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4.2.19 Performing Pressure Tests on Gas Distribution Lines Gas personnel must understand how to perform pressure
4.2.19 Performing Pressure Tests on Gas Distribution Lines Gas personnel must understand how to perform pressure
  • 4.2.19 Performing Pressure Tests on Gas Distribution Lines

4.2.19 Performing Pressure Tests on Gas Distribution Lines Gas personnel must understand how to perform pressure

Gas personnel must understand how to perform pressure tests on gas distribution lines to ensure the system is gas tight.

In this module you will learn to identify:

(1) NFPA 54 regulations that apply to pressure testing of a propane distribution system

(2) Basic elements of pressure testing

(3) Procedures commonly used to pressure test propane piping

NFPA 54 Regulations that Apply to Pressure Testing

NFPA 54
NFPA 54

7.1.4.1 Test pressure shall be measured with a manometer or with a

pressure measuring device designed and calibrated to read, record,
2002 or indicate a pressure loss due to leakage during the pressure test period. The source of pressure shall be isolated before the pressure tests are made. Mechanical gauges used to measure test pressures shall have a range such that the highest end of the scale is not greater than 5 times the test pressure.

7.1.4.2 The test pressure to be used shall be no less than 1-½ times the proposed maximum working pressure, but not less than 3 psi, irrespective of design pressure.

7.1.4.3 Test duration shall be not less than ½ hour for each 500 cubic feet of pipe volume or fraction thereof. When testing a system having a volume less than 10 cubic feet or a system in a single-family dwelling, the test duration shall be a minimum of 10 minutes. The duration of the test shall not be required to exceed 24

hours.

4.2.19 Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research Council

NFPA 54 Regulations that Apply to Pressure Testing

NFPA 54
NFPA 54
  • 7.1.1.3 Where repairs or additions are made following the pressure

test, the affected piping shall be tested. Minor repairs and additions
2002 are not required to be pressure tested provided that the work is inspected and connections are tested with a non-corrosive leak- detecting fluid or other leak-detecting methods approved by the

authority having jurisdiction.

7.1.1.4 Where new branches are installed from the point of delivery to new appliance(s), only the newly installed branch(es) shall be required to be pressure

tested. Connections between the new piping and the existing piping shall be tested

with a non-corrosive leak-detecting fluid or approved leak-detecting methods.

7.1.1.5 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 two

valves are installed in series with a valved “tell tale” located between these valves.

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.

  • 4.2.19 Student Book © 2004 Propane Education & Research Council

Pages

1 & 2

Identifying Basic Elements of Pressure Testing

Test Medium.

According to NFPA 54, 7.1.2, the test medium shall be air,

nitrogen, or carbon dioxide, or an inert gas. Do not use oxygen or fuel gas.

Test Pressure.

NFPA 54 requires a test pressure that is 1 ½ times the

maximum working pressure for the piping section, but not less than 3 psig.

For example, pipe supplying propane vapor to a second-stage or 2-PSI service regulator may have a working pressure of 10 psig. In this situation, the test

pressure is at least 15 psig (1 ½ x 10). However, the second stage pipe supplying

propane to the appliances has an operating pressure of 11 inches water column.

In this situation, the test pressure is at least 3 psig, and appliances and their controls are not connected to the piping system during the test.

Test Duration

NFPA 54 and most state and local codes require a 10 minute

test duration for single-family dwellings and small capacity distribution systems

with less than 10 cubic feet (1,840 lineal feet of 1” steel pipe).

However, if the

distribution piping is more than 10 cubic feet, NFPA 54, requires a test duration of 30 minutes for each 500 cubic feet of piping. Regardless of size, NFPA 54 states that the duration of the test need not exceed 24 hours.

NFPA 54 Regulations that Apply to Pressure Testing

Pressure Measuring Devices. NFPA 54,

7.1.4.1 requires: Test pressure shall be measured with a pressure measuring device designed and calibrated to read, record, or indicate a pressure

loss due to leakage during the pressure test period.

The source of pressure shall be isolated before the pressure tests are made.

