Boiler laws, rules & policies

The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Chapter 296-104 and Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 70.79 cover boilers and pressure vessels. The laws and are maintained and updated by the State Office of the Code Reviser (

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Rule development

The boiler rules are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they are consistent with national boiler and unfired pressure vessel safety standards and industry practice, for rule clarity, housekeeping, etc.

2017 rule changes

Regulations update

The Board of Boiler Rules and L&I’s Boiler Program have adopted updates to regulations involving boilers and pressure vessels in the state found in Chapter 296-104 of the Washington Administrative Code. The new rules include changes to permit requirements, and inspection requirements, besides making some technical changes.
The changes include:

  • Create a new definition for “installer” now responsible for permit requirements, permit fees, and civil penalties;
  • Eliminate the permit exemption for Owner/User Inspection Agencies and Washington State Specials to require permit filing, permit fees and civil penalties;
  • Establish notification requirements for filing permits and emergency installations;
  • Adopt procedures for permanently removing condemned vessels from service;
  • Automatically adopt the current edition of the National Board Inspection Code (NBIC) for in-service inspection of historic steam boilers and nonnuclear repairs and alterations of boilers and unfired pressure vessels;
  • Adopt new definitions for the status of a vessel, such as active, inactive, out-of-service, and scrapped, and;
  • Adopt modifications to the Board of Boiler Rules meeting schedule to hold regular meetings quarterly.

The new rules will take effect Jan. 31, 2018.


Fee increase

In order to support the programs operating expenses, the Board of Boiler Rules increased fees by 4.16 percent,  which is the Office of Financial Management’s (OFM) maximum allowable fiscal growth rate for fiscal year 2018.

The new boiler fees were effective as of July 31, 2017.


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