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Performing Leak Tests on Propane Systems

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Vapor distribution piping in new gas systems or systems being restored after an interruption of service (when gas runs out) require leak checks. All propane piping, connections and fittings are threaded and coated with pipe joint compound that facilitate connection – the system retracts when there is a loss of pressure, causing leaks to form inside the system. If a leak is identified, the gas supply must be shut off until necessary repairs can be made.

Following our company procedures closely will ensure that the propane piping system is leak-free and suitable for service. These general guidelines help to ensure that you perform leak checks properly and identify all leaks before they become dangerous.

  • Close the container’s service valve and perform a walk-through as dictated by your training.
  • Connect a 30 psi pressure gauge on the downstream side of the first stage regulator before the second stage regulator.
  • Open the service valve on the propane storage container for three seconds and the close it.
  • Release gas from the vapor distribution piping system to drop the pressure by 5 psi, or if you are using a 5-pound regulator, drop the pressure by 2 pounds.
  • Monitor the vapor distribution piping system for three minutes, checking for an increase or decrease in the reading on the gauge.
  • When the gauge reading holds steady for 3 minutes, it is safe to assume the vapor distribution piping system is leak free.
  • Record the test pressure and the amount of the test was performed.
  • Remove the test adapter and gauge from the regulator and replace the regulator plug.
  • Open the service valve on the tank to re-pressurize the system.
  • Place the appliance back into service.

Checking Cylinders Many times, leak checks are performed because a cylinder must be refilled. Before refilling or exchanging any cylinder, conduct a pre-fill inspection. If you identify any of the following defects, do not refill the cylinder. Clearly mark it as unsafe for use, and follow your supervisor’s instructions for taking it to a designated, safe location.

  • Leaks
  • Cracks
  • Bulging
  • Denting or gouging
  • Defective valve
  • Defective or leaking pressure relief device
  • Evidence of physical abuse, fire or heat damage
  • Excessive rusting or corrosion
  • Damage to cylinder valve, valve protection or cylinder footings

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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