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OISD - 130




First Edition, November 1988
Reaffirmed, August, 1999


Government of India
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas


First Edition, November 1988
Reaffirmed, August, 1999




Prepared by



NEW DELHI – 110 001


OISD publications are prepared for use in the Oil and

gas industry under Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
These are the property of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
and shall not be reproduced or copied and loaned or exhibited to
others without written consent from OISD.

Though every effort has been made to assure the

accuracy and reliability of data contained in these documents,
OISD hereby expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility for
loss or damage resulting from their use.

These documents are intended only to supplement and

not replace the prevailing statutory requirements.


The Oil Industry in India is 100 years old. Because of

various collaboration agreements, a variety of international
codes, standards and practices have been in vogue.
Standardisation in design philosophies and operating and
maintenance practices at a national level was hardly in
existence. This, coupled with feed back from some serious
accidents that occurred in the recent past in India and abroad,
emphasized the need for the industry to review the existing state
of art in designing, operating and maintaining oil and gas

With this in view, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural

Gas, in 1986, constituted a Safety Council assisted by Oil
Industry Safety Directorate (OISD), staffed from within the
industry, in formulating and implementing a series of self
regulatory measures aimed at removing obsolescence,
standardising and upgrading the existing standards to ensure
safer operations. Accordingly, OISD constituted a number of
Functional Committees of experts nominated from the industry to
draw up standards and guidelines on various subjects.

The present document on “Inspection of Pipes, Valves &

Fittings” was prepared by the Functional Committee on
“Inspection of Static Equipment”. This document is based on the
accumulated knowledge and experience of industry members
and the various national and international codes and practices. It
is hoped that the provisions of this document, when adopted may
go a long way to improve the safety and reduce accidents in the
Oil and Gas Industry. Users of this standard are cautioned that
no standard can be a substitute for a responsible, qualified
Inspection Engineer. Suggestions are invited from the users,
after it is put into practice, to improve the document further.

This standard in no way supersedes the statutory

regulations of CCE, Factory Inspectorate or any other Govt. body
which must be followed as applicable.

Suggestions for amendments to this document should be

addressed to :

The Co-ordinator,
Committee on
“Inspection of Static Equipment,
Oil Industry Safety Directorate,
2nd Floor, “Kailash”
26, Kasturba Gandhi Marg,
New Delhi – 110 001

List of Members
Name Designation & Position in
Organisation Committee
1. Sh. R.K. Sabharwal CMNM-IOC (R & P) Leader

2. Sh.A.S. Soni DGM (P)-ONGC Member

3. Sh.R.H. Vohra DGM-(E) IOC (Mktg.) Member

4. Sh.D.P. Dhall CH INSP & AE MGR-BPC (REF) Member

5. Sh.P. Dasgupta Sr.Manager( Inspection) IOC Member

(R & P)

6. Sh.I.M. Advani MGR (PROJ) HPC (REF) Member

7. Sh.R.M.N. Marar Jt.Director OISD Member


In addition to the above, several other experts from the industry contributed in the
preparation, review and finalisation of this Recommended Practices.



1.0 Introduction

2.0 Scope

3.0 Definition and Types of Pipes

3.1 Pipes
3.2 Types of Pipes
3.2.1 Electric Resistance Welded Pipes
3.2.2 Electric Fusion Welded Pipes
3.2.3 Double Submerged Arc Welding Pipes
3.2.4 Spiral Welded Pipes

4.0 Role of Inspection

5.0 Inspection Tools

6.0 Inspection of Piping during Fabrication

7.0 Check List for Inspection of Piping prior to Commissioning

8.0 Likely Areas of Metal Wastage

8.1 External Corrosion
8.2 Internal Corrosion

9.0 Frequency of Inspection

9.1 Onsite Piping
9.2 Offsite Piping
9.2.1 Hydrocarbon Service
9.2.2 Utilities
9.2.3 Underground Piping

10.0 Inspection Procedures

10.1 Onstream Inspection
10.1.1 Visual Inspection
10.1.2 Ultrasonic Inspection
10.1.3 Radiographic Inspection
10.1.4 Corrosion Probes
10.1.5 Corrosion Coupons

10.2 Inspection during Shutdown

10.2.1 Inspection for Corrosion, Erosion and Fouling
10.2.2 Inspection for Cracks
10.2.3 Inspection of Gasket Faces of Flanges
10.2.4 Inspection of Hot Spots

10.2.5 Hammer Testing
10.3 Inspection of High Temperature Piping
10.4 Inspection of Piping in Corrosive Streams

10.5 Inspection of Underground Piping

10.5.1 Cathodically Protected Piping
10.5.2 Wrapped and coated pipelines without Cathodic Protection
10.5.3 Internal Corrosion of Underground Piping

10.6 Inspection of Valves, Flanges, Gaskets & Bolts

10.6.1 Valves
10.6.2 Flanges, Gaskets and Bolts

11.0 Retiring Limit

12.0 Method of Pipeline Repair and Inspection

12.1 Inspection During Repairs/Replacements
12.2. Pressure Testing
12.2.1 Test Pressure and Procedures
12.2.2 Test Fluid
12.2.3 Water Quality

13.0 Documentation

14.0 References


I Safety Practices to be followed during Pressure Testing

II Inspection Report (Proforma )  


