FAQs – Pressure Piping

1.Q1. What piping does one have to consider when checking for the ≤ 500 L (≤ 0.5 m3) volume exemption from design registration that is provided for in section 14(6)(a) of the Pressure Equipment Safety Regulation?

1.R1. The piping volume to be considered is the internal volume of the piping carrying an expansible fluid at a design pressure > 103 kPa that is not exempted by section 4(2) of the Pressure Equipment Safety Regulation (PESR). Non-expansible fluid piping need not be considered.

1.Q2. Does the ≤ 500 L (≤ 0.5 m3) volume exemption from design registration that is provided for in section 14(6)(a) of the Pressure Equipment Safety Regulation include attached pressure vessels or heat transfer apparatus such as air-cooled heat exchangers?

1.R2. No, only the piping volume needs to be considered.

1.Q3. A flange pair is to be inserted into an existing registered plant piping line to facilitate maintenance. Does this change to the piping require a design registration submission?

1.R3. No design registration would be required because this piping change would involve less than 500 L of piping volume. See PESR section 14(6)(a). Section 14(6)(a) applies to modifications and additions to existing registered or non-registered pressure piping systems as well as to new pressure piping systems.

1.Q4. A small amount of new piping (< 500 L internal volume) is to be added to an existing registered pressure plant. Does the exemption from design registration in 14(6)(a) of the Pressure Equipment Safety Regulation apply to the new piping or to the entire system?

1.R4. The exemption applies to the piping being added.

1.Q5. New piping of < 500 L internal volume is being added to an existing unregistered pressure piping system (exempt because of its small internal volume) and the resulting aggregate internal volume will exceed 500 L. Does this pressure piping system now require design registration?

1.R5. No. Section 14(6)(a) of the PESR applies to an addition to an existing non registered pressure piping system. It is not applied retroactively to the existing non-registered piping.

1.Q6. An engineering company has been engaged to design an addition to a small previously unregistered pressure plant facility. Because of its size (< 500 L contained volume in the piping) design registration was not a requirement for the original plant. The addition is of a size that is required to have its design registered. Must the original plant design be registered along with the new addition? No AB-83 Pressure Piping Construction and Test Data Reports are available for the existing plant.

1.R6. Unless the engineering company is prepared to assess fully the current condition of the pre-existing piping, to ascertain what specifications the piping materials are, to prove compliance with the code of construction, and is prepared to apply a professional engineer’s stamp to the reverse-engineered design of the old piping, registering the old piping would not be feasible. It would be desirable to include with the design registration package for the addition any design data that may be available for the old piping for information only.

2.Q1. A new pressure piping system with an internal volume exceeding 500 L is to be installed. Is it required to use registered fittings in such a pressure piping system?

2.R1. Yes, registered fittings are required in an unregistered pressure piping system. Section 14(6)(a) of the PESR is an exemption from design registration only. All other applicable requirements of the
Pressure Equipment Safety Regulation and the Pressure Welders Regulation apply.

3.Q1. A pressure piping system consisting entirely of threaded piping components is to be installed. Is design registration required for this system under section 14(1) of the Pressure Equipment Safety Regulation (PESR)?

3.R1. Yes, design registration is required for mechanically assembled (threaded) piping systems unless the system is exempted by section 14(6)(a) of the PESR because it is not over 500 L in aggregate internal volume or by section 4(2) of the PESR because it complies with all the provisions of that section.

4.Q1. A piping class specification document requires specific pipe wall thicknesses up to a certain pipe size. Beyond that size, the specification requires that the designer calculate the wall thickness. Is it permissible then to show the wall thicknesses for these larger pipes as “Calc.” in the wall thickness column on the line list submitted for design registration.

4.R1. No, the wall thickness shown on the line list must be a defined dimension. “Calc.” is meaningless to ABSA and such notation will lead to delays in registration.

5.Q1. Must the piping system containing water for fire suppression purposes in a pressure plant be registered as part of the plant piping?

5.R1. A pressure piping system is defined as “… pipes … for the conveyance of an expansible fluid under pressure …” in the PESR, section 1(1)(aa). Since fire water is a non-expansible fluid [see PESR section 1(1)(l) for the definition of expansible fluid], the fire water piping system design need not be registered.

5.Q2. Must the piping system in question 1 be built to ASME B31.3, Process Piping?

5.R2. Since piping in non-expansible fluid service is not subject to the PESR, ABSA has no mandate to establish what code to build such piping to. Certainly B31.3 would not exclude ambient temperature water service from its scope, but there may be other standards that might also be applicable.

6.Q1. Does ABSA require material test reports (MTR’s) for pipe and fittings used in the construction of pressure piping?

6.R1. ABSA does not require that MTR’s be provided for pipe and fittings used in the construction of pressure piping. However, individual manufacturers’ quality management systems or purchase contracts may require that MTR’s be provided.

7.Q1. Is it required to register all pneumatic test procedures through ABSA’s Design Survey Department?

7.R1. Not all pneumatic test procedures must be registered through Design Survey. Per section 30(1) of the PESR, “all pressure piping leak tests must be conducted using the hydrostatic method.” Section 30(2) goes on to say that “despite subsection (1), the Administrator may accept, for a specific pressure piping system, alternative test methods that are allowed in a code or standard that is declared in force.” The Administrator has designated the power to accept an alternative test method (read “pneumatic test”) to some safety codes officers subject to certain conditions. If the safety codes officer in the field has been delegated the power to accept a pneumatic test procedure, he or she may be able to authorize a pneumatic test for a specific pressure piping system without involving Design Survey. Otherwise, he or she will require the testing organization or the owner of the piping to be tested, as appropriate, to submit the pneumatic test procedure to Design Survey for registration. Other alternative test procedures must be registered by Design Survey for the specific pressure piping system.

8.Q1. Is pipe required to have a fitting CRN?

8.R1. No. Pipe is material as plate is material. Piping, on the other hand, is an assembly of pipe and fittings. Piping must be registered as a pressure piping system unless registration of the size or type of pressure piping system is exempted by the Safety Codes Act or regulations.

9.Q1. May the coils in a fired heater be designed and built to the ASME B31.3, Process Piping code?

9.R1. No. Figure 300.1.1, Diagram Illustrating Application of B31.3 Piping at Equipment, in ASME B31.3 specifically excludes “tubes, tube headers, crossovers and manifolds of fired heaters, internal to the heater enclosure” from the scope of ASME B31.3. ABSA interprets this to apply to any such tubular components inside the refractory of the heater. Components outside the refractory may be designed and built to B31.3.

10.Q1. Is it the responsibility of ABSA to determine the fuel gas line registration requirements?

10.R1. . In accordance with STANDATA G-03-11-ABSA, under “Pressure piping system at plant site” first paragraph, ‘ABSA will be responsible for the design review and registration… when the design and installation procedures have been submitted for registration with ABSA’. Although the wording here may not be as explicit as the IB10-006 for steam pipelines, the meaning is the same, i.e. (from IB10-006) “it is the responsibility of the owner and the designer to determine which pipelines require design registration and compliance with this Directive”. Likewise, for fuel gas line, it is the responsibility of the owner and the designer (not ABSA) to determine which fuel gas lines require design registration.