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Boiler regulations update

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Martin Gearing26/08/2009 19:03:46
1 forum posts
David,
Is there any chance that some sort of guidance could be made with regard to the current regulations relating to home built copper boilers?
I''ve spent hours searching and can''t get through the verbage surrounding the PED EU or PER UK regs other than everything used in construction, should be traceable, the builder should be identifiable and I think that as much of the internal construction as possible, should be photographed. All ttis should be held in a file that goes with the boiler.
Can''t sort out if the type of copper is specified, as there seems to be 2 grades, C106 being the most commonly mentioned.
Is there somthing difinative from the ME?
 
Martin Gearing
Tony Martyr10/09/2009 16:55:44
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175 forum posts
37 photos
Martin
Is it little wonder that so many model engineers are preferring to purchase their boilers from a commercial company who are experienced in jumping through the legislative hoops?  
I am about to start building the first loco boiler since helping build one during my apprenticeship 40 years ago.
Taking advice from a H&S qualified colleague the requirement seems to be 'traceability' and record keeping even more than the exact material spec - after all most new H&S work is about covering one's backside rather than raising work standards. I think the local inspector wants to see the stays in the firebox before the backhead is soldered in place. Certainly photographs at every stage to add to the audit trail. I intend to keep a detailed construction diary with photos and listing every tool and component with their source, all bound in an impressive folder - of course a successful pressure test will help
 
Tony Martyr
ChrisH12/09/2009 21:00:44
834 forum posts
19 photos
Tony - you're right about the H&SE, it is all about PYA and making sure the paperwork is right.
 
I remember going to a seminar on the CDM Regs back in the early 1990's and the lecturer made the same point.  His words were along the lines of "I've been in H&S for 25 years and I don't know what you guys feel but I think with all this it's all about getting the paperwork done and if we save a few accidents in the process then that's a bonus".  
 
When oh when will we be allowed to take responsibility for our own actions - or do we have to walk round in bubblewrap for ever in case we fall over.  We would have never won WW2 had H&SE been around then, and how would all our inventions and progress been made in the past?  Did they wonder and worry about traceability then?  No, either it worked or it didn't and if it didn't then other things were tried until it did.  Traceability, how does that work?  It's a wonder we make any progress today with H&SE around now - and this is from someone who did H&S as a living at one time.  Never again!  H&S is one of the biggest blights on modern Britain.  They blame it on the EU but anyone who has been to the EU countries will say the same - they don't bother with it over there like they do in Britain, they expect people to take responsibility for their own actions.
 
So endth todays rant................ !!
 
ChrisH 
chris stephens13/09/2009 01:21:50
1045 forum posts
1 photos
Hi ChrisH,
I think you have it slightly wrong in blaming H&SE for all our woes, the real problem is Risk Assessment . This bit nonsense is a brilliant idea, it makes people doing the assessment paranoid, so the assessor has to think of all possible accident scenarios, no matter how slight or unlikely, in case it happens and he didn't point it out. Thus making him liable!!!
 
Now what are the risks involved in making and drinking a cup of Tea, and how long before such dangerous activities are all but banned by insurance costs.
 
My answer would be to have a Degree level in Common sense, which would prove that the holder was capable of  looking after himself and his own safety.  This degree would of course out-rank all spurious safety regs, and would institutionalize the concept that rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obeyance of fools.
 
 With all this reality television about, do we think reality will ever return to real life?
 
Reposte, anybody??
chris stephens 
chris stephens13/09/2009 01:32:18
1045 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by chris stephens on 13/09/2009 01:21:50:
Hi ChrisH,
I think you have it slightly wrong in blaming H&SE for all our woes, the real problem is Risk Assessment . This bit nonsense is a brilliant idea, it makes people doing the assessment paranoid, so the assessor has to think of all possible accident scenarios, no matter how slight or unlikely, in case it happens and he didn't point it out. Thus making him liable!!!
 
Now what are the risks involved in making and drinking a cup of Tea, and how long before such dangerous activities are all but banned by insurance costs.
 
My answer would be to have a Degree level in Common sense, which would prove that the holder was capable of  looking after himself and his own safety.  This degree would of course out-rank all spurious safety regs, and would institutionalize the concept that rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obeyance of fools.
 
