Pressure Vessel Regulations

The amendment to the Pressure Vessel regulations to cover model engineering is covered, I think, by the paragraph below. This allows us to build boilers for our own use, but not for resale (if I have understood correctly).

"(3) For the purposes of these Regulations, pressure equipment or assemblies shall not be regarded as having been put into service where a person -

(a) being a manufacturer of pressure equipment or an assembly for his own use; or

(b) having imported pressure equipment or an assembly from a country or territory outside the Community for his own use

puts that pressure equipment or assembly into service otherwise than in the course of business."

My question is; what is the situation where part of the boiler construction is done commercially? In my case I intended to have the silver soldering done by a model engineering company (but not formally EEC approved for boiler manufacture). Presumably the same situation arises if commercially pressed flanged plates or rolled tube is used.

If all the boiler is made commercially should it go thro the formal approval process? Or does this only apply if the model it is fitted to is to be sold on?

Anyone know the correct interpretation?


Dave Burrage

Reply to
David Burrage
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Which Pressure Vessel regulations? SI 1996 No 2092? SI 1999 No 2001? SI 2000 No 128? SI 2001 No 246?

Or SI 2004 No 568?

Quote correctly and in full please. Sorry, but

For a not-actually-definitive but they-said-it-was-this-way,-so-if-I-got-it-wrong-it's-not-my-fault interpretations you can ask the DTI for something quotable. They do sometimes provide. The HSE will more often oblige, but less definitively.

But don't get into any situation where you are referred between them. :(

Reply to
Peter Fairbrother

Wasn't there a 2 litre minimum volume for steam? Doesn't that still apply?

Just curious,

Reply to
Peter Fairbrother

I think the above clause is intended to cover the test and prototype work done by manufacturers... The law might hold that despite the fact you had made the boiler you where not a " manufacturer of pressure equipment ".

If you are building a boiler with a capacity of more than 2 litres and intended to operate at more than 110 C .... ( 1.433 bar absolute 6.4 PSI gage ), then you are exempt from the pressure equipment regulations1999 as it is excluded in section 3, part 7 para 2 subclause ( b ). I presume that this means such equipment is covered by separate regulations.

I think that if a firm did work on your boiler, it would be it's manufacturer, and would be legally responsible for it's work... this would mean it should have to certify the boiler before returning it to you.

My last firm was caught out by the regulations. When they made a minor modification to a pressure vessel, it made them responsible for certifying the vessel.

As they did not have the original documentation they where unable re certify the vessel.... :-( scrap stainless steel going cheap....

Reply to
Jonathan Barnes

Hi Peter

Thanks for your comments

I've looked at EC directive 97/23/EC. I think this is introduced into the UK as Statutory Instrument 1999 No 2001. I may be mistaken about the amendment, when I looked back at the standard I found the paragraph I quoted in the main text.

I think there is a proposed amendment for Model Engineers but I've not been able to locate it's wording.

I'm not familiar with this world of Directives, S.I's, standards and amendments I'm hoping for a bit of guidance from from someone more experience of this area.

By way of background, I'm building a 7.25 g Sweet William. I'm about to organise silver soldering of the boiler, which otherwise is made entirely by myself. Unfortunately, at the club where I intend to run the loco, the boiler inspector and club chairman are don't agree on the procedure for soldering the boiler.

The unclear area's are

1 If there is some commercial work done on a boiler does it still classify as a self built boiler? 2 If a commercial company solders a boiler do they need to be simply competent or do they need EEC approval (I think this then limits the choice of suppliers to the association of professional copper boilermakers)?

I've put quite a bit of time amd money into the loco and boiler; the boiler is too big for me to do myself,I'im a bit concerned about taking the wrong route when I get it soldered.


Dave Burrage

Reply to
David Burrage

[Statutory Instruments 1999 No. 2001 is also known as The Pressure Equipment Regulations 1999, hereafter informally "PER". Numbers here will be mostly references to the regulations therein.]

I think so, but for example SI 1999 No 2001 9(1) applies, and 10 applies almost no matter what:

"10. Subject to regulation 11, no person, who is not a responsible person, shall supply any pressure equipment or assembly unless that pressure equipment or assembly is safe."

I think that if the vessel is for a steam loco and is under 2 litres (and less than 200 bars working pressure!) then those are the only regulations that apply. I could well be wrong though, for instance there are lots of regulations regarding transporting pressure vessels by rail that I don't have a clue about.

11(b) relates to fairs and shows, perhaps that's what you are thinking of?

An often ugly and confusing world. The best guidance I can give is to ask the HSE, then the DTI. You can read directives and SIs till you are blue in the face, and you'll still miss one out, or miss that small line somewhere that changes the meaning 180 degrees.

Often the first problem is to decide which set(s) of regulations actually apply. Is the boiler covered by the ADR (possible) or the RID (slightly more likely)? Is it as specified in 70/156/EEC? If so PER would not apply, and the regulations are completely different - actually they are pretty much the same, but they are in a different SI or three, and there are probably subtle differences.

