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A new skilled trades certification has been announced by the Province. Learn more about how it affects our gas and electrical clients.  

Boiler Plant Classification & Eligibility

Plant classification and 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 attached (PDF). For more details, please refer to the Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation.

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

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 - Site D: There are 3 separate headers on a single premises. There is only one boiler unit in each header:

Header

Unit m2

Header type/

Boiler type

Header m2

Header

Classification

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 - Site E: There are three separate headers on one site. There are two boilers per header.

Header

Unit m2

Header type/

Boiler type

Header m2

Header

Classification

1

45

High Pressure Steam Boiler

70 (45+25)

4th Class

25

High Pressure Steam Boiler

2

20

High Pressure Steam Boiler

45 (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 - Site F: There is one site. There are three headers, with two boilers per header connected to one another. Different headers are of different plant types.

Header

Unit m2

Header type/

Boiler type

Header m2

Header

Classification

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

25

Steam Heating Plant

3

75

Fluid Heating Plant

125 (75+50)

3rd Class

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.

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