Mechanical gauges used to measure test pressures shall have a range such that the highest

end of the scale is not greater than 5 times the test

pressure.

NFPA 54 Regulations that Apply to Pressure Testing Pressure Measuring Devices. NFPA 54, 7.1.4.1 requires: Test

Figure 1. Test Gauges Installed

At Piping Connections at Two 2-PSI Piping Service Entrances

For example, a 0-15 psi gauge should be used for a 3 psig pressure test, while a 0-75 psi gauge is

required for a 15 psig test.

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Before testing, check the installation carefully to be sure it is properly installed and meets applicable state and local codes and regulations.

All pipe, tubing, and fittings used in the installation must meet the requirements in all applicable state and local codes and standards, particularly the National Fuel Gas Code, NFPA 54.

For new installations, the underground lines and the lines inside buildings must be left uncovered for the duration of the pressure testing.

All aboveground lines must be properly supported as necessary, and protected

from physical damage.

Before beginning a test, be sure the gauge(s) and test fittings are in good condition. Test fittings equipped with Schrader valves should be fitted with appropriate sealing caps and cap gaskets.

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Pressure Testing Integral Two-Stage Distribution Systems: 11 Inches Water Column Operating PressureIntegral 2-Stage Regulator

       

Pressure

Description

Test Pressure

Minimum Test

Test Medium

Measuring

Duration

Device

Before appliances are connected

3 psig minimum

10 minutes

Air, nitrogen, or carbon dioxide

A pressure gauge designed and calibrated to read, record, or indicate

a pressure loss

due to leakage during the pressure test

period.

Figure 2. Pressure Testing Integral Two-Stage Distribution Lines Operating Pressure: 11 Inches Water Column

This method is intended for testing the main and branch lines before they are connected

to the appliance shutoff valves and the integral two-stage regulator. The piping system must withstand a test pressure of at least 3 psig for a minimum of 10 minutes without showing any drop in pressure.

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping Figure 3. Example of Integral Two-Stage Piping Diagram 4.2.19

Figure 3. Example of Integral Two-Stage Piping Diagram

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Step 1:

Make sure the entire line is disconnected from the propane

storage container regulator and the ends of all branch lines are either capped or plugged.

Step 2:

Install a test adaptor and suitable gauge at any connection in the piping system.

Step 3:

Install in the piping system a pressure-measuring device

designed and calibrated to read, record, or indicate a

pressure loss caused by leakage.

Step 4:

Pressurize the piping system to at least 3 psig. A hand

pump may be used, as illustrated in Figure 4. The source of pressure shall be isolated before the pressure test is

made.

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Step 5:

Ensure the pressure on the piping system being pressure

tested remains constant for a minimum time period of 10 minutes.

Step 6:

If the piping system holds the test pressure for a minimum of 10 minutes without any drop, the piping system is considered gastight. (If the piping system is not considered gastight, take appropriate action to locate the

leak and make necessary repairs.)

Step 7:

Prepare a record that indicates which portions of the piping system were pressure-tested.

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Pressure Testing Two-Stage Distribution Systems: 11 Inches Water Column Final Delivery Pressure1 st & 2 nd Stage Regulators

       

Pressure

Description

Test Pressure

Minimum Test

Test Medium

Measuring

Device

Duration

Buried Distribution Line (before regulator

Not less than 1.5 (1½) times the maximum working pressure of the first

  • 10 minutes

Air, nitrogen, or carbon dioxide

A pressure gauge designed and

is installed).

stage line. The typical working

calibrated to read, record, or

pressure of the first

indicate a

stage regulator is

pressure loss due

  • 10 psig; therefore,

to leakage during

the test pressure

should be at least

the pressure test

  • 15 psig.

period.

Second Stage Line, Before

3 psig minimum

  • 10 minutes

Air, nitrogen, or

appliances are installed.

carbon dioxide

Figure 5. Pressure Testing Two Stage Distribution Lines Appliance Operating Pressure: 11" w.c.

