At Legacy Vehicles we only use trusted Independent Boiler Inspectors for all our testing requirements. Inspectors carry their own public liability insurance which has been accepted by the National Traction Engine Trust and insurance companies.
We are happy to arrange and conduct boiler tests on your behalf or you are welcome to bring your miniature engine along to one the regular boiler test days at our yard just outside Lavenham in Suffolk. Pre-booking is essential as we are limited to spaces.
**Warning: the weather is often rubbish on test days even in the summer!"**
Here are some brief details of the steps for testing a steam boiler, engines with us are tested to a commercial scheme rather than on a "club ticket" as offered by model engineering clubs. Both "Cold" and "Steam" test are required annually.
Before any steam testing can take place the boiler inspector will first look over the engine when cold. For this the ashpan and firegrate should be removed, inside of the firebox and smokebox cleaned and washout plugs and fusible plug removed for inspection. If steel the inspector will most probably take thickness readings of the accessible parts of the boiler.
Once satisfied with the cold inspection the boiler can then be put into steam for testing. The steam test is relatively straight forward and tests the operation of the safety valves, water inputs (pumps and injectors) and other ancillary fittings like valves and gauge glasses etc.
Generally required every 10 years on a steel boiler (4 years for copper) the hydraulic test also incorporates a more through inspection. This will often require removal of the boiler tins and lagging material to enable the inspector to take metal thickness readings of the boiler barrel.
Once the inspector is satisfied with the visual inspection, the boiler is then filled with water and via a hand operated pump is pumped up to 1.5 times the normal working pressure for a period of time. For this the safety valves have to be sealed shut so most engines will have a blanking plate or plugs.