1.0 INTRODUCTION 3.2.3 Double Submerged Arc Welding

Safety in petroleum installations
comes through continues efforts at all stages Pipe having a longitudinal butt joint
and as such it can be ensured by observing produced by at least two passes, one of
that plant and equipment are designed, which is one the inside of the pipe.
constructed, tested and maintained as per Coalescence is produced by heating with an
Engineering Standards and subsequent electric arc or arcs between the bare metal
modifications and repairs are conforming to electrode or electrodes and the work. The
the same standard. welding is shielded by a blanket of granular
fusible material on the work. Pressure is not
used and filter metal for the inside and
2.0 SCOPE outside welds is obtained from the electrode
or electrodes.
This standard covers minimum
inspection requirements for plant piping and 3.2.4 Spiral Welded Pipes
off-site piping constructed as per Standard
ANSI B-31.3 or equivalent. Areas to be Pipe having a helical seam with butt
inspected, facilities needed for inspection, joint which is welded using either an
frequency of inspection, likely causes of electrical resistance, electric fusion or double
deterioration of pipelines in service and submerged arc welding process.
inspection of pipe fittings and repairs have
been specified. Also included briefly are the 3.2.5 Seamless Pipes
inspection and testing requirements for the
new pipelines during fabrication and prior to Pipe produced by piercing a billet
commissioning. followed by rolling or drawing or both.


The following are the activities of the
3.1 PIPE inspection division.

A pipe is a pressure-tight used to i) To inspect, measure and record the

convey a fluid or to transmit a fluid pressure. deterioration of materials and to
evaluate present physical condition of
3.2 TYPES OF PIPES the piping for its soundness in service.

3.2.1 Electric Resistance Welded Pipes ii) To co-relate the deterioration rate with
design life for further run.
Pipes produced in individual lengths
or in continuous lengths from coiled skelp iii) To determine causes of deterioration and
and subsequently cut into individual lengths to advise remedial measures.
having a longitudinal or spiral butt joint
wherein coalescence is produced by the heat iv) To recommend / forecast short-term and
obtained from resistance of the pipe to the long-term repairs and replacements to
flow of electric current in a circuit of which ensure further run length on the basis of
the pipe is a part, and by the application of economics and safety.
v) To advise materials requirement for
3.2.2 Electric Fusion Welded Pipes recommended repairs / replacement
Pipe having a longitudinal butt joint
wherein coalescence is produced in the vi) To inspect during and upon completion
preformed tube by manual or automatic of repairs.
electric-arc welding. The weld may be single
or double and may be with or without the use vii) To maintain up-to-date inspection
of tilter metal. records and history of piping.

viii) To keep the concerned operating and requirement of applicable codes.
maintenance personnel fully informed as specifications, drawings, etc. This inspection
to the condition of the various piping. requires regular checks on the work at
various stages as it progresses.
ix) To advise regarding schedules of piping
inspection and also statutory The inspection shall include:
requirement schedules.
i) Study of tender document and all the
5.0 INSPECTION TOOLS technical specifications.

The following tools may be used as ii) Identification and inspection of material.
aids for carrying out piping inspection.
iii) Approval of welding procedures in
i) Ultrasonic thickness meter. accordance with code and tender
ii) Ultrasonic flaw detector.
iv) Carrying out of performance qualification
iii) Magnetic particle testing equipment. test.

iv) Infrared pyrometer / petroscanner. v) Ensuring that welding is carried out as

per agreed procedures, by approved
v) Fibroscope. welders with specified electrodes.

vi) Radiographic equipment. vi) Inspection of weld joint fit-ups.

vii) Ag-Agcl / Cu-so4 half-cell. vii) Dye-penetrant examination of the

prepared edges for low allow steel and
viii) Dye Penetrant testing kit. stainless steel.

ix) Holiday detector. viii) Ensuring proper preheating, maintaining

proper interpass temperature and post-
x) Portable hardness tester. weld heat treatment as specified.

xi) Inspector’s hammer. ix) Radiographic and/or ultrasonic

inspection of weld joints as specified.
xii) Paint and coating thickness gauge.
x) Ensuring repairs of the defective welds,
xiii) Pit depth gauge. if any, before giving clearances for
hydrostatic testing.
xiv) Inside and outside calipers.
xi) Ensuring proper repairs to damaged
xv) Magnet. lining (cement/rubber), if any.

xvi) Measuring tape. xii) Hydrostatic testing.

xvii) Magnifying glass. xiii) Ensuring all approved deviations from

the drawing are noted and as built
xviii) Safety torches. drawing prepared.

xix) Crayons. xiv) Ensuring proper surface preparation and

xx) Small mirror.
xv) Ensuring installation of proper insulation
xxi) Material identification kit. wherever applicable.

xvi) Ensuring underground protection for

6.0 INSPECTION OF PIPING buried piping, has been provided as

The inspection of piping during

fabrication shall be carried our as per the

7.0 CHECK LIST FOR temperature
PRIOR TO COMMISSIONING Hydrostatic test pressure
The checklist format shall include the Internal lining
following information Underground protection
Erection contractor
Pipe sketch No/drg. No. Contractor's inspector
Location Company's inspector
Service Date of inspection
Dimensions Dia Thk.
Max. allowable working
Max. allowable working



1. Inspect weld joints visually.

2. Check and inspect small connections e.g. drains and vents.

3. Check and inspect all threaded connections for proper

engagement of threads, backwelding and gusseting.

