schc235@Lni.wa.gov

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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