13 NCAC 13 .0211             CERTIFICATE INSPECTIONS

(a)  A commissioned inspector shall inspect all boilers and pressure vessels at the time of installation and at regular intervals thereafter, as provided in this Rule.

(b)  Subject to the exceptions in Paragraphs (c) and (d) of this Rule, and after seven days notice is given to the owner or user, an inspector shall conduct an internal inspection of a high pressure boiler at the time of installation and annually thereafter. An external inspection shall be conducted annually while the boiler is in operation.  The inspector shall ensure that the safety controls are operating as required.  Issuance of the inspection certificate shall be based on the results of the internal inspection; however, if the inspector determines during the external inspection that an unsafe condition exists that is likely to result in serious personal injury or property damage, the inspector shall recommend to the Chief Inspector that the certificate of operation be revoked pursuant to 13 NCAC 13 .0301(d).

(c)  In place of the first internal inspection of a new high pressure boiler, an inspector may conduct an external inspection if the inspector determines that data sufficient to determine compliance with the rules of this Chapter can be gathered from an external inspection.  This shall not apply to relocated used boilers or those for which extended inspection certificates are being requested.

(d)  Miniature boilers, coil-type watertube boilers, and boilers heating a fluid other than water which do not produce steam or vapor operating as high pressure boilers shall undergo an external inspection annually.  Miniature boilers, coil-type watertube boilers and boilers heating a fluid other than water operating as heating boilers shall undergo an external inspection biennially.  Hobby boilers, locomotive boilers and exhibition boilers shall be inspected annually, at the beginning of the season when they are anticipated to be operated.

(e)  Low pressure boilers and pressure vessels, except hydropneumatic storage tanks, shall undergo an external inspection biennially.

(f)  Owner-user inspectors shall conduct inspections for pressure vessels as prescribed in this Rule.

(g)  Inspectors may order coverings removed, internal inspections, external inspections, removal of internal parts, testing or calibration of controls, indicating and safety devices and pressure tests whenever conditions warrant further evaluation of the pressure equipment.  The inspector may also require the boiler to be started to verify the operating controls.

(h)  Hydropneumatic storage tanks shall undergo an external inspection every four years.

(i)  When the inspector or Chief Inspector determines that a certificate cannot be issued as a result of an inspection, the boiler or pressure vessel shall be reinspected after the necessary repairs are made.

(j)  Inspections shall be conducted in accordance with the National Board Inspection Code.  The inspector may require controls, indicating and safety devices to be disassembled, tested, checked or calibrated as necessary to ensure their proper operation.

(k)  The Chief Inspector may extend an existing inspection certificate for a high pressure boiler for a period not exceeding 90 days beyond the certificate expiration date, should an inspection at the specified period result in undue hardship for the owner or user.  The owner or user shall submit a written request to extend an existing inspection certificate, providing justification for an extension.  The request shall include a report from a commissioned inspector of an external inspection which shall have been conducted no earlier than 60 days before the certificate expiration date, and the inspection report shall include a recommendation from the inspector for an extension to the inspection certificate.

(l)  The inspection frequency established by this Rule may be modified by the Chief Inspector for individual boilers and pressure vessels if the Chief Inspector determines that due to unique conditions, the frequency established herein is not appropriate, and that the safety attained by the normal inspection frequency will be otherwise obtained.  Requirements for extended certificates for pressure equipment are detailed in Rule .0214 of this Chapter.  Pressure vessels in "Locked High Radiation" areas may be certified for up to five years and may be inspected in accordance with Paragraph (m) of this Rule.

(m)  Pressure retaining items which contain highly hazardous chemicals or biological elements that require level B personal protective equipment, or are in highly hazardous areas or pressure retaining items containing radioactive materials causing the pressure equipment to be classified as "Locked High Radiation," may be inspected remotely by video provided:

(1)           There is a listing of all the items under this criterion at the site.  The list shall be kept current by the owner/user and any additions or deletions shall be kept current.  Prior to inspection the inspector shall review the last inspection certificate, the ASME data report, any National Board ("NB") repair/alteration forms and any records of testing performed during the certificate period;

(2)           Each item shall be inspected by means of live video feed that is monitored by the inspector.  The inspector shall remain in radio contact with the individual operating the video equipment;

(3)           The inspector shall be in proximity to the item and shall witness the video equipment operator enter the location of the item;

(4)           A scan as complete as possible (within the limitations of the equipment) of all the pressure boundaries shall be witnessed by the inspector;

(5)           The ASME nameplate shall be viewed as well as the ASME/NB nameplate on any pressure relieving device on the item;

(6)           Follow up inspections to verify the correction of deficiencies can be performed with a video inspection using the items outlined herein by the inspector;

(7)           The inspector shall submit an inspection report for each pressure retaining item at intervals specified in this Rule and the report shall be annotated indicating that the item was inspected pursuant to this Paragraph; and

(8)           Any incident that renders the item inoperative shall be reported to the Bureau by the owner/user or the inspector within 24 hours.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 95-69.11; 95-69.14; 95-69.17;

Eff. May 29, 1981;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2011; July 1, 2006; January 1, 1995; March 2, 1992.