4. Check for any alteration/deviation from the drawing during


5. Check wall thicknesses (to serve as initial readings for

corrosion data).

6. Check installation of gaskets.

7. Check installation of pressure relieving devices.

8. Check installation of check valves.

9. Check bolting of flange joints.

10. Check for proper alignment of supports (on pipe-racks

or sleepers)

11. Check steam tracings and steam traps.

12. Check painting.

13. Check insulation.

14. Check for proper hook-up with cathodic protection system wherever applicable.



The following areas of piping are prone external corrosion.

i) Piping above ground is subject to atmospheric corrosion.

ii) Pipelines touching the ground are subject to corrosion due to dampness of the soil.

iii) Crevice corrosion may take place at the pipe supports or sleepers where pipes are resting on

iv) Deterioration takes place at the pipe support locations where relative movement between pipe
and pipe supports takes place.

v) Buried pipelines are subject to soil corrosion.

vi) Underground pipelines are subject corrosion due to presence of stray currents.

vii) Impingement attack may take place on pipelines in the vicinity of leaky pipes and steam

viii) Insulated lines where weather shielding is damaged are subject to external corrosion.

ix) Austenetic stainless steel lines where chlorides can leach from external thermal insulation due
to water are subject to stress corrosion cracking.

x) Externally concrete-lined pipelines are subject to localised corrosion due to cracks in the

xi) Piping entering into or emerging from the underground may experience severe corrosion due
to coating damage.

xii) Piping corrodes at locations of water accumulation and acid vapour condensation such as in
the vicinity of fire hydrants sulphur recovery plants, cooling towers, jetty, etc.


Usually a greater loss of metal wastage is observed near a restriction in the line or a
change in line direction because of the effects of turbulence or velocity. Therefore, is required to
inspect pipe bends, elbows, and tees and also at restrictions such as orifice flanges and throttling
valves, and areas just down steam of the restriction.

Areas most prone to corrosion, erosion, and other forms of deterioration are :

i) Points at which condensation of acid gases and / or water vapour are likely to occur.

ii) Points at which acid carryover from process operations are likely to occur.

iii) Points at which naphthenic or other organic acids may be present in the process stream.

iv) Points at which high sulphur steams of moderate to high temperature exists.

v) Points at which high temperature and low temperature hydrogen attack may occur.

vi) Dead-ends and locations where liquid-vapour interphasing or condensation occur.

vii) Valve bodies and trims, fittings, ring grooves and rings, flange faces and unexposed threads.

viii) Welded areas (subject to preferential attack).

ix) Catalyst, flue gas, and slurry piping.

x) Steam systems subject to channeling or where condensation occurs.

xi) Ferrous and non-ferrous piping subject to stress corrosion cracking.

xii) Alkali lines subject to caustic embrittlement with resultant cracking at stressed areas such as
weld joints, bends, etc.

xiii) Areas near flanges or welded attachments, which act as cooling fins, thereby causing
localised corrosion because of condensation.

xiv) Locations where fluid impinges or fluid velocity changes.

xv) Chrome-Nickel and chrome-molybdenum lines in high temperature service near points of
increased stress such as bends and anchor points.

xvi) Are where steam or electric tracing come in contact with pipes handling materials such as
caustic soda.

xvii) Austenetic stainless steel lines where polythionic acid formation takes place with
resultant cracking.

xviii) Areas immediately downstream of chemical injection points where localised corrosion
might occur in the reaction zone.

xix) Dissimilar metals in contact, which may lead to galvanic corrosion.

xx) Rubber-lined and glass-lined pipes which may get damaged near the flanges or due to cracks
in the lining.

xxi) Stagnate conditions in areas of pipelines carrying crude oils with high sulphur/chloride

xxii) Terminal pipelines carrying sea/ ballast water.

xxiii) Locations having low pit and high chloride ions.


The interval between inspections depend upon the -

i) Degree of corrosiveness/erosiveness of the fluid.

ii) Remaining corrosion allowance.

iii) Type of protective coating.

iv) Atmosphere prevailing around the piping.

v) Potentially of fire or explosion in case of a leak or failure.

vi) Statutory requirements.

vii) Importance of operations.


Inspection of process piping in units should be done on-stream as far as is possible once
between two scheduled turnarounds. Inspection, which cannot be made during operation, shall be
done during the plant shut down. However, depending on the corrosion rate and type of
deterioration, the frequency of inspection of process piping can be varied suitably.


The following frequencies for inspection of off-site piping shall be followed (see notes):

9.2.1 Hydrocarbon Service

Service Frequency of Inspection years

External Comprehensive
i) Crude:
Sweet 5 10
Sour 3 6

ii) LP/Natural gas:

Sweet 3 6
Sour 2 4

iii) Natural gas

condensate 2 4

iv) Gasoline/
Naphtha 2 4

SKO/Gas Oil 3 5

Bitumen 3 5

vii) Flera/Fuel gas 3 5

or during the
shutdown of the line

viii) Lube Oil 5 10




9.2.2 Utilities

Service Frequency of Inspection

External Comprehensive
i) Sweet water:
Lined pipe 3 6
Unlined pipe 2 4

ii) Salt water:

Cement lined
pipe 3 6
Unlined pipe 1 2

iii) Fire water:

