Boiler Testing

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Harold_V
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Boiler Testing

Post by Harold_V » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:54 pm

Glenn Brooks wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:39 pm
You might want to reconsider the idea of doing a hydro test. Hydrotesting is only used in the commercial boiler world to certify a new boiler for initial service. It is never used to determine service life or for routine maintenance or operation.
That's an interesting comment. I've been under the impression that hydrotesting was part of the routine of certifying a boiler, new or old, commercial or private, hobby or industrial.

Where did you acquire this knowledge, Glenn?

H
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Bill Shields
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Re: C.P. Huntington

Post by Bill Shields » Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:23 pm

Harold_V wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:54 pm
Glenn Brooks wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:39 pm
You might want to reconsider the idea of doing a hydro test. Hydrotesting is only used in the commercial boiler world to certify a new boiler for initial service. It is never used to determine service life or for routine maintenance or operation.
That's an interesting comment. I've been under the impression that hydrotesting was part of the routine of certifying a boiler, new or old, commercial or private, hobby or industrial.

Where did you acquire this knowledge, Glenn?

H
With you on this Harold. If a boiler will not pass a hydro then it is scrap anyway..especially a copper boiler.

Hot cold warm water makes no difference on a small scale soldered boiler

I have hydro tested full size industrial boilers with available water to certify continued use. Part of life with steam.

Perhaps Glenn is referring to the hydro pressure used to certify new vs usability...but with a copper boiler it is a moot point..
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

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NP317
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Re: C.P. Huntington

Post by NP317 » Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:23 pm

Referring to Harold's comments:
Kitsap Live Steamers (KLS) in Port Orchard, Washington State, have just revised their annual "Boiler Certification Procedures", eliminating annual hydrostatic pressure testing, unless the boiler is new or had work performed on the pressure components. Then hydros are still required.
To be steam-tested annually are safety valve opening pressures, pressure gauge accuracy, and various boiler safety plumbing, including a steam blowdown of the water gauge glass, to prove the operator is familiar with this procedure and to verify the correct plumbing to allow it. So daily and annual maintenance is becoming more important.

New locomotive boilers still require the initial WA State certification of their designs, plus an initial hydro test, safety valve setting verification, and pressure gauge accuracy verification, all witnessed by a WA State boiler inspector. Thereafter they can utilize the new annual certification procedures, referring to the WA State certification and boiler # they have previously been assigned.

This change was implimented after consideration of the ASME rules and regulations, and consultation with Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries Pressure Vessel Division.
Both organizations do not require annual hydro testing of boilers such as ours! In fact, both organizations warn of possible pressure vessel damage from hydrostatic over-pressurizations. Especially copper boilers. So it makes sense to adopt those new protocols for our Hobby Boilers, for improved long-term safety.
Research reveals that in the USA there are zero recorded hobby boiler explosions. (If you know of some Hobby Boiler explosions or resulting injuries, please let me know.) Failures that blow steam around yes, but no injuries from that. This fact helped Washington State to choose to deregulate Hobby Boilers to where they are today.

I am part of the group that instituted this KLS change, and I am also investifgating with others at Train Mountain Railroad possible revisions to their boiler testing requirements, following the new 2021 regulations from KLS.
Possibly, visitors will need to show certification from other clubs/organizations, or will alternatively need to perform a hydro test before running there, or will perform a non-hydro boiler test. We will see what transpires as research continues. The reason for possible changes is to still remain safe, while speeding up the process of certifying visiting steam locomotives.

Good changes, in my experience.
RussN

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Dick_Morris
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Re: C.P. Huntington

Post by Dick_Morris » Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:40 pm

These last few posts should be moved to a thread of their own with an appropriate subject. Their scope is well beyond the original subject.

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Re: C.P. Huntingtion

Post by Glenn Brooks » Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:25 pm

Hi Harold, yes, you are correct in that hydrotesting is an integral part of the process for certifying a boiler. However, the key word is certification - not annual inspection. These are two very different things. boiler certification only happens when a boiler is first registered for service, or when modified or repaired, and returned to service.

Regarding codes, The ASME boiler code is the one standard national code. However 40 something states have chosen to implement State wide interpretations of the National code. In cases where States have chosen not to adopt a state code, the national code governs inspections and recommended practices. So there is lots of variability across the US, regarding specific regulations, inspections, and recommend practices.

Contrary to what has been posted here, there is no code requirement, or even a code recommendation, to conduct an annual hydro test, for any class of boiler. In fact, industry best practice is to not conduct hydrotesting during operation and maintenance. Further, literature on the subject recommends not conducting annual hydrotesting, as the process has a history of needlessly damaging the structural integrity of the boiler.

Also, There is no code recommendation for hydrotesting following layup. If a boiler is certified, it remains certified indefinitely, until repaired and re-certified, or condemned.

