University of Washington operates and maintains several thousand pressure vessels on campus, among which are autoclaves and sterilizers. All pressure vessels in the State of Washington are required to be inspected and certified by the Department of Labor and Industries on a biennial basis.

The Facilities Services, Preventive Maintenance Manager coordinates the required building inspections and maintains building records for each pressure vessel. Autoclaves or sterilizers are considered Departmental Equipment maintenance costs and records are the responsibility of the department.

Departments needing additional information regarding the operation and monitoring requirements for Autoclaves, please contact the UW, Environmental Health & Safety Department.

UW Risk Management contracts these inspections with several private insurance companies which employ the certified pressure vessel inspectors.

There have been several instances of noncompliance with the pressure vessel inspection rules on campus in recent years. Departments purchasing and/or relocating autoclaves and sterilizers often forget the requirements. It is important that FS Preventive Maintenance Department is aware of the location of all pressure vessels on campus. If your department purchases a new autoclave or sterilizer, or if you move an existing autoclave or sterilizer to a new location in the same building or to a different building please contact and inform them of your intentions.

Autoclave Structural Inspection

Autoclaves are considered to be unfired pressure vessels. They must be inspected every two years by a qualified inspector as per WAC 296-104-100.

Any Autoclave that meets the following size requirement is required to have a Structural Inspection.

  • Vessel over 5 cu-ft of Volume Space

If your department currently owns an Autoclave that meets the above criteria and has not had the required Structural Inspection use this form to schedule an inspection.

Autoclave Structural Inspections Schedule

Autoclave Structural Inspections are scheduled during even years (2012, 2014, etc) and conducted during the months of March and September.

Certificate of Inspection Fees

The following fees shall be paid by, or on behalf of, the owner or user upon the completion of the inspection. The inspection fees apply to inspections made by inspectors employed by the state per WAC 296-104-700.

  • Boiler and pressure vessel installation/reinstallation permit (excludes inspection and certificate of inspection fee): $50.00
  • Certificate of inspection fees: For objects inspected, the certificate of inspection fee per object is $20.70

These services (such as special equipment repair or maintenance services for self sustaining entities) must be paid for by the department.

Inspections invoices will be sent directly to the departments from Department of Labor & Industries, Specialty Compliance Services. Once invoice has been paid the Certificate of Inspection will be sent to the department for posting in a conspicuous place in the room containing the object. The certificate of inspection must be available for viewing. The certificate is not valid unless the invoice has been paid. It is a violation of WAC 296-104-701 to operate the object without a valid inspection certificate posted near the object.

Autoclaves | Facilities Maintenance & Construction