Above ground:
Lined pipe 3 5
Unlined pipe 1 2

Lined pipe 3 5
Unlined pipe 2 4

iv) Air/Steam 3 6

condensate 2 4
vi) Ammonia 2 4
vii) Caustic 2 4
viii) DEA/MEA 3 5
ix) Sulphur
dioxide 2 4
x) Sulphuric
(conc. 98%) 2 4
xi) Furfural
/Phenol 2 3
xii) Lined pipes
water lines) 3 6
xiii) Benzene 2 4
xiv) Toulene 2 4
xv) Sodium
phosphate 2 4

1. The above frequencies are bases on data collected from various refineries.

2. External inspection includes both visual inspection and ultrasonic thickness readings taken externally.

3. Comprehensive inspection covers some or all of the following tests:

i) Visual inspection
ii) Hammer test
iii) Ultrasonic thickness measurement
iv) Dye penetration test
v) Magnetic particle test
vi) Radiographic test
vii) Hydrotest

4. Piping is coastal installations and in corrosive environment shall be visually inspected once a year.
Years of inspection experience have revealed that failures of most of the Offsite pipelines are due to
external corrosion and that internal corrosion failures are minimum.

5. Inspection data as well as thickness data of newly constructed pipelines shall be collected at the
earliest and with in two years of their commissioning to function as base for establishment of corrosion

9.2.3 Underground piping (excluding fire water lines)


Those underground lines having wrapping and coating as well as cathodic protection shall
be inspected whenever current leaks are observed and/or any damage to the coating is
suspected. The damage to the coating can be located by person survey. Parameters of cathodic
protection like pipe-to-soil voltage or pipe-to-water voltage shall be monitored once a month.


All underground lines having only wrapping and coating shall be inspected once in three
years using Person Survey for locating coating damage, if any. Additionally, all these lines shall
be visually inspected at random once in ten years by digging at a few locations. Pipelines
crossing the roads and dykes shall be inspected once in ten years by digging and exposing the
line completely.



Piping in Offsite areas can and shall be inspected onstream and a regular inspection
programme drawn up. Piping in onsite areas should also be inspected on the run, subject to
feasibility as permitted by process parameters (fluid, pressure and temperature). Any
abnormalities notices during inspection shall be investigated and corrective steps initiated at the
earliest. In setting priorities of inspection of different pipelines, it is recommended that the
following categorisation be adopted:

i) Where failure is likely to be hazardous.

ii) Where failure is likely to cause plant shutdown.

iii) Where there is reason to suspect, based on experience, that there is excessive metal loss.

iv) Remaining piping.

Onstream inspection to monitor deterioration should be visual or instrument-

aided(ultrasonic, radiographic).

10.1.1 Visual Inspection


Visual inspection shall be made to locate leaks. Particular attention should be given to
pipe connections, the packing glands of valves and expansion joints.


The piping shall be inspected for mis-alignment. The following are some observations
which may indicate misalignment:

a) Pipe dislodged from its support so that that weight of the pipe is distributed unevenly on the
hangers or the saddles.

b) Deformation of the wall of the vessel in the vicinity of the pipe attachment.

c) Pipe supports forced out of plumb by expansion or contraction of the piping.

d) Shifting of base plate or shearing of the foundation bolts of mechanical equipment to which the
piping is attached.

e) Cracks in the connecting flanges or pump casings and turbines to which the piping is attached.


Pipe supports shall be visually inspected for the following:

a) Condition of protective coating or fire proofing if any. If fire proofing is found defective,
sufficient fire proofing should be removed to determine extent of corrosion.

b) Evidence of corrosion

c) Distortion

d) General physical damage

e) Movement or deterioration of concrete footings.

f) Condition of foundation bolts.

g) Free operation of pipe rollers.

h) Secure attachment of brackets and beams to the supports.

i) Secure attachment and proper adjustment of pipe hangers, if used. Spring hangers loading
shall be checked both cold and hot and the readings obtained shall be checked against the
original cold and hot readings. The movement of spring supports shell be monitored.

j) Broken or otherwise defective pipe anchors.

k) Free operation of pulleys or pivot points of counter balanced piping system.


a) If vibrations or swaying is observed, inspection, shall be made for cracks in welds, particularly
at points of restraint such as where piping is attached to equipment and in the vicinity of
anchors. Additional supports should be considered for poorly braced small size piping and
valves and for main vibrating line to which they are attached.

b) In case of severe vibration, detailed investigations shall be carried out to determine the source
of problems.


Inspection of piping for external corrosion shall be carried out with special attention to
areas as outlined in 8.1


Line shall be checked for bulging, bowing and sagging in between the supports.


Pipes shall be inspected for dents, scratched etc. from external sources.


Conditions of paint and protective coating shall be checked.


Pipelines shall be inspected for cracks. particular attention should be given to areas near
the weld joints.


Damage of insulation shall be checked for hot as well as cold lines.


