Commercial Gas Tightness Testing

Tightness Testing new industrial and commercial gas pipe work will be designed to withstand a strength test pressure (STP) to identify any major flaw in the construction of the new gas installation pipe work, prior to carrying out a tightness test. To find out more call us today on  0800 772 3008

Strength Testing

A strength test shall be carried out on any new industrial and commercial gas pipework installations or extensions to existing commercial gas pipework installations.

Untitled-1

Tightness Testing

Tightness testing is carried out to ensure that the industrial and commercial gas pipework is safe for use, or continued use, so as not to cause a hazard or unsafe situation. Tightness testing for all gas pipework installations is carried out at operating pressure.

In a new gas pipework installation, the test is to verify that, within tolerances caused by the finite time for testing and the accuracy of instruments used, pipework is nominally gas tight.
On existing gas pipe work installations, the test is to verify that, within the same above tolerances, the pipe work is gas tight, within acceptable defined limits.

Even if the tightness test is satisfactory, a smell of gas or presence of gas detected would fail the test and would be required to be traced and repaired.
To ensure your commercial gas installation pipe work is monitored and maintained in a safe condition, as set out in The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998, we advise that all installation pipe work be tested and inspected on an annual basis. This can normally be carried out at the same time as the annual gas appliance service visit.

Preparation

When Gas compliance, highly skilled industrial and commercial gas engineers, carry out any of these scope of works, they work to the highest level of industry standards.

They will carry out a thorough survey of the gas installation pipe work, then familiarise themselves with the installation. Only when they are satisfied that they have all the relevant and correct information required and all necessary risks have been evaluated, will they proceed to carry out the work.

Purge and De-Commission

When carrying out a direct or indirect purge, air to gas, or gas to air, our industrial and commercial gas engineers again work to the highest industry standards, with maximum level of planning & supervision.

They will implement all site precautions to be adhered to, thus, ensuring a safe working environment for all parties involved.

When any gas pipe work de-commission works are carried out, the same level of expertise and workmanship are implemented, with all de-commissioned pipe work left purged to air.

We can provide the complete package of works, from pipe work sizing to appliance connection and commissioning, or we can also provide any of the above as a ‘stand alone’ service should you require them.

We can also provide scheduled or reactive out of hours and weekend works, as and when required, to suit your needs.

Our industrial and commercial gas engineers are fully conversant with The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998, enabling them to give the best advice on ensuring your installation is gas safe compliant with current regulations.

DSEAR (Dangerous Systems and Explosive Atmospheres

Although DSEAR (Dangerous Systems and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations) was enacted back in 2003, its implications for hazardous plant are still misunderstood. Barrie Church explains

Ignorance of the law is no defence, yet eight years after enactment of DSEAR (the Dangerous Systems and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations) in 2003, many plant managers, designers and installers seem unaware of its implications. That is particularly worrying, given that, unusually, these regulations were retrospective for all natural gas and LPG installations in factories, hospitals, shopping centres and shops, as well as central plant for domestic flats. Only pipe work in domestic occupation and CE marked gas appliances are exempt – although such equipment still requires a risk assessment.

In brief, each installation needs to be considered for the likelihood of a gas leak occurring and for such a leak leading to an incident that may cause harm or injury. It is also a legal duty on site occupiers to consider the risks and control measures in place to mitigate such leakage. Risk assessments must consider the initial design specification, construction standards, local ventilation provisions, testing procedures and on-going maintenance procedures.

Most gas installations operate at low gas pressures (below 100mbar) and it is a simple and not too costly process for a competent person to ensure compliance.

DSEAR itself requires that a risk assessment be completed of the downstream gas installation (examples are given in the appendices to UP/16). That said, from a practical perspective, the primary design issue for gas pipework is that there must never be three surfaces within 1m of the pipe joints. Where this presents difficulties, the options are to all-weld the pipe work system or to move it away from any confined space in the boiler area.

Stockline Factory Explosion

On May 11, 2004, the ICL Plastics factory (commonly referred to as Stockline Plastics factory), in the Woodside district of Glasgow in western Scotland, exploded. Nine people were killed, including two company directors, and 33 injured, 15 seriously. The four-storey building was largely destroyed. The Crown Office decided on 17 February to prosecute ICL Plastics Limited and ICL Tech Limited under the Health & Safety at Work Act following a report conducted by the Glasgow Procurator Fiscal and HSE.

The company has been accused of:

  • Failing to maintain pipes carrying hazardous gas
  • Failure to ensure the safety of staff and visitors
  • Failing to carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments

A public inquiry will be carried out after the criminal proceedings are concluded. The cause of the explosion was initially unknown. Some press coverage reported eyewitness accounts of gas industrial ovens in the coating department exploding. This has since been shown as unlikely as the gas ovens used on site have been found intact. Another theory investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was that there was no explosion. An article in the Scotsman newspaper of October 5, 2004 stated that the HSE was investigating the possibility that heavy machinery and pallets kept on the upper floors caused the floor to collapse, bringing the rest of the building down with it. Other theories included a dust explosion and a build-up of methane beneath the building. However the final inquest of the HSE indicated that the explosion was due to an ignition of gas released by a leak in a pressurised petroleum gas pipe. The liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank and pipes that had been installed beneath the factory in the late 1960s had corroded allowing the gas to escape. On August 28, 2007 a fine of £200,000 (around $400,000US) was imposed on each of the two companies responsible (ICL Plastics Limited and ICL Tech Limited).