Requirement to register boilers and pressure vessels for agricultural use coming this summer


Boilers, pressure vessels, fittings and piping used for agricultural practices must comply with O. Reg. 220/01 and CSA B51:19 as of July 1, 2021.

Toronto, ON — A new change is coming down the pipeline for boilers and pressure vessels. As of July 1, all new installations of boilers, pressure vessels, fittings and piping used for agricultural purposes must comply with Ontario Regulation 220/01: Boilers and Pressure Vessels under the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000, and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) B51:19 Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Pressure Piping Code.

The former applies to the design, construction, maintenance, use, operation, repair and service of boilers, pressure vessels and piping in Ontario. The latter is a national code that promotes safe design, construction, installation, operation, inspection, and repair practices.

The exemption previously in place for boilers and pressure equipment used for agricultural purposes was revoked in summer 2020 due to growing safety concerns, reports the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA). The safety concerns were also highlighted by the Auditor General in her 2018 report.

The regulation applies to steam boilers, water boilers, refrigeration equipment using ammonia, carbon dioxide, group A1 refrigerants, and all other refrigerants, pressure vessels, and pressure piping, all pertaining to the agricultural sector.

There are a few examples of products considered exempt from regulation. This includes a boiler having a heating surface of 10 sq. ft. or less, and a pressure vessel, fitting or piping that contains a gas, vapour or liquid at a maximum allowable working pressure of 15 psi or less.

In addition, pressure piping that forms part of the heating system in a building that is either heated by steam at a pressure not exceeding 15 psi or heated by water at a pressure not exceeding 160 psi and at a temperature that does not exceed 250F, is exempt.

Pressure vessels, fittings or piping that contains liquids not more hazardous than water and that operates at a temperature of 150F or less and at a maximum allowable working pressure of 250 psi or less, are also exempt from the changes. For other exclusions, visit

Must comply

This will mean that beginning July 1, newly installed boiler and pressure equipment that falls within the O. Reg. 220/01 must comply with the following regulatory requirements:

  1. Manufacturers of pressure equipment must register their designs with TSSA and the designs must meet the requirements of the applicable North American Code. Once approved, a Canadian Registration Number is issued, which must be marked on the nameplate of every boiler and pressure vessel.
  2. Manufacturers, fabricators, contractors, assemblers or repair organizations of pressure equipment must have a valid Certification of Authorization.
  3. A TSSA BPV inspector conducts an installation inspection of all pressure equipment before it can be placed in service. Upon successful completion, TSSA issues a Certificate of Inspection (COI).
  4. Once the owners and operators have received a COI, the certified equipment will then be subject to periodic inspection by a qualified inspector.

Over five years, TSSA plans on developing a plan which will bring all boilers and pressure vessels used for agricultural purposes into compliance with the changes coming July 1, 2021, reports TSSA. They plan to work with agricultural partners to implement the new regulatory requirements, making sure owners, operators, and insurers of pressure equipment used for agricultural purposes understand the safety regulations and what they need to do to comply, said TSSA. There are no changes to operating engineering practices.

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