Externally coverts lined piping shall be visually inspected for cracking and dislodging of

10.1.2 Ultrasonic Inspection

Ultrasonic thickness survey of the pipelines shall be carried out to ascertain the remaining
wall thickness. The following procedure shall be followed for the above-ground pipelines.

i) Minimum three readings shall be taken on all the bends of the piping network at the outer
curvature. One reading shall be at the centre of the bend and two readings on the same line
on either side of this reading.

ii) Minimum one ultrasonic scan each on the straight pipes on upstream and downstream of the
bend adjacent to welds of the bend to pipe. One ultrasonic scan consists of our readings (3,6,9
and 12 o'clock positions). For pipelines in which there is a possibility of ballast water coming,
one ultrasonic scan will consist of six readings (3,5,6,7,9 and 12 o'clock positions) to scan the
bottom portions where corrosion may take place.

iii)One ultrasonic scan on the entire circumference (four readings) upstream and downstream of
the weld joint for process pipelines.

iv) Minimum one ultrasonic scan (four readings) each on reducer/expander and just downstream
on the pipe.

v) One ultrasonic scan on the pipe downstream of valves orifices, etc.

vi) One ultrasonic scan minimum on straight pipe for every three meters length at lower
elevations where possibilities of collection and stagnation of carryover water, or acid
condensation or SO 2 flow exist.

vii) Branch connection, dead ends, etc, shall be checked by ultrasonic thickness survey for
corrosion and erosion.

The details of thickness survey shall be maintained on an isometric sketch (sample as in

Annexure II). The above are minimum requirements. Areas of inspection should be increased of
thickness readings are low.




10.1.3 Radiographic Inspection

Critical spots, which cannot be inspected by ultrasonic instruments accurately, shall be

radiographed during operation to determine wall thickness as well as internal condition like
fouling, scaling, etc. Insulation need not be removed for radiographic inspection. Critical spots
where weld-joints, nipples/small dia deadlines are welded, which cannot be inspected
ultrasonically shall be radiographed to determine their internal condition.

10.1.4 Corrosion Probes

One of the methods of measuring internal corrosion rate of unit piping or Offsite piping is
by installing corrosion probes for measuring corrosion rates. Important pipelines like overhead
lines can be inspected using corrosion probes. If installed the readings shall be taken weekly and
deterioration rate established.

10.1.5 Corrosion Coupons

Corrosion coupons should be installed in the important and critical pipelines to measure
internal corrosion rate. The coupons are taken out after a specified period and thoroughly
cleaned. The weight loss of coupons over a specified period gives the internal corrosion rate of
the pipes.


Shutdown inspection of pipelines relates to inspection of the lines when not carrying any
product, and valves and other fittings in the network can be taken out. All piping which cannot be
checked on the run shall be inspected during shutdown. These are mostly high temperature

piping. During shutdown inspection, hammer-testing and hydrotesting as applicable should be
carried out in addition to visual, ultrasonic and radiographic inspections. Pipelines in some of the
services like water, phenol and steam are prone to pitting corrosion. Neither ultrasonic nor
radiographic testing will reveal the actual internal condition of the pipes in such service. In such
cases samples shall be cut for thorough internal examination, at scheduled comprehensive
inspections. The samples shall be spilt open in two halves and internal surfaces inspected for
pitting, grooving, etc. The internally striplined bends and pipes shall be visually examined for
bulging, weld cracking, weld, defects, etc. Thickness of the strip should be measured to find out
thinning of the strips.

Austenetic SS piping, where there is a chance of stress corrosion cracking due to

formation of polythionic acid, shall be kept in inert atmosphere. Passivation of the austanetic SS
piping shall be done as per NACE-RP-01-70, if all these are to be opened to the atmosphere.

10.2.1 Inspection for Corrosion, Erosion and Fouling

Piping shall be opened at various locations by removing valves at flanged locations to

permit visual inspection. When erratic corrosion or erosion conditions are noted in areas
accessible for visual examination, radiographic examination or ultrasonic testing shall be
performed to determine thickness. This is applicable to piping which cannot be inspected during
operation. The nature and extent of internal deposits shall be noted. Samples should be
collected for chemical analysis.

10.2.2 Inspection For Cracks

Welds, heat-affected areas adjoining welds, points of restraint cracking, hydrogen attack
and caustic embrittlement shall be inspected for cracks. For spot checks, dye-penetrant or
magnetic particle inspection should be used. Alloy and stainless steel piping need close
inspection. In-situ metallorgraphy at critical spots may be also done. Magnifying glass should be
used for crack detection.

10.2.3 Inspection of Gasket Faces of Flanges

The gasket faces of flange joints which have been opened shall be inspected visually for
corrosion and for defects such as scratches, cuts and grooving which might cause leakage. Ring
gaskets and joints shall be checked for defects like dents, cuts, pitting and grooving.

10.2.4 Inspection of Hot Spots

Where hot spots on internally insulated pipe were noted during operation, the internal
insulation shall be inspected visually for failure. The pipe wall at the hot spot shall be inspected
visually for oxidation and scaling. The scales shall be removed to expose bare metal and the
area checked for cracks. The thickness of the metal shall be measured to ensure that sufficient
thickness is felt for the service. The outside diameter of piping in high temperature service shall
be measured to check for creep deformation.

10.2.5 Hammer Testing

Hammer testing shall also be carried out to supplement visual and ultrasonic inspection.
While hammer testing, the following precautions shall be taken:

i) Hammer testing of valves, pipes and fittings of cast iron construction, chrome-steel, austenatic
SS lines and stress relieved lines shall not be carried out.

ii) Care shall be taken not to hammer so hard as to damage otherwise sound piping.

iii) Hammer testing shall not be performed on glass-lined, cement-lined or otherwise internally
coated lines.

iv) Hammer testing shall not be done on operating lines and lines under pressure.


