Check your plant eligibility

To check your plant eligibility and help determine if you need to apply for a boiler plant operating permit, please refer to our Plant Classification by Plant Type Table below. For more details, please refer to the Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation.

Plant Classification by Plant Type

Boiler Plant
Header
Heat
Receiving
Surface
[m2]
Plant Types

Power Plant

Heating Plant

High Pressure Steam

High Pressure Thermal Fluid

High Temperature High Pressure Fluid Plant

Oil Well Plant

Low Pressure Thermal Fluid Plant

Steam Heating Plant

Fluid Heating Plant

Low Temperature Low Pressure Fluid Plant

1st
> 1,000 m2

Oil Well Plant

3rd
> 1,500 m2

4th
> 300 m2

4th
> 300 m2

4th
> 1,000 m2

1,500

 

1,000

2nd
500 < m2 <= 1,000

4th Class
500 < m2
<= 1,500

5th
300 < m2 <= 1,000

500

3rd Class
100 < m2 <= 500

 

300

5th
150 < m2 <= 500

5th
30 < m2 <= 300

5th
150 < m2 <= 300

 

150

Exempt
<= 150 m2

Exempt
<= 150 m2

Exempt
<= 300 m2

100

4th
50 < m2 <= 100

50

5th
10 < m2 <= 50

30

 

Exempt
<= 30 m2

   

10

Exempt

Exempt

Exempt

 

Notes:

 

1st

First Class Plant

2nd

Second Class Plant

3rd

Third Class Plant

4th

Fourth Class Plant

5th

Fifth Class Plant

OWP

Oil Well Plant

Exempt

Plant exempt from the plant operating permit requirement [Section 6 of B.C. Reg. 104/2004]

 
  1. Plant Status: "Exempt" Plant is "Unattended" Plant Status. All other plant status by default requires "Continuous" supervision.
  2. Chief Engineer certification class required: The indicated Plant Class and the required class of Certified Chief Engineer is the same (e.g., 1st Class Plant requires a First Class Chief Engineer), except for Oil Well Plant up to 100 m2, which can be operated by a certified Oil Well Boiler Operator.
  3. Primary Operator certification class required: The Certification class required for the Primary Operator is always one class lower for 1st to 4th Class Plant (e.g., a 2nd Class Primary Operator is required for a 1st Class Plant), and remains 5th Class for a 5th class plant.
  4. In the event of conflict with this document, the requirements of the Safety Standards Act, its regulations [e.g., B.C. Reg. 104/2004, as amended], and the adopted codes and standards, shall prevail.

Download a PDF version of this table.

How to determine plant operating permit classification

The total capacity of all boilers on the defining header and the header type determine the plant operating permit classification. See definitions of each below. 

  • Boiler capacity: The heating surface area of the boiler in square meters (m2). This can be found on the boiler ASME stamping or the boiler Manufacturer’s Data Report.
     
  • Header: A central piping system that all boiler units connect to. A header transfers a heat transfer medium (e.g., water, steam, oil, etc.) typically via pipe(s), between one or more boilers and one or more points where the heat is required. A header can connect a single boiler to a single point where heat is needed. If the capacity of a single boiler cannot provide enough heat transfer medium at the desired temperature and pressure, it may be necessary to connect multiple boilers to the same header.

The Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation associates the plant operating requirements for a header to the total heat receiving surface (m2) to which the heat transfer medium in that header is exposed. The regulation then specifies plant classifications for the total heat receiving surface surface (m2) on a given type of header.

The Safety Standards Act and regulations specify broader requirements beyond the descriptions and examples provided in this section. The descriptions and examples are provided solely and exclusively to address common misconceptions about headers and plant operating permit classification.

Clients are encouraged to submit their individual plant operating permit applications, which will be assessed on a case-by-case basis according to broader requirements that fall beyond the scope of this discussion.

Scenario 1: There are three sites, each with one boiler

Site

Header

Unit m2

Header Type / Boiler Type

Header m2

Header classification

A

1

45

High Pressure Steam Boiler

45

5th class

B

2

8

High Pressure Steam Boiler

8

Exempt

C

3

75

High Pressure Steam Boiler

75

4th class

Permit Requirements: Site A requires a 5th class plant operating permit based upon the 45 m2 high pressure steam header #1. Site B does not require a plant operating permit. Site C requires a 4th class plant operating permit based upon the 75 m2 high pressure steam header #3.

 

Scenario 2: There are 3 separate headers on a single premises. There is only one boiler unit in each header:

Site

Header

Unit m2 

Header Type / Boiler Type

Header Size m2

Header classification

D

1

45

High Pressure Thermal Fluid Unit

45

5th class

2

8

High Pressure Steam Boiler

8

Exempt

3

75

High Pressure Steam Boiler

75

4th class

Permit Requirements: One 4th class plant operating permit is required for site D based upon the 75 m2 high pressure steam header #3.


Scenario 3: There are three separate headers on one site. There are two boilers per header.

Site

Header

Unit m2

Header Type / Boiler Type

Header m2

Header classification

E

1

45

High Pressure Steam Boiler

 70

(45 + 25)

4th class

25

High Pressure Steam Boiler

2

20

High Pressure Steam Boiler

40

(20 + 25)

5th class

25

High Pressure Steam Boiler

3

75

High Pressure Steam Boiler

125

(75 + 50)

3rd class

50

High Pressure Steam Boiler

Permit Requirements: One 3rd class plant operating permit is required for site E based on the 125 m2 high pressure steam header #3.

Scenario 4: There is one site. There are three headers, with two boilers per header connected to one another. Different headers are of different plant types.

Site

Header

Unit
m2

Header Type / Boiler Type

Header
m2 

Header classification

F

1

 45

High Pressure Steam Boiler

70

(45 + 25)

4th class

25

High Pressure Steam Boiler

2

20

Steam Heating Plant

45

(20 + 25)

5th class

20

Steam Heating Plant

3

75

Fluid Heating Plant

125

(75 + 50)

Exempt

50

Fluid Heating Plant

Permit Requirements: One 4th class plant operating permit is required for site F based upon the 70 m2 high pressure steam header #1.

Review the required information you need to gather before you apply.

 

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