Resources // Regulations/Rebates

Authorized Inspection of Certified Weld Repairs      


You visited the job location with the pressure retaining unit, which the end-user or customer would like repaired. You discussed repair options with the customer, and you confirmed the repair procedure with your Quality Control Manager and Weld Engineer. But what about involvement from the Authorized Inspector for the upcoming work? That’s where the following information comes into action.

When a certified weld repair is made on a boiler, pressure retaining item, vessel, tank or piping, it is going to need to be inspected and tested. This happens by following rules and standards that come from The NBIC (National Board Inspection Code) and ASME (American Society of Engineers) for the required type of weld repair, alteration or installation.

What is an Authorized Inspector?      

An Authorized Inspector (AI) holds a Certification from the National Board Commission. Employed as an Inspector by an ASME / National Board Accredited Authorized Inspection Agency. The AI shall have an AI Commission. The Inspector shall hold a National Board IS or a National Board AI Commission with R endorsement.

What will the Authorized Inspector need from a Certified Weld Repair Company for a job like this?  For starters, you need to know what you’re welding on, such as material type, thicknesses, and that comes from Manufactures Data Reports (MDR) on the pressure retaining item you would be welding. In the Weld Repair industry, this is like the birth certificate of any pressure retaining item. Inspectors will also ask questions to the Certified Welder such as:

  • What exactly is leaking or defective? A tube leak or crack, a pipe fitting and etc.
  • Where is the issue located on the unit? In the boiler, in a crawl space, tunnel, or near the ceiling?     
  • How do you plan to repair it? Replace with a new component, material, and/or repair it and in what fashion.    
  • Do you know what the material is made of? We have the MDR in hand.
  • What Non-Destructive Testing will be done to test to verify the integrity of the system?   We will cover the common ways to test.  

Authorized Inspectors are hired by the repair company, typically through an insurance company with a contract or agreement, to inspect, instruct and sign off on correct repairs per the codes in place.  An Authorized Inspector can also discourage or object to a repair if it does not meet code rules, for example, if there are too many repairs to a specific area or item.

Inspectors will ask the Certified Welder to obtain hold points. Hold points are activity stages assigned by the Authorized Inspector that must be verified by the AI, and beyond which material review, fabrication or assembly must not proceed until after it has been signed off by the Authorized Inspector.

The Authorized Inspector will want to view a Quality Control Weld Traveler document when they arrive on the jobsite to inspect an item. The Traveler is a document that contains information such as:

  • Location, owner name(s)
  • Serial number, National Board Numbers, year built, etc.
  • What are the hold points, what non-destructive testing was and will be performed?
  • Material information, location of repair and who welded the item.
  • Areas of dates and signatures of parties involved.

Non-destructive Testing Methods

After the Repair is made

Once the repairs are made and the information is submitted to the National Board, an R-1 form is sent to the customer for their records and one is kept on file at PBBS Equipment.

Having an Authorized Inspector examine, inspect, witness or review the paperwork is not a negative thing. They exist to uphold the code and ensure that all repairs are kept to the current repair codes and maintain standards. By following these procedures, the facility personnel and equipment can remain safe.     

There are an estimated total of more than 163,000 boilers in the United States alone. PBBS Equipment has a database of around 13,000 boilers that we service in the areas of the four states that we serve in the Midwest alone.

PBBS can be your one-stop solution for your boiler room needs and fully respond in an event of an emergency. Our staff includes both licensed professionals and certified ASME welders. We hold the ASME ‘S’ Stamp and ‘U’ stamp and the National Board ‘R’ Stamp which allows us to perform repairs and alterations on boilers and unfired pressure vessels.

Source: Chad Bartkowiak, Quality Control Manager & Service, PBBS Equipment

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