Inspection: 8 Most Necessary Tests for the Safe Operation of Steam Boiler

Inspection of Steam Boiler is a must activity should be carried out as per Govt. Guidelines.

As steam is an essential utility to perform various operations.

Steam is required for power generation through a steam turbine or steam engine. Steam is also required for engineering process work, hot water supply, heating installations, etc.

This steam is produced with the help of a utility called a boiler.

So, a  boiler is a closed vessel where the combustion of a fuel produces heat to convert water into steam at the desired temperature and pressure.

For the safe operation of the boiler, it should be inspected by various methods and at various stages.

boiler inspection tests

You will find some important information on boiler inspection in the below description

  • Inspection before registration

Every new boiler must get registration by government authority. So this is the first inspection carried out on a new boiler.

For this inspection, the boiler is completely stripped off of all its mountings, coverings, etc.

Each and every part is carefully examined for defects due to design, workmanship, or transportation.

If any defects are found, these are noted in the registration book.

The working pressure of the boiler is fixed after testing its various parts and a certificate is issued for the results obtained.

After various satisfactory tests, the boiler is registered and a registration certificate is issued.

  • Annual Inspection

Generally, boiler inspection is carried out annually. In the case of an accident or abnormal complaint, it should be done at any time.

In this inspection, all parts, mountings, and accessories are removed and inspected.

The boiler is inspected internally and externally for any defects which may develop during the course of its working.

If the boiler is found defect-free then only the certification of registration is renewed. 

  • Hydro Test

The hydraulic test is carried out to inspect the tightness of joints, fittings, and the leakages from the repaired parts.

To carry out this test, the boiler is completely filled with pressurized water.

The water pressure is different for different situations as below,

01) For an old boiler, the hydraulic pressure applied will be 150% of the prescribed pressure for operation.

At the given pressure the boiler should not leak at any spot. 

  • For the new boiler

A) The hydraulic pressure applied will be 200% of the working pressure and it should not leak under this pressure.

The pressure mentioned is applied when the boiler has a working pressure of fewer than 100 lbs/inch square.

B) When the boiler is working above 100 lbs/inch square, the hydraulic pressure applied for a test is 150% + 50 lbs/inch square and the boiler should not leak at any spot under this pressure. 

  • Steam Test

To check the setting of the safety valves at the working pressure, this test is carried out.

After a satisfactory test, the valves are sealed and the owner is not permitted to change the settings. 

  • Inspection in Presence of Steam

This type of test is very rare but when the boiler cannot stop due to any reason, this test is carried out.

At the time of this test, steam generation is in the process by a boiler.

Prior approval from the government is necessary to run the boiler after the expiry date of its current certificate. 

  • Internal Inspection

When the boiler is small in size and when the inspector cannot enter inside for close inspection of internal parts this type of test is carried out.

Inspection is done when internal parts are taken out for repairs. 

  • Causal Inspection

To check out that the boiler owner is operating the boiler according to the boiler act, the surprise visits from time to time are carried out for inspection. 

  • Accident Inspection

If due for any reason accident took place, the boiler inspector holds an inquiry to fix the reasons for the accident.
Also for the damage to the boiler and worker by inspection at the site.

Besides this information, you are suggested to read something more from below engineering books

I further recommended reading Industrial Boiler Inspections Guide
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