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Get Acrobat Reader You will need Acrobat Reader to view pdf Pressure Testing Plastic Lined Pipe

These recommendations are derived from ASME standard B31.3. The only limitations that are placed on this testing relate to the pressure ratings of our diaphragm valves. The maximum test pressures for our diaphragm valves are the following:
  • 1-4" diaphragm valves 225 psi
  • 6" diaphragm valves 200 psi
  • 8" diaphragm valves 150 psi
Other than this limitation, our pipe and fittings can be tested at the pressures recommended by B31.3.

Hydrostatic Test

The fluid used for the hydrostatic test is typically water. Another suitable non-toxic liquid can be substituted if there is the risk of damage due to the adverse effects of having water in the system. The system should be tested at a pressure not less than 1.5 times the design pressure. If the design temperature is above the test temperature then the required test pressure is calculated by the following equation:
Pt= (1.5 PSt)
Pt = minimum hydrostatic test gauge pressure
P   = internal design gauge pressure
St = stress value at test temperature
S   = stress value at design temperature

Typically, for the pressures and temperatures in which plastic-lined pipe is used, the above calculation reduces to:

      Pt = 1.5 P

We recommend that the system be retorqued after the first thermocycle. If the hydrostatic test is performed at the expected operating temperature (a "hot hydrotest") then the hydrotest can constitute the first thermocycle and the recommended retorquing can occur after the pressure test.

Pneumatic Leak Test

This pressure test is performed in some situations where the presence of any water in the system is forbidden. The test is very dangerous due to the stored energy of the compressed gas. ASME B31.3 refers to the dangers of performing this test and provides safety considerations in the standard.

For a pneumatic pressure test, a pressure relief device must be in the system. This relief device should be set at the test pressure plus either 50 psi or 10% of the test pressure, whichever is lower. The gas used for the pneumatic test, if not air, can be any nonflammable and non-toxic gas. The test pressure required for this test is 110% of the design pressure.

To perform the pneumatic leak test, begin by increasing the pressure until a gauge pressure of 25 psi is attained. At this point, a preliminary check for leaks must be made. After the initial check, the pressure should be incrementally increased, holding the pressure at each increment long enough to equalize the piping strains. Once the test pressure is reached, the pressure is then reduced to the design pressure before examining for leakage.

Alternative Leak Test

If a hydrostatic pressure test is undesirable due to the possible chemical reactions with water and a pneumatic test in undesirable due to the potential hazards, then an alternative leak test can be used. This test is not applicable to plastic lined pipe because it relates to welded systems.

Initial Service Leak Test

This test is applicable only to systems which meet the following requirements:
  • the fluid handled is nonflammable, non-toxic, and not damaging to human tissues.
  • the design gauge pressure does not exceed 150 psi.
  • the design temperature is between -20°F and 366°F.
In this test, the test fluid is the service fluid. It is rare that this test is used with plastic-lined pipe. ASME B31.3 should be considered if more information concerning this test is required.

Other Tests

Another option, which is not included in ASME B31.3, is the "halogen test with Freon". This test will find leaks in the piping system, but it does not meet the code.

The above is a description of some pressure test methods. In general, most systems are hydrostatically tested as described in the ASME standard. If the hydrostatic test is impractical, then the pneumatic test can be substituted, however, extreme caution must be observed during this potentially hazardous test.

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