Inspection shall be made for hot spots on internally insulated piping. Any bulging or
scaling shall be noted for further inspection when the equipment is shut down. Some sot spots
can be detected by a red glow, particularly if inspection is made in the dark. Portable infrared
pyrometer or temperature indicating crayon shall be used to determine the skin temperatures.
Sometimes thermographic survey of internally insulated hot piping helps in locating the hot spots.
Furnace transfer lines and column bottom lines, which are operating at very high temperatures,
shall be inspected at every shutdown. Insulation shall be removed at specified locations including
all bends and ultrasonic thickness shall be carried out and the corrosion rate established. Spring
hangers and spring supports of high temperature piping shall also be checked during shutdown.



All the weld joints in this line shall be stress relieved after fabrication. Weld joints at
random shall be checked for suspected cracking. If the line is not thermally insulated, external
thickness measurements shall be taken for suspected internal corrosion. When the line is not in
operation, magnetic testing method will help in locating cracks in the welds.


Pipelines carrying DEA/MEA are prone to internal corrosion and stress corrosion cracking.
All newly constructed piping shall be stress relieved irrespective of the strength and temperature
of the chemicals. All weld joints shall be inspected for cracks using wet fluorescent magnetic
particle test. External thickness measurements shall be taken at all bends and other flow-
restrictions for determining the internal corrosion rate. All socket-welded and seal-welded
threaded connections are prone to stress corrosion cracking if not stress-relieved. Hammer
testing of the line shall not carried out as it may induce localised stresses.


Carbon steals are prone to hydrogen embrittlement at elevated temperatures above

232oC. Pipelines shall be checked for bulging (hydrogen blistering) and distortion whenever they
are shut down for inspection.


Carbon steel resists phenolic corrosion upto 205 oC provided water is not present.
Corrosion in phenol is very erratic. However, when it occurs, it may be very severe. All bends
and areas of high velocity and where turbulent conditions occur shall be ultrasonically inspected.
However, areas which cannot be inspected ultrasonically shall be radiographed to ascertain their
internal condition.


Caustic is non-corrosive at atmospheric temperatures top carbon steel. Caustic will cause
stress corrosion cracking above 94OC and hence all carbon steel lines shall be stress-relieved
before commissioning or after repairs. Lines shall be checked for embrittlement and metal loss.


Chlorine, though not so corrosive in gaseous phase, becomes highly corrosive when even
a small amount of moisture comes in contact with it. Rubber-lined carbon steel pipes are
generally used in chlorine services. Rubber-lined, pipes shall be checked for bulging of lining at
bends, flanges or at weld joints.


Sulphuric acid is corrosive in dilute phase. Hydrochloric acid in corrosive at all
concentrations while phosphoric acid is corrosive where it mixes with water in carbon steel pipes.
The following locations shall be checked for acid corrosion in carbon steel lines:

a) Horizontal sections of the line where dilute-acid stagnation may occur.

b) Section of the line at bends where elbows tend to corrode due to turbulent acid attack.

c) Section of the line adjacent to orifices, reducers, expanders, etc.

d) Caustic neutralisation injection points and T-joints due to turbulence.

e) Heat affected zones of weld joints due to residual stress concentrations and thermo-galvanic

f) Locations where temperatures are more than 50oC.


Underground piping is mainly checked off-stream. However, development of exigencies

may require inspection of the same on the run after exposing the line.

10.5.1 Cathodically Protected Piping

Cathodic protection shall be controlled so as not to damage the protective coating. A

pipe-to-soil voltage of -0.85, with respect to Cu-CuSO 4 half call has been found to give adequate
protection to cathodically protected pipelines. Any excess voltage may damage the wrapping and
coating on the pipe. All buried or submerged coated piping system shall be electrically isolated at
interconnections from the other lines which are not cathodically protected. The pipe-to-spot
potential readings shall also be checked using Cu-CuSO 4 cell.

10.5.2 Wrapped and Coated Pipelines Without Cathodic Protection

The condition of the wrapping and coating shall be checked by Pearson survey once in
three years for underground piping not cathodically protected. Excavations shall be done at
vulnerable points like regions of low velocity and straight portions downstream of bends. The
excavation, once in ten years is optimum requirement. After excavation, the wrapping and
coating shall be examined both visually and by holiday detector. Internal metal loss and fouling
may be detected by radiographic examination. Ultrasonic thickness measurements shall be
carried out on the surface of the pipe after removing a bend of wrapping and coating. The
pipeline shall be hydrotested once every five years. The stray current interference of
underground pipe should be checked by Cu-CuSO 4 half-cell. All lines shall be inspected at and
just before the point where they enter the earth or concrete slab as serious corrosion frequently
occurs at such locations. The incidence of stray current interference is high in the underground
portion of cathodically protected and non-cathodically protected piping separated by insulated
flanges or couplings. This current causes severe damage in the unprotected line if the wrapping
and coating is damaged. This location should be inspected once a year by exposing the insulating
flanges or couplings.

10.5.3 Internal Corrosion of Underground Piping

In order to assess the internal condition of underground pipelines, ultrasonic thickness

survey by exposing the line shall be done as per frequency specified previously. Bends, reducers,
expanders, branch connections and dead-ends shall be exposed and thickness survey at these
locations carried out as per the guidelines given for the above-ground pipelines. One location
every 100 meters for a straight portion shall be exposed for thickness survey. Internal corrosion
monitoring of these lines should be done by installing corrosion probes at vulnerable locations.
Readings should be taken once a week to calculate the corrosion rate.