Neither of those is actually likely to apply, but you can nevcer tell,and they and many other regulations would have to be examined in detail to tell for sure - and I don't even know what half of them are.

Then once you have sorted that out, you have to decide which individual regs from that set apply. And what they mean ...

By the way, EU Directives have no legal force at all on you, only on the Government - but the government usually makes parts of them into law, often by saying in effect "these parts of EU directive so-and-so are law", but you have to read the SI's and the enabling Acts* to find out which parts, and the details can be different. And you have to read the Directives, to find out what the Acts and SIs mean!

*SI's and other secondary legislation can't in theory create an offence, that's supposed to be the province of primary legislation - although nowadays they often do, or attempt to. They can define the terms of an offence though. Actually that's wrong, Parliament can do whatever it likes, but .. people don't even agree on that point.

Even if you are willing to spend a lot of time and effort - and I mean a lot

- reading Directives and SI's won't give you definitive answers. Even then there is interpretation, and case law, and so on, - and basically, there often isn't any certain answer at all, and sometimes there are two equally apparently correct answers that are completely contradictory.

This is how lawyers are rich.

I expect there are some model railway people who specialise in this area of law - and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that they disagree.

I don't think (again I might be wrong) that that's about the regulations, although it may affect the insurance.

NB I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. It's just speculation. However -

Assuming PER and only PER applies, the solderers aren't placing the boiler on the market, and they aren't putting it into service/ use, so none of the conditions requiring to those activities (regs 7-8) will apply to them. They may have a duty to see that the boiler is safe under 10, or perhaps to comply with 9(1) though.

They also may have a duty to see that you do not commit an offence, but that's stretching 24 to it's extreme limits, and there's 27 to protect them anyway (24 is about joint liability and 27 is about due diligence, from memory, I may have gotten the numbers wrong. A simple statement from you of what you intend should suffice,and it's pretty obvious anyway).

Again, if PER applies, and is all that applies, and if you are the manufacturer of the equipment (which I think you undeniably are, albeit perhaps not the sole one), and if you are not putting it into service in the course of business, then regulations 7-8 won't apply to you. 2(3).

As far as I can see regs 7 and 8 do not apply to anybody, and no-one has any duty to see that CE conformity assessment or marking is done**.

Again, as far as I can see the only regulations which it would be an offence not to comply with are 9(1) and 10 (they basically just say it has to be safe, but read them). Again assuming that PER is the only relevant set of regulations.

NB I am not a lawyer, that was not legal advice, and nor is this, nor any of this email for that matter: If you want somebody to quote or perhaps blame if it all threatens to go pearshaped, try the HSE (first), then the DTI.

Good luck!

BTW, if you are going to reply, please answer these two questions: what is the capacity of the boiler in litres, and the maximum working pressure in bars? There are some other considerations that may ease things, even if the people are still getting sticky, and perhaps I could advise a bit better if I knew those.

BTW2, I was told that it very recently became theoretically possible to get any pressure equipment conformity assessed and certified post facto, perhaps useful if you ever want to sell the engine; but that's only in theory and nobody actually provides the service. This may be apocryphal, the source wasn't very reliable.

Reply to
Peter Fairbrother

Go here:

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check out HSE Guidelines 2004


Reply to

I'm still not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. Been looking again at this tho. The solderers has become "he".

Assuming he is a "responsible person"* - which I'd guess he would be at the moment when he supplies** you with the part-finished boiler*** - then he isn't bound by 10, which only covers supply by persons who are not "responsible";-

he would normally be bound by 9(1) instead - but 9(1) doesn't cover supply by a "responsible" person, only putting on the market or putting into use, which he isn't doing, so he wouldn't be bound by 9(1) either :)

I don't think he'd have any responsibilities at all under PER, other than the not-really-relevant-here ones under 24 I mentioned before. None.

He could be a complete cowboy. He could be a beerswilling part-time hells angel. He could be a junkie crackhead. He could have Alzheimer's _and_ CJD. He could be a looney scientologist pretend music producer crackhead junkie with a 30 watt soldering iron.

He could even be - no, I won't say :)

*"responsible" here means "capable of being blamed". The manufacturer of a piece of pressure equipment would be a "responsible person", no matter his morals or reliability, as long as he was "established in the EU".

If you gave him some bits of metal and he soldered them together, he would be the manufacturer of the soldered item, and thus "a responsible person".

**he will supply it to you as he gives it back to you. Weird, but that's the way the law is - f'rinstance if a policeman passes you a joint, you are supplying him with it when/if you pass it back to him! Innit!

***which almost certainly isn't legally pressure equipment at that stage - it couldn't hold any pressure, and it doesn't have the attachments needed to make it a pressure vessel - but assuming it was

Reply to
Peter Fairbrother

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