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping Figure 6. Pressure Testing First-Stage Line 4.2.19 Student Book
Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping Figure 6. Pressure Testing First-Stage Line 4.2.19 Student Book
Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping Figure 6. Pressure Testing First-Stage Line 4.2.19 Student Book
Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping Figure 6. Pressure Testing First-Stage Line 4.2.19 Student Book
 
 
Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping Figure 6. Pressure Testing First-Stage Line 4.2.19 Student Book
   
Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping Figure 6. Pressure Testing First-Stage Line 4.2.19 Student Book
Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping Figure 6. Pressure Testing First-Stage Line 4.2.19 Student Book
Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping Figure 6. Pressure Testing First-Stage Line 4.2.19 Student Book

Figure 6. Pressure Testing First-Stage Line

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Step 1:

Disconnect the line from the storage container regulator

and the second-stage regulator.

Step 2:

Plug or cap the terminating ends of the first-stage line.

Step 3:

Install a pressure-measuring device designed and calibrated to read, record, or indicate a pressure loss due to leakage during the pressure test period in the container

end of the line.

Figure 7. Installing Test Gauge and Fittings

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping Disconnect the line from the storage container regulator and

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Step 4:

Pressurize the piping system to at least 15 psig. (An air

pump may be used, as illustrated in Figure 6.) Then isolate the source of pressure.

Step 5:

Ensure the pressure remains constant for a minimum time period of 10 minutes.

Step 6:

If the line holds the test pressure without any drop, the line

is considered gastight. (If the line is not considered gastight, take appropriate action to locate the leak and make necessary repairs.)

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Step 7:

Prepare a record indicating the section(s) of pipe tested.

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping Prepare a record indicating the section(s) of pipe tested.

Figure 8. Recording the Pressure Test

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Test the second-stage line(s) by using the same basic method used for integral two-stage systems (a minimum 3-psig test for 10 minutes).

Frsi t Stage Regual tor Pressuer Gauge Hand Pump Service Valve Ppi eC ap Ppi eC
Frsi t Stage
Regual tor
Pressuer
Gauge
Hand Pump
Service Valve
Ppi eC ap
Ppi eC a
AC
ri hecko r
Needle Valve
Storage
Container
Ppi eC ap
Disconnected
2nd Stage
Regulator

Figure 9. Pressure Testing Distribution Lines Downstream of 2 nd -Stage Regulator

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Pressure Testing 2-Pound Distribution Systems: 10 psig buried distribution line pressure and 2-psi delivery pressure to one or more line regulators controlling 11 inches water column final delivery pressure. If the system uses a first-stage and

2-PSI service regulators connected by a buried distribution line, the system is tested as

a two-stage piping system (Figure 10).

(2

p

Figure 10.

Fir st- Stage Re g u al ot r ( 10 psig outlet pressure) Bur ied
Fir st- Stage
Re g u al ot r
( 10 psig outlet pressure)
Bur ied PE Tubing
Water Heater
2- psi Ser vice
Re g u al ot r
Fur nace
Dr yer
s
ig
o
u
tle
p t
re
s
s
u
re
)
R
Manifold
Line Regulator
Ra n g e
2-Pound (Hybrid) Pressure System

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

       

Pressure

Description

Test Pressure

Minimum Test

Test Medium

Measuring

Duration

Device

Buried

Not less than 1.5

     

Distribution Line

(1½) times the

  • 10 minutes

A pressure gauge

indicate a

to leakage during

the pressure test

(before regulator is installed).

maximum working pressure of the first stage line. The typical working pressure of the first

stage regulator is 10 psig; therefore, the

test pressure should

be at least 15 psig.

Air, nitrogen, or carbon dioxide

designed and calibrated to read, record, or

pressure loss due

period.

Line Connecting 2-PSI Service Regulator to Distribution

  • 3 psig minimum

  • 10 minutes

Air, nitrogen, or carbon dioxide

Manifold.

