FAQs

The amount of heating surface determines the kilowatt rating of a boiler.

  • Calculate the kilowatt rating by multiplying the heating surface in square metres (m2) by 10.
  • 1 m2 of heating surface = 10 kW. (10 m2 = 100 kW, 100 m2 = 1000 kW, etc.)
  • Check the ABSA certificate of Inspection for the heating surface in square metres (m2).
  • If you cannot find the heating surface, contact ABSA. Have information available, such as: the (A)-number, the Canadian Registration Number (CRN), and/or the name and address of the previous owner (if applicable).

The qualifications and/or certifications required to operate a hot water or steam heating boiler depend on the boiler’s kilowatt (kW) rating.

  • For smaller heating plants rated at 750 kW or less, Building Operator or Power Engineer Certification is not required.
    Important Note: Although operators of heating plants under 750 kW do not require certificates of competency, the owner is still responsible for proper maintenance and safe operation of the system in accordance with the Safety Codes Act and regulations. Heating plant operation must be carried out by a competent person with adequate skill, knowledge, and experience. Also, any person repairing, servicing or setting safety relief valves must be authorized by ABSA to do so.
  • For heating plants rated over 750 kW but not over 3000 kW, a minimum of Building Operator B or Fifth Class Certification is required.
  • For heating plants rated at more than 3000 kW, a minimum of Building Operator A or New Fourth Class Certification is required.

Note: the Old 4th Class certification is not acceptable for operation of heating plants. This certification, issued prior to 1998, was intended for power plants only.

Certain pressure equipment is exempt from the requirements of the Safety Codes Act or regulations due to its size or design pressure. Exemptions are listed in the Boilers and Pressure Vessels Exemption Order.
If you are unsure whether your equipment requires inspection and certification, contact your nearest ABSA office. A Safety Codes Officer will be able to assist you.
Exempt boilers include:

  • power boilers having a heating surface of 1 m2 (10.76 sq.ft.) or less
  • heating boilers having a heating surface of 2 m2 (21.53sq.ft.) or less.
    (Heating boilers are designed to ASME Section IV. Power boilers are designed to ASME Section I.)

Exempt pressure vessels include:

  • a pressure vessel that is used for storage or heating of hot water and has an internal diameter of 610 millimetres (24 in.) or less
  • a pressure vessel or pressure piping system protected from exceeding a pressure of 103 kilopascals (15 psi) or less (Note: this exemption does not apply to a boiler)
  • an expansion tank in a closed hot water heating system having:
    1) a working pressure of 207 kilopascals (30 psi) or less, AND
    2) having an internal diameter of 610 millimetres (24 in.) or less.

Exempt mobile equipment include:

  • pressure equipment that is used for the transportation of dangerous goods (such equipment falls under the jurisdiction of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act). If you are unsure if your equipment requires inspection and certification, contact your nearest ABSA office. A Safety Codes Officer will be able to assist you.
  • In general terms, you, the owner, are responsible for proper preventive maintenance and safe operation of your pressure vessel. You must also ensure that operators are competent (and, when required, certified). Your equipment must undergo regular inspection and re-certification, and you are responsible for payment of any applicable fees. If any accident occurs, or any situation arises that could jeopardize the integrity (safety) of the vessel, you must immediately report it to ABSA.
  • The law specifies that it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that pressure relief valves and other controlling devices on boilers and pressure vessels are maintained in good working order.
  • For a more detailed introduction to your responsibilities, go to Owner Responsibilities.
  • A certificate of inspection permit is the certification permit that allows a boiler or pressure vessel to be placed into service in Alberta. The owner, installer, contractor, or vendor must obtain a certificate of inspection permit before placing a boiler or pressure vessel in service, unless it is exempt from this requirement by the legislation.
  • Please follow the link for more information regarding the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Permit.
  • An (A) number is a unique number that identifies each boiler or pressure vessel in use in Alberta. The number is assigned by a Safety Codes Officer upon completion of the shop inspection (if manufactured in Alberta) or upon completion of initial inspection (if imported into Alberta).
  • An (A) number begins with an “A” (in a circle) followed by up to seven numbers. It is usually stamped on the pressure equipment item, on or near the nameplate or code stamping.
  • Pressure vessels and boilers manufactured in Alberta for export are not usually assigned an (A) number.

To be eligible for use in Alberta, the design of a boiler or pressure vessel must be registered by ABSA. A Canadian Registration Number (CRN) is a number stamped on a boiler or pressure vessel, indicating that the design was registered.

  • A CRN consists of a letter, four digits, and a decimal point followed by up to ten digits and/or two letters.
  • To be eligible for use in Alberta, the CRN must have the digit “2” or the letter “c” somewhere after the decimal point
  • For more information, please see What is a Canadian Registration Number (or CRN)?
  • In Alberta, boiler accidents most commonly occur when the burner continues to fire after the boiler water level drops below the minimum safe operating level. Unfortunately, investigations often reveal that automatic fuel cutoffs were not functioning or were disabled by improperly trained operations or maintenance personnel.

The owner of a boiler or pressure vessel is ultimately responsible for payment of all fees relative to that vessel. If you owned the vessel when the service was provided (including the Annual Registration, done for all vessel owners on April 1st each year), you would be responsible for paying the fees for that vessel.

Feel free to send us an email regarding any inquires.