10.6.1 Valves

Steel gate valves steel globe valves, flanged cast iron gate valves, threaded and socket
welded valves, soft-seated ball valves-`Fire Safe Type', plug valves, check valves and butterfly
valves for water service are used in Petroleum installations.


All valves shall be inspected and tested to ensure conformation to required specifications
and for leak tightness. All new valves shall be inspected and tested as per requirements of API-
598. The closure torque during testing for hand wheel and gear operated valves shall not be
greater than that obtainable by hand tightening.

(a) Valves in Hydrogen Service

All low alloy valve castings (P numbers 3,4 and 5) in hydrogen service with a hydrogen
partial pressure of 100 psig shall be 100% magnetic particle and radiographically examined.
Examination and acceptance criteria shall be as per ASME Section VIII Appendix 7.

(b) Valves in Wet H2S Service

Valves made of steel containing phosphorus or sulphur in excess of 0.5% shall not be
used in H2S service.

Hardness of the body, bonnet and gate and weld metal and HAZ of any pressure retaining
part shall not exceed the limits given below:-

Material Brinell

P-1 225
P-3, P-4, P-10, P12 225
P-5, P-6, P-7 225
inconel, Precipitation
hardened 310

(c) Fire Safe Type Ball Valves

Each valve shall be tested as per API 598.

- Low pressure sect test shall be conducted with the ball and seat dry and free of oil, grease or
any lubricant.

- The high pressure seat test is not required except for threaded and valves.

- No leakage shall be permitted.

- Fire-safe test shall be carried out as per API 6070.


Valves shall be dismantled at the time of specified comprehensive inspection or during

the shutdown of the line to permit examination of all internal parts. Body thickness measurements
shall be made at locations inaccessible before, dismantling, particularly at locations showing

evidence of erosion. Bodies of valves operating in severe cyclic temperature service shall be
checked internally for cracks.

Gate valves, which have been used for throttling, shall be measured for thickness at the
bottom between the seats, as serious deterioration may have occurred because of turbulence.
This is particularly weak point because of the wedging action of the disc when the valve is closed.
The seating surface shall be inspected visually for defects which might cause leakage. The
wedging guides shall be inspected for corrosion and erosion. The stem and threads on the stem
and in the bonnet of valves shall be examined for corrosion which might cause failure., The
connection between stem and disc shall be inspected to assure that the disc will not detach from
the stem during operating.

Swing check valves shall be inspected by removing the cover or cap. The clapper or disc
shall be checked for freedom of rotation and the nut holding it to the arm shall be checked for
security and presence of a locking pin, lock washer, or tack weld. The arm should be free to
swing and the anchor pin shall be inspected for wear. Also the seating surface on both the disc
and valve body shall be checked for deterioration by feeling them with the fingers. After the valve
has been reassembled, it shall be hydrostatically and/or pneumatically tested for tightness. If
tested pneumatically, a soap solution shall be applied to the edges of the seating surface and
observed for any evidence of leakage.

10.6.2 Flanges, Gaskets and Bolts

The gasket faces of flanged joints, which have been opened, shall be inspected visually
for corrosion and for defects such as scratches, cuts and gouges which might cause leakage. The
gasket faces shall be checked for true flatness or warping by placing a straight edge across the
diameter of the face of the flange and rotating it about an axis through the center line of the
flange. Grooves and rings of ring joints shall be checked for defects.
Flanges bolts should be inspected for stretching. Where excessive bolt loading is
indicated or where flanges are deformed, nuts may be rotated along the entire length of the stud.
If studs are stretched, thread pitch will be changed and nuts will not turn freely. Inspection involve
checking to determine whether bolts of the proper specification have been used and may involves
chemical analyse or physical tests to determine the yield point and the ultimate strength of the
material. If flanges are bolted too tightly, they may bends until the outer edges of the flanges are
in contact. When this occurs, there may be insufficient pressure on the gasket to assure a tight
joint. Visual inspection of the gasket will reveal this condition. Permanently deformed flanges
must be replaced.


Calculation of retiring limits for unit piping and offsite piping shall be done as per ANSI B
31-3 end ASME Section VII Div. 1. The retiring limit relates thickness, diameter and allowable
stress to the maximum safe working pressure.

In addition, ANSI B 31.3 contains a formula with material factors for determining the
required thickness but permits the use of the simple formula of Barlow without reservation. The
Barlow formula is:

12.7 P x D
t =- --------------

Where -
t= required thickness of the pipewall in mm.
P= Pressure within the pipe in kg/sq.cm
D= Outside diameter of the pipe in cms.
S= Allowable unit stress in kg/sq.cm. at the maximum operating temperature.
E= Longitudinal joint efficiency.


Metallic piping with t = D/4 requires special consideration.

The Barlow formula gives results particularly equivalent to those obtained by the more
elaborate formula, except at high pressures where thick-walled tubing is required or at high
temperatures where creep properties of the pipe metal become important in determining the
ultimate service strength. At low pressures and low temperatures, the thickness required by the
formula may be so small that the pipe would have insufficient structural strength. For this reason,
an absolute minimum thickness shall be determined for each size of pipe below which thickness
of the pipewall would not be permitted to deteriorate regardless of the results obtained by the
above formula.