Distribution Man- fold and distribution lines to appliances

  • 3 psig minimum

  • 10 minutes

Air, nitrogen, or carbon dioxide

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Air Valve-Equipped Test Fnttii g wthi 0 to 60 ps Gi auge First-Stage Regulator 2-PSI Service
Air Valve-Equipped
Test Fnttii g wthi
0 to 60 ps Gi auge
First-Stage
Regulator
2-PSI Service
Regulator
Ppi e
Cap
2 psgi CSST Lni e to
Distribution Manifold
PE Frsi t-Stage
Di
ib i
Li

Figure 12. Pressure Testing First-Stage Line

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Step 1:

Disconnect the line from the storage container regulator

and the second-stage regulator.

Step 2:

Plug or cap the terminating ends of the first-stage line.

Step 3:

Install a pressure-measuring device designed and calibrated to read, record, or indicate a pressure loss due

to leakage during the pressure test period in the container

end of the line.

Step 4:

Pressurize the piping system to at least 15 psig. Then isolate the source of pressure.

Step 5:

Ensure the pressure remains constant for a minimum time

period of 10 minutes.

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Step 6:

If the line holds the test pressure without any drop, the line

is considered gastight. (If the line is not considered gastight, take appropriate action to locate the leak and make necessary repairs. Repeat the pressure test as needed until a gastight condition is maintained.)

Step 7:

Prepare a record indicating the section(s) of pipe tested.

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

To test lines in a 2-psi system that uses a single line regulator and distribution manifold:

Step 1:

Remove the line regulator located upstream of the distribution

manifold and replace with a pipe nipple. (Figure 13) Verify that all valves at the manifold are manufacturer approved for the pressure that will be used for the test and that the valves are in their open positions.

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping To test lines in a 2-psi system that uses

Figure 13a. Line Regulator

and Manifold

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping To test lines in a 2-psi system that uses

Figure 13b. Line Regulator Replaced with Pipe Nipple for Pressure Test

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Step 2:

Plug or cap the terminating ends of the lines at appliance

locations.

Step 3:

Install a pressure-measuring device designed and calibrated

to read, record, or indicate a pressure loss due to leakage during the pressure test period in the outside connection where the 2-PSI service regulator is disconnected for the pressure test.

Step 4:

Pressurize the piping system to at least 3 psig. Then isolate

the source of pressure.

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Step 5:

Ensure the pressure remains constant for a minimum time

period of 10 minutes.

Step 6:

If the line holds the test pressure without any drop, the lines

and manifold are considered gastight. (If the lines are not considered gastight, take appropriate action to locate the leak and make necessary repairs. Repeat the pressure test as needed until a gastight condition is maintained.)

Step 7:

Prepare a record indicating the section(s) of pipe tested.

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Water Heater 2-psi Service Regulator Furnace Dryer R Manifold Lni e Regulator R Range Plastic Pipe
Water Heater
2-psi Service
Regulator
Furnace
Dryer
R
Manifold
Lni e
Regulator
R
Range
Plastic Pipe in Slab
CSST Hybrid Dual Pressure Syst

Figure 14. 2-PSI System

with 2 Line Regulators

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

2- psi Ser vice Regual ot r
2- psi Ser vice
Regual ot r
Fur nace Water Heater 80,000 Btuh 36,000 Btuh Line Dr yer Regual ot r 28,000 Btuh
Fur nace
Water Heater
80,000 Btuh
36,000 Btuh
Line
Dr yer
Regual ot r
28,000 Btuh
R
Manifold
A = 20 feet
Range
52,000 Btuh
B = 40 feet
Fur nace
60,000 Btuh
Water Heater
36,000 Btuh
R
Manifold
Line
Regual ot r
Fir eplace
45,000 Btuh

Figure 15. CSST Multiple Manifold System

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping

Procedures Used to Pressure Test Propane Piping Be sure to comply with your company’s pressure testing

Be sure to comply with your company’s pressure testing procedures, along with code requirements of jurisdictional authorities in your area. Also read and follow manufacturer recommendations for pressure testing corrugated stainless steel tubing as appropriate.

Time to See If You Got the Key Points of

This Module…

Complete the Review on page 14.

See if you are ready for the Certification Exam by checking off the

performance criteria on page 15.