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Testing Medical Gas Piping Systems

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  • Friday, June 09, 2017 3:05 PM
    Message # 4890215
    Al Moon (Administrator)

    An ASSE 6030 Verifier is to Certify a newly added medical air line in a existing wing of the hospital. Again only medical air is to be installed and tested. He or She reviews the existing medical air compressor system and the dew-point is 32 deg f at 52 psig at both the systems dew point monitor and the 1/4" sample port with their on site testing monitor (yes all is good and no alarms at both master alarm panels). Part of their testing is the pipeline purity test.

    The reading at the sample location (the last outlet) in the existing wing, on the newly installed medical air line system is 33 deg f at 52 psig.

    QUESTION:

    Pass or Fail per NFPA 99 2012 Edition

     

     

  • Saturday, June 10, 2017 9:44 AM
    Reply # 4891010 on 4890215

    The verifier FAILED to properly do his testing.  


    5.1.12.3.9 Final Tie-In Test.

    5.1.12.3.9.1 Prior to the connection of any work or any extension or addition to an existing piping system, the tests in 5.1.12.3.1 through 5.1.12.3.8 shall be successfully performed on the new work. 


    This purity test is required to be done before the final tie in.....


    5.1.12.3.8.6 The moisture concentration of the outlet test shall not exceed 500 ppm or an equivalent pressure dew point of 12°C (10°F) at a gauge pressure of 345 kPa (50 psi). 


  • Sunday, June 11, 2017 8:10 AM
    Reply # 4891629 on 4890215
    Al Moon (Administrator)

    Lets start again the medical air system is existing.  

    The Pipeline Purify Testing, is allow to be performed with the source gas.

    The source gas is NFPA 99 Code compliant with a pressure dew point of 32 F at 50 to 55 psig. Now do I get down to 10 deg f ?

  • Friday, June 23, 2017 9:35 AM
    Reply # 4914187 on 4890215
    Al Moon wrote:

    An ASSE 6030 Verifier is to Certify a newly added medical air line in a existing wing of the hospital. Again only medical air is to be installed and tested. He or She reviews the existing medical air compressor system and the dew-point is 32 deg f at 52 psig at both the systems dew point monitor and the 1/4" sample port with their on site testing monitor (yes all is good and no alarms at both master alarm panels). Part of their testing is the pipeline purity test.

    The reading at the sample location (the last outlet) in the existing wing, on the newly installed medical air line system is 33 deg f at 52 psig.

    QUESTION:

    Pass or Fail per NFPA 99 2012 Edition

     

     

    Since there was no piping changed, I don't see why the Piping Purity Test even applies.
  • Tuesday, June 27, 2017 6:55 AM
    Reply # 4919584 on 4890215
    Al Moon (Administrator)

    The question is based on a NEW MEDICAL AIR LINE, so testing is required.  

  • Tuesday, July 25, 2017 2:40 PM
    Reply # 4994401 on 4890215
    Cary Darden (Administrator)

    Al,


    The requirements listed in 5.1.12.3.8.4 (non-methane hydrocarbons) & 5.1.12.3.8.5 (halogenated hydrocarbons) specify the "difference" between the two tests, in this case meaning the source test and the outlet test.  The requirement in 5.1.12.3.8.6 states that the moisture concentration of the outlet test shall not exceed 500 ppm or +10 F at 50 psig.  I have always taken this to mean there should not be a difference of of great than 500 ppm or +10 F between the two tests which would show that the distribution piping isn't contributing any excess moisture to the system.   

  • Wednesday, July 26, 2017 6:19 AM
    Reply # 4995609 on 4890215

    All,


    The hydrocarbon test is clearly a differential test and the water concentration is a ceiling test.  The code excerpts are below.  Do you think they writers forgot to put in the words "Difference between the two tests""?


    5.1.12.3.8.4 The difference between the two tests shall in no case exceed 5 ppm of total non-methane hydrocarbons.

    5.1.12.3.8.5 The difference between the two tests shall in no case exceed 5 ppm halogenated hydrocarbons.

    5.1.12.3.8.6 The moisture concentration of the outlet test shall not exceed 500 ppm or an equivalent pressure dew point of -12°C (10°F) at a gauge pressure of 345 kPa (50 psi). 


