Hoteliers are often surprised to learn that various boilers in their hotel properties are regulated by a state agency, and those boilers require regular inspection by an authorized boiler inspector.  Even though they have been regulated since 1972, boilers in pool and spa heaters in particular catch hoteliers off guard.

Boilers are regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).  TDLR provides a plain-English meaning of what constitutes a “boiler” subject to regulation:

All types of boilers that are used in commercial and public facilities that produce steam (either low or high pressure), hot water heating for use in comfort air heating systems, and hot water supply for use in domestic water systems (such as showers, sinks, pools, or for miscellaneous use) which includes potable hot water heater type boilers.

In the typical hotel, this means that property owners and managers should check that boilers in areas of the property such as pools and spas, water heaters, and steam-heat systems have current inspections.  You can search boiler registrations online here to determine if your boiler is currently inspected:  https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/Boilerdata/.

Boilers are required to be inspected by a licensed, state-authorized inspector upon installation, and again every one, two, or three years, depending on the type and location of the boiler. The State mandates that the inspection fee is $70, and the proceeds of this fee are used to fund the State’s licensure program.  Additionally, the State collects an initial fee of $25 upon the installation of a boiler, and those forms can be found here.

In most instances, the inspector performing the boiler inspection is either an employee of TDLR or an employee (or agent) of the hotel property’s insurance company.  Most property and casualty insurance policies include coverage for the boilers located within the hotel property, and in many instances, those insurance carriers have boiler inspectors who will perform inspections of the property.

If you are unsure about whether your insurance carrier provides this service, you should contact your insurance agent and make an inquiry.

Regardless of who performs the boiler inspection, be sure to keep copies of the inspection reports, along with any records of repair or accidents caused by a boiler.  These records should be maintained onsite and in a location that is easy to find in the event a TDLR inspector visits the property and asks for those records.

If you have any questions about boiler inspections and related issues, TDLR’s Boiler Program administrators can provide helpful information.  You can contact that department by calling 512-539-5716.

Additionally, THLA’s legal team is always happy to assist.  You can reach us by phone at 512-474-2996, or by email at news@texaslodging.com.

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