 With all this reality television about, do we think reality will ever return to real life?
 
Reposte, anybody??
chris stephens 
 PS With regard to boiler testing, why is it not good enough to just do an hydraulic test followed by a in steam test to check the safety valve, after all if it passes these tests surely that proves it safe enough? Traceability of parts just means you know who to sue, thus passing the blame down the line because we, ourselves, are never to blame for anything if things go wrong., are we.
(thus endeth my rant, well for now at least)
tractionengine4213/09/2009 03:10:54
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365 forum posts
105 photos

Hi >>

As a grumpy old so & so I enjoy all your rant and rave but it's not answering the question. I seem to remember way back that one or some of the model engineering associations worked with HSE regarding our boilers and some common sense was agreed in the form of a standard which was published in ME. If this is correct it would be helpful if the ME associations could work with ME magazine, and post the regs as they apply to us on this site. This is important information may of us need so easy access would be a great bonus.>>

 >>

All this traceability seems to be about tracing all those that can be held to account for what ever has gone wrong, as such you would expect all those along the line to take more care in providing what ever it is they provide. >>

 >>

Although I agree that HSE goes over the top, for such a critical item as a boiler some commonsense easy to apply standard guidance would be of benefit. I believe or boiler designs have stood the test of time and are very safe designs so there safety is down to the individual construction and the final tests.>>

 >>

Were regs published in ME or am I mistaken?>>

 >>

Regards>>

Nigel

PS Due to a glitch I may have posted this twice!

ChrisH13/09/2009 18:21:14
834 forum posts
19 photos
Hi,
Now - common sense!  That's the problem these days, they don't teach common sense any more, as you say it's all risk assessment.  The stupid thing is that risk assessment can't stop an accident happening and neither is the risk assessor guilty when an accident does happens - it just means something was not thought of in the original risk assessment.
 
Part of the problem is the with H&S culture in the UK.  We assume that if someone can put their hand in a machine and get it chopped off then we assume everybody will make every effort imaginable to put their hand in, so we overguard the machine to prevent that happening.  In Europe they tell the staff "put your hand in there and it will be chopped off" and then credit them with the common sense not to do it - they still have common sense there, it's not all bad in the EU.  
 
Now with a boiler, provided the boiler was properly constructed to comply with design standards and calculations, like thickness of boiler plate and tubes to withstand the design pressure for example, and the methods of joining the component parts was carried out properly and correctly, and the correct materials were used, then I agree that a hydraulic test followed by a working examination under steam should be sufficient. The proof of the pudding is in the eating!  
 
A proper industrial boiler always did have a degree of traceability in that the boiler inspector would check the boiler plate used against the steel suppliers analysis report and stamp it with the inspection companys stamp as part of the construction process.
 
This is surely over the top for model boilers which are I believe mostly constructed by copper plate, obtainable from reputable suppliers.  Traceability like everything is also vulnerable to possible abuse or 'tampering' and has it's limitations and therefore it's usefulness - a bit like traceability in a restaurant - "where did that fish come from" - "oh, the sea", well that's jolly useful to know.
 
The fact remains, for a boiler, a hydraulic test followed by a working test under steam has got to be the ultimate examination of successful and correct construction.
 
Oh, and I do 'Grumpy Old Man' very well, so SWMBO tells me!   Must be my age......
 
ChrisH 
 
Norman Barber13/09/2009 22:35:57
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14 forum posts
Hi All,
 
I do not understand why everyone is harping on about material traceability.  If a boiler is made of copper and under 500 bar litre capacity the requirements of the British Model Engineering Liaison Group document "The Examination adn Testing of Miniature Steam Boilers" does not call for any material traceability unless the boiler is to be TIG welded rather than silver soldered. This for very good reason.  It does not seem necessary for ME magazine to publish the Code - it is readily available on the net and I am sure the boiler testers in all of our Club's have a copy.  Having said this, I do think the Code in its present form has some shortcomings - see my post under the heading "Boiler Test Code"
 
Norman Barber 
david simmo09/10/2009 17:58:20
33 forum posts
hi martin read my messages in your account thanks dave

Edited By david simpson 1 on 09/10/2009 18:24:22

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