Antique Boiler Inspection Survey

Results from National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors survey

Content Tools

In the aftermath of the Case tractor explosion at the Medina County Fairgrounds on July 29, 2001, in Medina, Ohio, the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors mailed out a survey to its accredited boiler inspectors around the U.S. regarding their regulations for antique or historical boilers, which in practical terms means antique steam traction engines and portable steam engine boilers.

According to the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, the survey was requested by Ohio chief boiler inspector Dean Jagger in response to the Case explosion. The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors has been kind enough to share those results with us for the benefit of our readers. Special thanks go to Donald E. Tanner, executive director of the National Board, for permission to print the results of this survey.

Antique Boiler Inspection Results:

These results are based upon 56 replies from 59 jurisdictions polled in the U.S. and Canada.

1. Do you regulate these types of boilers? 

Yes - 40
No - 16

2. How frequently are they inspected? 

Every:
6 months - 01
1 year - 33
2 years - 05
3 years - 01

3. What methods of inspection are used? 

Internal Inspection - 40
External Inspection - 39
Determination of remaining thickness in specific areas - 29
Hydrostatic Test - 35
Pressure gauge comparison or other means to ensure accuracy - 21
Test the safety valve under pressure by raising the test lever - 29
Test the safety valve by allowing it to lift solely by boiler pressure - 10
Witness operation of , injectors or feed water pump under pressure - 12

4. How often is a hydrostatic test required? 

1 year - 19
2 years - 04
3 years - 03
4 years - 02
5 years - 03
Discretion of Inspector - 04
As needed - 03
No response - 02

5. What hydrostatic pressure is used? 

MAWP - 10
1-1/4 MAWP - 05
1-1/2 MAWP - 17
100 PSI - 01
200 PSI - 01
100% - 01
Operating Pressure - 01
MAWP + 10% - 01
MAWP up to 1-1/2 MAWP - 01
Discretion of Inspector - 01

6. Is an operating certificate issued upon successful inspection? 

Yes - 40
No - 0

7. Will you accept a valid certificate from another jurisdiction in lieu of performing an inspection? 

Yes - 15
No - 24
Maybe - 01

8. Will you accept inspections performed by anyone other than your own deputy inspectors? 

Yes - 20
No - 19
Only if boiler is insured - 01

9. Do you provide specialized training for inspectors? 

Yes - 17
No - 23

10. Do you use a Code or Standard as the basis for inspections? 

Yes - 38
No - 02

If yes, please list Codes or Standards used.

NBIC - 16
AME - 05
NBIC & ASME - 12
NBIC & CSA B51 - 01
State Rules - 01
NBIC, ASME & State Rules - 01
All Current Codes - 01
NBIC, ASME & CSA B51 - 01
No Response - 01

11. How many of these boilers are currently authorized to operate in your jurisdiction? 

<10 -="">
10-24 - 8
25-49 - 7
50-75 - 5
90 - 1
93 - 1
100 - 1
150 - 1
230 - 1
300 - 1
Not Available - 3

12. How many of these boilers fail inspection each year? 

1-5% - 12
6-10% - 10
11-15% - 01
25% - 01
0% - 11
No response or unknown - 03

13. Do you require welded repairs to be performed by an 'R' stamp holder? 

Yes - 32
No - 07
No welding permitted - 01

14. Do you require a license or mandatory training for the operators of these boilers? 

Yes - 13
No - 27

Survey Highlights

100 percent of respondent jurisdictions issue an operating certificate upon successful inspection. Eighty-three percent of respondent jurisdictions require an annual inspection.

Seventy-one percent of respondent jurisdictions regulate historical boilers.

Sixty-seven percent of respondent jurisdictions do not require a license or mandatory training for operators of historical boilers.

Forty-eight percent of respondent jurisdictions require an annual hydrostatic test.

Forty-three percent of respondent jurisdictions provide specialized training for inspectors.

Thirty-eight percent of respondent jurisdictions will accept valid certificates from other jurisdictions in lieu of an inspection.

Contact The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors at: 1055 Crupper Ave., Columbus, OH 43229-1183, (614) 888-8320. Visit their web site, www.nationalboard.org, or e-mail at: getinfo@nation-alboard.org.