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1213.0 Pressure Testing, Inspection, and Purging
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Prior to acceptance and initial operation, all piping installations shall be visually inspected and pressure tested to determine that the materials, design, fabrication, and installation practices comply with the requirements of this code. [NFPA 54:18.104.22.168]
Inspection shall consist of visual examination during or after manufacture, fabrication, assembly, or pressure tests. [NFPA 54:22.214.171.124]
Where repairs or additions are made following the pressure test, the affected piping shall be tested. Minor repairs and additions are not required to be pressure-tested provided that the work is inspected, and connections are tested with a noncorrosive leak-detecting fluid or other leak-detecting methods approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction. [NFPA 54:126.96.36.199]
A piping system shall be tested as a complete unit or in sections. Under no circumstances shall a valve in a line be used as a bulkhead between gas in one section of the piping system and test medium in an adjacent section, unless a double block and bleed valve system is installed. A valve shall not be subjected to the test pressure unless it can be determined that the valve, including the valve closing mechanism, is designed to safely withstand the pressure. [NFPA 54:188.8.131.52]
Regulator and valve assemblies fabricated independently of the piping system in which they are to be installed shall be permitted to be tested with inert gas or air at the time of fabrication. [NFPA 54:184.108.40.206]
The test medium shall be air, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, or an inert gas. OXYGEN SHALL NEVER BE USED. [NFPA 54:8.1.2]
Expansion joints shall be provided with temporary restraints, where required, for the additional thrust load under test. [NFPA 54:220.127.116.11]
Appliances and equipment that are not to be included in the test shall be either disconnected from the piping or isolated by blanks, blind flanges, or caps. Flanged joints at which blinds are inserted to blank off other equipment during the test shall not be required to be tested. [NFPA 54:18.104.22.168]
All testing of piping systems shall be performed in a manner that protects the safety of employees and the public during the test. [NFPA 54:22.214.171.124]
This inspection shall include an air, CO2, or nitrogen pressure test, at which time the gas piping shall stand a pressure of not less than 10 psi (69 kPa) gauge pressure. Test pressures shall be held for a length of time satisfactory to the Authority Having Jurisdiction but in no case less than 15 minutes with no perceptible drop in pressure. For welded piping, and for piping carrying gas at pressures in excess of 14 inches water column pressure (3.5 kPa), the test pressure shall be not less than 60 psi (414 kPa) and shall be continued for a length of time satisfactory to the Authority Having Jurisdiction, but in no case for less than 30 minutes. For CSST carrying gas at pressures in excess of 14 inches water column (3.5 kPa) pressure, the test pressure shall be not less than 30 psi (207 kPa) for 30 minutes. These tests shall be made using air, CO2, or nitrogen pressure and shall be made in the presence of the Authority Having Jurisdiction. Necessary apparatus for conducting tests shall be furnished by the permit holder. Test gauges used in conducting tests shall be in accordance with Section 318.0.
The piping system shall withstand the test pressure specified without showing any evidence of leakage or other defects. Any reduction of test pressures as indicated by pressure gauges shall be deemed to indicate the presence of a leak unless such reduction can be readily attributed to some other cause. [NFPA 54:126.96.36.199]
Where leakage or other defects are located, the affected portion of the piping system shall be repaired or replaced and retested. [NFPA 54:188.8.131.52]
During the process of turning gas on into a system of new gas piping, the entire system shall be inspected to determine that there are no open fittings or ends and that valves at unused outlets are closed and plugged or capped. [NFPA 54:8.2.2]
Immediately after the gas is turned on into a new system or into a system that has been initially restored after an interruption of service, the piping system shall be checked for leakage. Where leakage is indicated, the gas supply shall be shut off until the necessary repairs have been made. [NFPA 54:8.2.3]
The purging of piping systems shall be in accordance with the provisions of Section 1184.108.40.206 through Section 1220.127.116.11 where the piping system meets either of the following:
- The design operating gas pressure is greater than 2 psig (14 kPa).
- The piping being purged contains one or more sections of pipe or tubing meeting the size and length criteria of Table 1213.6.1. [NFPA 54:8.3.1]
SIZE AND LENGTH OF PIPING [NFPA 54: TABLE 8.3.1]*
|NOMINAL PIPING SIZE |
|LENGTH OF PIPING |
|≥ 21/2 < 3||> 50|
|≥ 3 < 4||> 30|
|≥4 < 6||> 15|
|≥ 6 < 8||> 10|
|≥ 8||Any length|
For SI units: 1 inch = 25 mm, 1 foot = 304.8 mm
* CSST EHD size of 62 is equivalent to nominal 2 inches (50 mm) pipe or tubing size.
Where existing gas piping is opened, the section that is opened shall be isolated from the gas supply and the line pressure vented in accordance with Section 118.104.22.168. Where gas piping meeting the criteria of Table 1213.6.1 is removed from service, the residual fuel gas in the piping shall be displaced with an inert gas. [NFPA 54:22.214.171.124]
Where piping containing gas is to be removed, the line shall be first disconnected from sources of gas and then thoroughly purged with air, water, or inert gas before cutting, or welding is done.
The open end of a piping system being pressure vented or purged shall discharge directly to an outdoor location. Purging operations shall comply with the following requirements:
- The point of discharge shall be controlled with a shutoff valve.
- The point of discharge shall be located at least 10 feet (3048 mm) from sources of ignition, at least 10 feet (3048 mm) from building openings, and at least 25 feet (7620 mm) from mechanical air intake openings.
- During discharge, the open point of discharge shall be continuously attended and monitored with a combustible gas indicator that is in accordance with Section 1126.96.36.199.
- Purging operations introducing fuel gas shall be stopped where 90 percent fuel gas by volume is detected within the pipe.
- Persons not involved in the purging operations shall be evacuated from areas within 10 feet (3048 mm) of the point of discharge. [NFPA 54:188.8.131.52]
Combustible gas indicators shall be listed and calibrated in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Combustible gas indicators shall numerically display a volume scale from 0 percent to 100 percent in 1 percent or smaller increments. [NFPA 54:184.108.40.206]
The purging of piping systems shall be in accordance with the provisions of Section 1220.127.116.11 where the piping system meets both of the following:
The piping system shall be purged in accordance with one or more of the following:
- The piping shall be purged with fuel gas and shall discharge to the outdoors.
- The piping shall be purged with fuel gas and shall discharge to the indoors or outdoors through an appliance burner not located in a combustion chamber. Such burner shall be provided with a continuous source of ignition.
- The piping shall be purged with fuel gas and shall discharge to the indoors or outdoors through a burner that has a continuous source of ignition, and that is designed for such purpose.
- The piping shall be purged with fuel gas that is discharged to the indoors or outdoors, and the point of discharge shall be monitored with a listed combustible gas detector in accordance with Section 118.104.22.168. Purging shall be stopped where fuel gas is detected.
- The piping shall be purged by the gas supplier in accordance with written procedures. [NFPA 54:22.214.171.124]
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