As a guideline, minimum thickness for C.S. piping are given below:

Nominal pipe size (mm) Minimum thickness (mm)

50 mm and smaller 1.5

63-76 1.8
101.6 2.2
152.4 2.8
203.2 3.0
254-609.6 3.3



The portion of the piping, which may reach the retiring limit before the subsequent
scheduled inspection, shall be replaced. While replacing the pipe, the following points shall be

i) The metallurgy and dimensions of the new pipe shall match with those of the existing pipe.

ii) Repairs shall be carried out by a qualified welder using qualified welding procedures.

iii) For ERW pipes, the weld seam shall be kept staggered and the ERW seam shall appear in the
upper quadrants.

iv) Piping systems, which are covered under other statutory requirements, shall be checked for
conformation with the appropriate codes, regulations and specifications.

v) Inspection of joints shall be done as previously specified.

vi) Repaired welds shall be subject to same pre and post-weld heat treatments as required in the
case of new pipes.

vii) Painting, insulation, wrapping and coating shall be done as per the code.


All installed piping shall be pressure tested prior to commissioning. Piping systems open
to atmosphere, such as drains vents and outlet piping for relief valves discharging to atmosphere
and underground sewers shall not require any pressure testing. These lines shall be examined to
determine that all joints are properly made up.

12.2.1 Test Pressure and Procedures

The test pressure and procedure for testing of piping shall be as per ANSI B 31.3 or
equivalent. However, the following additional points shall be considered while carrying out

i) All floats shall be removed before filling the system with water.

ii) All air present in the system shall be vented while admitting the test fluid.

iii) Piping designed for vapour and gas shall be provided with additional temporary supports, if

iv) Line containing check valves shall have source of test pressure on the upstream side.

v) Valves shall not be subjected to a test pressure in excess of manufacturer's allowable test
rating. When permitted, the installed valves shall be kept open.

vi) Control and relief valves shall be excluded from the test irrespective of their pressure rating.

vii) Instrument take-off piping upto the first block valve shall be tested along with piping to which it
is connected. Testing of remaining line leading upto the instrument can also be done at the
same time provided instruments are blocked off from the source of pressure and vented to

viii) Open ends of piping where blanks cannot be used e.g. pumps, compressors, etc. shall be
blinded off by using standard blind flanges of same rating as the piping system being tested.

ix) Indicating pressure gauges mounted locally may be tested with the line, provided the test
pressure is not in excess of their scale ratings.

x) Orifice plates in horizontal lines shall not be installed till completion of test.

xi) The test shall be carried out at ambient temperature and it should not be less than 50 oC.

xii) All vent valves during filling up as during draining must be fully open.

12.2.2 Test Fluid

Hydraulic testing of ferritic material shall be carried out using suitably inhabited
water, which permits an extended period between the start of testing and drying of
components. Hydraulic testing of austemotic material shall be carried out using de-
ionized water.

12.2.3 Water Quality

i) Portable water free from oil and suspended matter shall be used for ferritic parts and feritic
parts associated with non-ferrous parts.

ii) Water shall be d-ionized having a conductivity not greater than one micro mho per cm at 250 oC
for austenetic parts end ferritic parts associated with austenetic parts.


Isometrics of each circuit as per actual site conditions shall be prepared. The records
shall be maintained to give information like:

i) Identification of particular piping systems in terms of location, total length, material

specification, general process flow and service condition and location of corrosion probes, if

ii) Location of thickness measurement points, replacement carried out, corrosion rate, etc.

An isometric sketch for guidance has been given in Annexure-2. All small connections
shall be clearly shown on isometrics and piping drawings. The history and thickness records shall
be maintained in history cards and data record cards.

On the basis of records of previous and present inspection, a work schedule shall be
prepared for future inspection onstream as well as during the next shutdown.


The following standards, codes and publications have either been referred to or used in
the preparation of this document and this standard shall be read in conjunction with the same

i) ANSI B 31.3 Chemical Plant and Petroleum Refinery Piping.

ii) API Guide for Inspection of Refinery Equipment Ch. XI.

iii) Piping Handbook-Crocker and King.

iv) ASA B 36.10 welded seamless wrought steel pipe.

v) ASA B 36.19 stainless steel pipe.

vi) NACE RP 01-69.

vii) NACE RP-01-70.

viii) NACE RP-01-75.



1. Hammer testing of piping undergoing a pressure. Pneumatic testing involves the

pressure test shall not be carried out as hazard due to possible release of energy
this may cause failure resulting in stored in compressed gas. Therefore,
possible injury or death to those particular care shall be taken to minimize
performing the test. the chance of brittle failure. Any
pneumatic test shall include a preliminary
2. Stress due to testing shall not exceed check at not more than 25 psi (2kg/cm2)
90% of the yield stress of the material of gauge pressure. The pressure shall be
construction of the piping as it may increased gradually in steps providing
cause failure resulting in possible injury sufficient time to allow the piping to
or death to those performing the test. equalise strains during test.

3. Pressure test shall not be carried out at 5. In addition to the above, conditions listed
metal temperatures near the ductile-to- out in Appendices F and G of ANSI B
brittle transition temperature of the 31.3 should be kept note of.-

4. If the piping is tested pneumatically, the

pressure, shall be 110% of the design