Texas Boiler Code Update: Boiler Room Ventilation Requirements

The Texas Boiler Code received some important updates for 2016, many of which focus on boiler room ventilation requirements. It is important to review and understand these updates to make sure your setup is compliant and running as safely and efficiently as possible.

General Ventilation Requirements
As always, any boiler room is required to have a constant and adequate air supply for proper ventilation and combustion. The combustion and the ventilation air can be supplied by fans, power ventilators, or an unobstructed opening. There are very specific formulas to follow when calculating the acceptable size of any openings.

When there is one opening, it musts be sized based on one square inch of free space for each 2,000 Btu/hour input of the combined boilers in the room. When there are two openings — one starting no more than 12 inches from the floor and the other no more than 12 inches from the ceiling, the opening must be sized according to the following: one square inch of free area for each 3,000 Btu/hour input of the combined burners in the boiler room.

New boiler room ventilation standards for condensing boilers, or sealed combustion boilers, include that the boiler room is required to meet the all the listed ventilation requirements or have a working carbon monoxide detector installed. The detector must be calibrated no less than once every 18 months.

Boiler inspection Fees
The purpose of these updates is to ensure that industrial boilers are receiving regular monitoring to maintain the quality and safety of their operation, reducing the risk of health and safety hazards. Any boiler that is 90 days past due will be required to undergo an inspection completed by an Authorized Inspection Agency or a Deputy Boiler Inspector. The owner of the boiler will not only be responsible to pay for the inspection fee of $260, but a $70 late fee as well. These charges are separate from the existing $70 Certificate of Operations fee.

Inspection Preparation Updates
The revised boiler room safety standards for inspection preparation include a statute that no gaskets may be re-used on handholes or manholes. The only exception to this rule is when reinstalling access and inspection doors for furnace and convection passes. Also, the use of sealing compounds is prohibited on handhole and manhole gaskets used for water and/or steam pressure parts.

Before manhole and handhole covers can be removed for inspection, any steam or hot water leakage must be eliminated. Feedwater valves must be closed, locked out, and tagged out. Blowdown lines running between pressure parts and valves must be disconnected where practicable prior to inspection, and any vents and drain lines need to be opened.

Be sure to read all of the newly updated requirements and make sure you’re adequately prepared before your next inspection. You can download a free inspection prep checklist from Willbanks to make sure you don’t miss anything. If you have questions about compliance, inspections, or maintenance, our experienced team is here to help.