    To answer your original question Al, if you are to use the ANY gas for testing the ppm value must be below 500 ppm to pass.  Some would say the code hasn't evolved to catch up to the addition on the "Source Gas as a Test Gas" which was added in 2002.  I think its just fine as it is.  Do you really want an variance on water testing?  You could be approving condensed water in the piping system by adding an additional 500ppm to the (approx) 1700ppm allowable limit.  


    One other note:  My original response to your questions was that the verifier failed.  I still stand by that.  You cannot conduct a "final tie in" before doing the initial testing.  In your scenario a plumber tied into and existing system before doing the required testing.


    I agree that the code allows for the "gas of system designation" to be used as a test gas.  In the real world that means something like a new facility.  Say a new ER.  You could turn on the source gas and just get to testing.  


    Im very confident that a verifier who allows the plumber to tie into an existing system before that verifiers initial test is asking for trouble and clearly violating the code.  I see it all too often where a new customer has tied on his new piping to the existing hospital when I show up they will always say " Thats how So and So verifier" always has me do it.


    Id be interested to hear if were the only ones still doing "Nitrogen Work"


    Nick


  • Wednesday, July 26, 2017 7:02 AM
    Reply # 4995645 on 4890215
    Al Moon (Administrator)

    WOW:

     

    Lets go back to the beginning of NFPA 99 in the 1993 edition, when this all began.

    Section #4-5.1.3.6 The dew point testing was a Maximum Allowable Variation Test as Pressure Dew Point. ( 5 deg C at 50 psig. )

     

    And Yes The Test Gas Was To Be NF Nitrogen Only. 

     

     

      

    Last modified: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 7:02 AM | Al Moon (Administrator)
  • Saturday, September 08, 2018 12:07 AM
    Reply # 6659804 on 4890215

    Any one notice the Piping Purity test 5.1.12.3.8 occurs prior to the Final Tie-in test 5.1.12.3.9?

    Based on this observation with the gross assumption the code sections are intended to be performed in the order they appear in the code then the Piping Purity Test shall be performed only with Nitrogen and the Final Tie-in Test is exclusively a test performed by an ASSE 6030 verifier and not the ASSE 6010 Installer.

    So, why are we talking about an existing source gas dew point relative the dew point requirement in the 5.1.12.3.8 test when the code limits our testing to the new addition only? Isn't Nitrogen the only gas because the new pipe is NOT supposed to be installed until AFTER the Piping Purity and Piping Particulate tests performed on the Installers pipe? If I have missed a point in the prior discussions please point them out to me.

  • Wednesday, September 12, 2018 2:53 PM
    Reply # 6666627 on 4890215

    Not sure if this clears anything up but I found a side note dew point comparison explanation in the 2005 Healthcare Facilities Handbook:

    FAQ What is the pipe purity test looking for?

    Paragraph 5.1.12.3.8 does not require a test of the purity of the gas; rather, it requires a test for cleanliness of the piping system before it is put into service. It is intended to find pipe and fittings that were not properly cleaned, installation faults that could have introduced grease or oil into the piping, and pipe that was improperly cleaned with halogenated solvents (e.g., Freon, tetrachloroethylene). The test is most easily conducted with oil-free, dry nitrogen, but with appropriate apparatus and skill it can be conducted with any gas. The test is intended to be a comparison, with the requirement being the differential between the measurement at the source and most remote outlet.

    A test for dew point variation is included because a differential value would indicate moisture exists in the pipeline and is being picked up into the test gas. The requirement for the dew point differential reflects the fact that water vapor is the least dangerous of the items being tested, and thus absolute absence of water is less significant. The decision to express the water vapor value in parts per million reflects the many different methods to test for this value, not all of which will express their results directly as a dew point.


    It would appear after reading this that the writers did forget to put the "difference between the two tests" in there. 


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