Alternatively, by far the best practice, is to physically view and inspect the interior of the boiler shell ( flues, stays, crownsheet, mudring, etc) with a miniature camera, then physically disassemble, inspect, and service all appurtenances, such as the sight glass, tricocks, valves, and pressure relief valves. Finally, to return from service, one should do a proper, step by step firing to insure all components of the steam system are operating properly, and to repair/deal with leaks.


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Dick_Morris
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Re: C.P. Huntington

Post by Dick_Morris » Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:42 am

Both organizations do not require annual hydro testing of boilers such as ours! In fact, both organizations warn of possible pressure vessel damage from hydrostatic over-pressurizations.
Not something I'm advocating, but under this philosophy, any hydro testing should be avoided except for a new build or when repairs have been done.

A quick review of the FRA regulations for full sized locomotive show that hydrostatic tests are done to 125% of maximum allowable pressure after certain repairs are done or at 1472 days of service (which requires removal of the tubes and flues to complete the inspection). An internal inspection is required after the MAWP is exceeded during a hydrostatic test.

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Re: C.P. Huntington

Post by Glenn Brooks » Wed Mar 10, 2021 1:07 am

Hi all,

Didn’t want to open a can of worms on this, as I recognize there are different views around the country. My main concern is that we have a new guy in the hobby trying to do the right thing in putting his loco back in service.

I feel he should at least know about that hydroing is not an approved routine boiler inspection process, and that there are safer and more effective alternatives.

A seperate discussion to explore best practices and recent findings would be a great idea.

Thanks
Glenn
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

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NP317
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Re: C.P. Huntington

Post by NP317 » Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:11 am

Dick_Morris wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:40 pm
These last few posts should be moved to a thread of their own with an appropriate subject. Their scope is well beyond the original subject.
Dick:
Well said. I did not mean to hijack this thread. My apologies to all.

Harold: Could you please move this boiler testing discussion to a new thread, perhaps titled "Boiler Testing" ?

Thank you both.
RussN

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Boiler Testing

Post by Harold_V » Wed Mar 10, 2021 4:39 am

As the result of a recent exchange of views in regards to the testing of boilers, some excellent information has been disclosed, which is leading to a change in the way boilers are inspected annually. Pressure testing is, apparently, no longer required, depending on the area in which one intends to operate a pressure vessel. The following posts have been moved from the thread in which they were posted. For those who wish to review the thread in question, this link points you there. https://www.chaski.org/homemachinist/vi ... 8&t=110429

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

Mjordan
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Re: C.P. Huntington

Post by Mjordan » Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:12 am

Glenn Brooks wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 1:07 am
Hi all,

Didn’t want to open a can of worms on this, as I recognize there are different views around the country. My main concern is that we have a new guy in the hobby trying to do the right thing in putting his loco back in service.

I feel he should at least know about that hydroing is not an approved routine boiler inspection process, and that there are safer and more effective alternatives.

A seperate discussion to explore best practices and recent findings would be a great idea.

Thanks
Glenn

This has been very helpful. I think I’m going to wait on doing any type of boiler testing until I’m with some experienced liver steamers. I was nervous doing a hydrostatic test myself anyways haha.

Mjordan
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Re: C.P. Huntington

Post by Mjordan » Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:13 am

Mjordan wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:12 am
Glenn Brooks wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 1:07 am
Hi all,

Didn’t want to open a can of worms on this, as I recognize there are different views around the country. My main concern is that we have a new guy in the hobby trying to do the right thing in putting his loco back in service.

I feel he should at least know about that hydroing is not an approved routine boiler inspection process, and that there are safer and more effective alternatives.

A seperate discussion to explore best practices and recent findings would be a great idea.

Thanks
Glenn

This has been very helpful. I think I’m going to wait on doing any type of boiler testing until I’m with some experienced live steamers. I was nervous doing a hydrostatic test myself anyways haha.

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Marty_Knox
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Boiler Testing

Post by Marty_Knox » Wed Mar 10, 2021 10:05 am

Glenn Brooks wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:25 pm
Regarding codes, The ASME boiler code is the one standard national code. However 40 something states have chosen to implement State wide interpretations of the National code. In cases where States have chosen not to adopt a state code, the national code governs inspections and recommended practices. So there is lots of variability across the US, regarding specific regulations, inspections, and recommend practices.
Glenn
The ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code is a construction code. It addresses material selection and design details, along with welder qualifications and inspection requirements.
There is another National Code. It is the National Board Inspection Code (NBIC).
It is issued by The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors www.nationalboard.org.
It addresses Installation, Inspection, Repairs and Pressure Relief Devices.
The United States is a federation - each state is free to decide what their Boiler and Pressure Vessel rules, policies, and procedures are.
Where you live determines what rules you are supposed to follow. The local jurisdiction may be the state, or it may be a city.
Many jurisdictions have adopted the ASME Code as their construction standard along with the NBIC as their inspection standard.
But this is voluntary on their part. There are several jurisdictions that exempt Hobby Boilers from inspection.
Among these are Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Texas. These exemptions are limited to boilers below a certain size.
Other jurisdictions have procedures for inspection of Hobby Boilers - these include Maryland, Michigan, and Washington State.

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