Pennsylvania Boiler Code Requirements

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Steve Goodbody
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Pennsylvania Boiler Code Requirements

Post by Steve Goodbody » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:14 am

Hello all,

Having recently inquired about running an engine at a steam show this year in Pennsylvania, I was surprised to discover that, unlike New Jersey, Pennsylvania seems to mandate ASME code-compliance with essentially no exceptions even for miniatures. My understanding is that miniature boilers must therefore be S-stamped, have the appropriate original code-shop paperwork from the builder, and then be internally inspected annually in addition to the typical hydro test.

My boilers were not built by ASME code shops and are not S-stamped (one is CE marked from the UK, the other was built by the late Ray Pennell - Steam Age - in TX), hence my conclusion is that I simply won't be able to run my engines in PA. However I'd just like to check with the knowledgeable folks on this board to ensure that I'm not missing some important piece of information. Perhaps Marty Knox or someone from the Pennsylvania Live Steamers might have some guidance please? Please feel free to PM me if there are sensitivities around the subject.

Thanks in advance for your help,
Steve

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Marty_Knox
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Re: Pennsylvania Boiler Code Requirements

Post by Marty_Knox » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:02 am

As you found out there is no exemption for hobby boilers in PA. That means you cannot run a non-code boiler at a public venue. Most live steamers in PA run at private tracks, not open to the public.
I know PLS has a boiler inspection program - perhaps someone from PLS can fill in the details.

Steve Goodbody
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Re: Pennsylvania Boiler Code Requirements

Post by Steve Goodbody » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:50 am

Thanks Marty,
Steve

B&OBob
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Re: Pennsylvania Boiler Code Requirements

Post by B&OBob » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:06 pm

Steve, if your locomotives have a current valid boiler certificate from any U.S. club you can operate on the PLS track simply by presenting the certificate. If you do not have a certificate, the club will administer a boiler test in accordance with published club rules. The new certificate is valid for one year. Further detals can be obtained from the club website at palivesteamers.org. For a copy of current boiler test procedures, contact the PLS Secretary, Lee Nonemacher at lee_n@msn.com. PLS also has wheel standards that you should be aware of.

The event you referred to probably involved full-size traction engines and other large steam-powered equipment, and they are required to comply to the ASTM Code. However, Pennsylvania Boiler Inspectors have visited PLS, they are quite familiar with the club's activities and the details of our boiler performance requirements, and have registered no concerns of which I am aware. Visiting locomotives have to conform to PLS wheel standards, a copy of which can also be obtained from the Secretary. See the club website about the PLS track system and other details. I hope you can arrange a visit to Rahns, PA to operate on one of our 7.25", 4.75", 3.5" or 2.5", and 45mm gauge ground-level tracks!

B&O Bob

Steve Goodbody
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Re: Pennsylvania Boiler Code Requirements

Post by Steve Goodbody » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:37 pm

Many thanks for the information Bob.
Best regards
Steve

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Bill Shields
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Re: Pennsylvania Boiler Code Requirements

Post by Bill Shields » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:48 pm

Steve:

If you are coming to PLS without a certificate from another club and will need a boiler test before you run, it is recommended that you contact the club (Lee is a good place to start) and let them know you are coming (date and approx. time) so that they can have someone who can do the test (with equipment) at the track to accommodate you in a timely fashion.

Things can be very busy, especially on 'meet weekends'

Steve Goodbody
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Re: Pennsylvania Boiler Code Requirements

Post by Steve Goodbody » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:34 pm

Many thanks Bill,
I wouldn't turn up to the PLS unannounced, and would have a current test cert from NJLS, but it's great to know that I can at least run somewhere in PA. I certainly hope to arrange a visit at some point this year if circumstances allow.

As Bob I think suspected, my original frame of reference came from the 'Rough and Tumble' meet at Kinzers which is a public event and evidently subject to more stringent rules. While it would have been great to exhibit and run at that show, sadly the rules mean that that won't be possible.
Best regards
Steve

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Bill Shields
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Re: Pennsylvania Boiler Code Requirements

Post by Bill Shields » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:34 pm

As long as you have a travel visa from PA to let you into the state... you are good to go...

Frank6276
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Re: Pennsylvania Boiler Code Requirements

Post by Frank6276 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:14 pm

Steve, a number of years ago PLS (Pennsylvania Live Steamers, Inc.) had a visit from the State Boiler Inspection folks out of Harrisburg, Pa. Some how they were told about PLS running live steam engines. We made arrangements to meet thus the visit. We showed the state people some of our steam engines, reviewed our boiler design sheets that included the stayed flat areas of our boilers including the crown sheet, discussed basic materials used in the construction of our boilers and reviewed our hydrostatic pressure testing including our annual pressure testing and firing test to check safety relief valves. This included an over-firing test and test of the pressure gauge at three points. We also showed them our documentation form we use to document the annual test. They left and told us they would be in touch. It was a number of weeks before we received a letter with an official reply. In a nut shell we were told that we were operating in a safe manner an should continue to do so. They also said we we would not be inspected by the state and noted that the state did not have the resources to perform inspections on our equipment. We continue to self test and do our annual inspections.
Hope this is of some help,
Frank Webb, President - Pennsylvania Live Steamers, Inc.

Steve Goodbody
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Re: Pennsylvania Boiler Code Requirements

Post by Steve Goodbody » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:59 pm

Many thanks Frank, and it's good to see that common sense sometimes prevails in these matters.
I very much look forward to visiting the PLS some time soon and meeting you all.
Best regards,
Steve

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