The provisions of UK Health and Safety Executive Pressure Testing Regulations and Certification (PSSR 2000) have not been relaxed or extended during the pandemic, as for example have UK MOT certificates, therefore the provisions of the Boiler Test Codes 2018 still apply with no exemptions or extensions. However, until social distancing requirements are relaxed, it will not possible to test new boilers, gas tanks or, if three years have elapsed since the last tested, brass boilers, as tests cannot readily be witnessed whilst observing social distancing. Please remember that whilst the provisions of the Boiler Test Codes 2018 are viewed by the Association as best practice, whether you follow them is up to you. Once events open to the public resume, event organisers may require compliance with the codes.
The Annual Steam Accumulation Test can and should still take place along with the regular inspection of your locos. This can be done by the owner prior to a run, and is especially relevant if loco hasn’t been used for some time. All this requires is to steam the loco at its maximum fuelling/firing rate for several minutes and to check that the safety valve lifts at the designated release value and that the pressure shown on the gauge does not increase beyond this release value. It is always best carefully to lift the valve stem with a pair of pliers first, when cold, prior to testing in case it has become stuck. What is being shown by this test is that the safety valve can safely vent excess steam generated in the boiler.
Stay safe and run safe.
Chris Trotman, Technical Director