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Non-Code Boilers Being Sold to Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries

Posted on June 26, 2014


SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif., June 25, 2014: The SWASH™ portable electric steam generators, manufactured by Electro-Steam Generator Corp. for ARS/SWASH, are built in accordance with the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (ASME B&PVC) and registered with the National Board (NB). To show ASME B&PVC compliance, a copy of the P-2A (Manufacturer's Data Report) is included with each unit shipped. It has come to our attention that one or more companies are actively marketing at tradeshows, advertising, and selling steam generators/boilers that are NOT ASME Code Certified. They can legally sell these units and you can buy one. However, it is not legal to operate them under the ASME B&PVC. Buyer Beware!

The U.S. is loaded with regulations. Some make a lot of sense. Some make no sense. There is one that cuts both ways. Dating back 100 years or more, the risk of fossil fuel boilers exploding due to shoddy manufacturing was identified. With safety as a big concern, the American Society of Manufacturing Engineers (ASME) developed and implemented a complex series of regulations and procedures to ensure that manufactured boilers met a specific standard. These regulations and procedures are the ASME B&PVC. Nearly all states and most jurisdictions within states, abide by this code, or in some cases, more stringent requirements are adopted. Any facility that manufactures a boiler must be approved by the ASME to perform this type of fabrication.

Most folks have heard the expression "boilerplate" to refer to standardized text on just about anything. In this case, "boilerplate" is a literal term. Every boiler that is manufactured in accordance with the ASME B&PVC, has a plate permanently affixed to the boiler in a location that can be readily seen. That "boilerplate" identifies the specifications of that particular unit, its pressure rating, its year of manufacture, and an NB Number that relates to a directory maintained by the ASME for reference to any particular unit. Each and every unit is inspected by a licensed inspector to insure compliance with the ASME B&PVC, and is signed off by the inspector with the P-2A serving as documentation.

And now the no sense part. As stated in the National Board Bulletin, Summer 2013 article entitled, "Non-Code Boilers Are No Bargain at Any Price",

"Unfortunately, there seems to be a bit of a Catch-22 regarding Non-Code boilers. It is perfectly legal for an importer/fabricator to sell a Non-Code boiler to an end user. It is perfectly legal for an end user to own a Non-Code boiler. The potential problem surfaces when an end user installs and operates a Non-Code boiler. He could potentially be in violation of jurisdictional requirements, and may be prevented from operating his equipment."

So the onus is not on the seller but on the buyer. Buyer Beware! Enforcement of compliance to the ASME B&PVC is at the state level. As a result, any winery, brewery or other user who purchases a Non-Code boiler (steam generator), and operates that boiler/steam generator in their facility is likely in violation of the ASME B&PVC and subject to shut down by inspectors. Furthermore, virtually all liability insurers require that any boiler used on the premises be in compliance with the ASME B&PVC. Upon inspection and determination that a Non-Code boiler/steam generator is being operated, the insurer will "red tag" the unit as a condition of continued liability insurance coverage.

Buyer Beware! Ensure that any boiler/steam generator you are going to purchase is built in accordance with the ASME B&PVC. Ask the supplier:
• Does the equipment include an ASME Boilerplate with the ASME Certification Mark and NB Mark?
• Does the equipment come with a copy of the ASME P-2A?
• Does the equipment include a safety valve of the appropriate size, steam rated and have the ASME Certification Mark on it's "boilerplate"?
• Is the piping in compliance with ASME B31.1?

For more information regarding individual state requirements, refer to:

ARS/SWASH, an operating division of ARS ENTERPRISES, is the leading provider of sanitization and sterilization equipment for the wine, craft brewery, and craft distiller industries. Product lines include SWASH™ and Electro-Steam steam generators, Hydro-Tek pressure washers, ClearWater Tech ozone generators, SWASH™, CMA and Miele glassware/dish washers, Moog high pressure barrel washing appliances, Bitard low pressure barrel rinsers, Biomist spray alcohol sanitizers, Byotrol hand sanitizers and facility protectants, and Fogmaster foggers/sprayers for application of chemicals and for barrel room humidification.


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