Free Operating boilers safely - Washington

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State: Washington
Category: Government
Author: WA State Department of Labor & Industries
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Operating boilers safely
Here's what you need to know to keep your boilers and pressure vessels operating safely
Inspection = public safety
The safe design, installation, operation and maintenance of boilers and unfired pressure vessels are essential to public safety. Leaking, corroded or ruptured units can cause:
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Inspection requirements
Most boilers and pressure vessels in commercial facilities must be inspected, including: Boilers:

Explosions Fires Poisonings Suffocations

High-pressure steam operating at a pressure exceeding 15 PSI Low-pressure steam operating at a pressure 15 PSI or below Hot-water-heating boilers and hot-water-supply boilers (with burner input exceeding 200,000 BTU/hr.)



Periodic inspections by the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) are required by law and are the surest way to avoid problems. Boiler or vessel owners must pay inspection fees used to fund this publicsafety program.

Unfired pressure vessels of five cubic feet (37.5 gallons) or larger and operating at a pressure exceeding 15 PSI, including:
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Air receivers Expansion tanks Air separators Refrigeration vessels Heat exchangers Other types of storage and pressurized tanks

Inspection = economic benefits

Skilled inspectors use state-of-the-art technology, such as ultrasound, thermo sensors and carbon monoxide detectors, to identify maintenance needs and potential problems before they become major repair or replacement costs. An efficiently operating boiler saves money on energy costs.


(Exception: vessels in a place of public assembly must be inspected if they are 1.5 cubic feet or larger.)

Inspection fees
Fees vary, depending on the type and size of unit. Other certificate and permit fees may also apply. Ask your L&I boiler inspector for the current fee schedule, or visit (click on Permits & Inspections, and then Billing & Fees), or call the L&I Boiler Program at 360-902-5271.

Required inspections could save you trouble, money and maybe even lives

Inspection requirements (continued)
Domestic hot-water heaters when located in a place of public assembly, with:
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Inspection frequency

Steam boilers operating over 15 PSI must be inspected annually. All other low-pressure boilers and pressure vessels must be inspected every two years.

Maximum heat input of 200,000 BTU Water capacity of 11.25 to 120 gallons Maximum operating pressure of 160 PSI


Installation requirements
Owners or installers must obtain boiler/pressure vessel installation or re-installation permits prior to installation and placing units in service. Permit forms are available online at .

(Places of public assembly are defined as facilities used for 50 or more people for education, instruction, worship, entertainment, amusement, drinking, dining or awaiting transportation. They also include child-care centers with 13 or more children, government-owned or operated buildings, public or private hospitals, and adult care, nursing and boarding homes.)

L&I Boiler Program

Performs safety inspections and issues operating permits for more than 100,000 boilers and unfired pressure vessels throughout the state. Administers National Board and state examinations for commisioned inspectors. Investigates accidents involving boilers or pressure vessels. Inspects, audits and reviews boiler and vessel manufacturers for conformance with national construction standards.




For more information
8 On the Web: L&I Boiler Program Phone: 1-360-902-5271

Other formats for persons with disabilities are available on request. Call 1-800-547-8367. TDD users, call 360-902-5797. L&I is an equal opportunity employer.
PUBLICATION F620-025-000 [06-2008]