How to Pressurize Natural Gas Pipelines for Leak Detection

Testing gas pipelines is serious business.
••• gas pipeline image by Victor M. from Fotolia.com

Testing natural gas pipelines is serious business, because explosions can unleash tremendous power. Periodic testing reduces the risk of pipeline failure. The regulations that dictate line testing vary from state to state. Be sure to check with local and state officials in your area. You should consult the American Petroleum Institute's guidelines as well as the National Fire Prevention Association's tips for performing this type of work. You may wish to hire a professional.

    Ensure pipelines are secured and natural gas flow is turned off.

    Secure all pumps with locks to ensure lines can't transfer gas.

    Check with operating personnel to ensure lines are sealed and valves are closed.

    Attach hoses from nitrogen tanks to pipelines using supplied test ports on the pipelines.

    Fill the lines using nitrogen to recommended pressure. This will vary according to pipeline type and material.

    Soap all joints to check for loss of nitrogen. Bubbles will occur if joints are not tight.

    Check gauges periodically to ensure the pressure in the pipeline has not fallen.

    Allow recommended time to elapse to ensure that the pressure remains constant in the lines.

    Release pressure in pipelines gradually.

    Remove hoses and gauges.

    Remove all locking devices.

    Restore lines to service if testing was positive.

    Things You'll Need

    • Various tools and wrenches
    • Pressure gauges
    • Brushes and soapy water
    • Nitrogen tanks
    • Hoses and fittings
    • Lock out / Tag out kit

    Warnings

    • Natural gas is very flammable. Explosions may occur. You should consult a professional testing company to provide this service.

Related Articles

How to Perform a Fire Pump Churn Test
How to Size Gas Lines
How to Compress Methane Gas to Liquid
How to Install a Flow Control Valve
How to Fill a Tractor Tire
The Signs & Symptoms of High Radon Levels in Your Home
How to Calibrate an Autoclave
How to Check and Charge a R-410A Refrigeration System
How to Design Compressed Air Systems
How Does a Check Valve Work?
How to Make Your Own Manometer
How Hydraulic Hammers Work
How to Calibrate Pressure Switches
How to Compress Hydrogen to Power an Engine
How to Test a Diode Rectifier
How to Calculate Static Head
How to Test a Ski Doo Ignition Coil
What Is a Hydraulic Power Pack?
How Do Liquid Propane Tanks Work?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!