St Albans & District MES Covid-19 Boiler Testing Arrangements
Boiler testing during the Covid-19 pandemic will follow strict rules as follows:
1. Testing shall be carried out at Den Blazdell’s house (preferred) or the Puffing Park only. In wet weather, testing at the Puffing Park may be cancelled as there is no adequate shelter in the steaming bays. Den has an all-weather facility.
2. Testing slots must be pre-booked with Den Blazdell.
3. Model owners must deliver their boiler(s) to the designated site and then withdraw. Where the owner requires assistance to unload heavy items it is essential that all parties involved wear personal protective equipment as it is impossible to maintain 2 metre social distancing and perhaps even 1 metre. (Note that hydraulic lifting trolleys are available at both testing sites).
4. Models will normally be left with the boiler inspectors who will prepare the boiler for testing (hydraulic and/or steam test). All equipment required for carrying out a hydraulic and/or steam test shall be left with the model. This includes the club standard connection fitting for a hydraulic test and, as required, a steam raising blower & battery, shovel, kindling wood/charcoal, gas cartridge, etc. The inspectors will provide rolling roads (5" and 3½" gauge).
5. In the case of unusual or complicated models the owner may, by arrangement with the inspectors, prepare the boiler for testing and then withdraw to allow the inspectors to carry out their work.
6. If problems occur during the boiler test the inspectors will not carry out any investigative or remedial work. Should a clack valve be found to be stuck they may try to free it, and they will adjust safety valves if necessary, but that is all.
7. Following the test(s) the inspectors will contact the owner to advise them of the outcome and to arrange collection of the model.
Owners are responsible for providing their own personal protective equipment, especially face coverings.
- Safety valves blow off such that boiler pressure cannot exceed working pressure plus 10%.
- Pressure gauge reads correctly and is marked with a red dot or line at the working pressure.
- There are at least two independent means of feeding water into the boiler at working pressure (e.g. hand pump, axle pump, injector).
- Water level gauge glass operates correctly with visible water level.
- No significant leaks from steam fittings (There is a variation from this steam test procedure for small boilers under 3 bar litres which may lack some steam fittings and/or means of boiler water feed). The steam test certificate is valid for 12 months.
- Refillable gas tanks for Butane or Butane/Propane mix are also required to be tested but are limited to no more than 250ml capacity.