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Standard Specification No

Pressure Test Procedures

The purpose of this standard specification is to specify the procedures to be followed when
pressure testing vessels, packaged units and piping on site.
BSEN 37!" #efrigeration Syste$ and %eat &u$ps &art " &ara. '.(.( re)uires that all
co$ponents of a refrigeration syste$ shall be strength pressure tested and tested for tightness
and the result docu$ented prior to being put into operation for the first ti$e.
1.0 General
The specification covers site strength and tightness pressure testing on site installed
&rior to the tests, steps shall be taken to ensure the safety of people and to $ini$ise risk
to property.
*here possible, previously strength tested vessels, piping and sensitive instru$entation
will be isolated fro$ test pressures.
Syste$ safety pressure relief valves venting to at$osphere will not be fitted for the tests
and their connections will be blanked.
Ter$ination points and other open orifices will be blanked or plugged where re)uired.
+Soapy bubble+ trace solution will be used during the tightness test.
,or all pressure testing, the syste$ under test shall be isolated fro$ the source of
pressure after the test pressure has been reached.
- pressure test safety valve of ade)uate si.e shall be installed to prevent significant over!
*hen pressure testing on site a pressure test $anifold $ay be used.
,or visual e/a$ination, a 301 2u/ $ini$u$ light intensity is preferred.
-ny reduction in pressure during the strength or tightness test holding periods, any visual
leakage or any per$anent defor$ation shall be cause for re3ection. Note that the
pressure will rise or fall appro/i$ately 1.345 for every (16 rise or fall 7respectively8 in
te$perature during the test 9holding period:.
*here called for, official third party inspection authority test witnessing will be conducted
by an authorised inspector.
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Standard Specification No
So$e custo$ers $ay have specific test re)uire$ents. *here these re)uire$ents differ
fro$ those specified in this docu$ent, reference should be $ade to at Technical
There $ay be occasions when it is difficult to pressure test e.g. repairs to a syste$ where
the isolating valves are suspect. <obs like this re)uire their own $ethod state$ent, risk
assess$ents and consultation with the Technical ;epart$ent. ;ecisions not to pressure
test shall only be $ade by the Technical ;epart$ent who shall advise on alternative
procedures 7e.g. (115 radiography $ay be re)uired8.
#efer to -ppendi/ - for a $atri/ on the approved type of pressure test to conduct and
co$petency re)uire$ents for the operations group.

The Technical ;epart$ent $ust be consulted before pressure testing repaired e)uip$ent
or used plant.
2.0 References
The pressure test procedures referred to in this specification take into account the
re)uire$ents of=
Standard Specification ! &ressure Test >ertification of Syste$s
%SE ?uidance Note ?S4 ! Safety in &ressure Testing
BSEN37 #efrigeration syste$s and heat pu$ps @ Safety and environ$ental
re)uire$ents in the design, construction testing, $arking and docu$entation
Aethod State$ent B,N Strength and Tightness Testing of Site -sse$bled Syste$s
Syste$ &ressure Test #ecord Standard ,or$
Syste$ &ressure Test >ertificate Standard ,or$
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Standard Specification No
3.0 Consumables and Equipment
3.1 Pressure Test Medium
The strength test shall be carried out using o/ygen free nitrogen 7B,N8 7if so$e other fluid
is being proposed please consult with the Technical ;epart$ent8.
Cn the case of B,N engineers should check the cylinder label and the cylinder colour
coding to ensure that it contains B,N. Cf neither are legible then the cylinder shall not be
The tightness test on all pri$ary refrigerant circuits shall be carried out using o/ygen free
nitrogen 7B,N8.
Cn general, Standard Specifications call for the use of o/ygen free nitrogen for all testing.
The presence of air can give rise to two proble$s. ,irstly, there is a chance that $oisture
will condense out of the air and into the syste$. Secondly, the presence of both air and oil
in the syste$ could lead to an e/plosion. %owever, in certain circu$stances the test
$ediu$ $ay be co$$ercial nitrogen or another inert gas. Cn this case and if the syste$
has been in operation and there is oil conta$ination, reference $ust be $ade to a
Technical ;epart$ent.
ote! "# pressure shall ne$er to be applied e%cept throu&h an appro$ed pressure
3.2 Re&ulators

Single stage regulation is cheaper and suitable for $ost #efrigeration work. Two stage
regulators $ay be re)uired for close control.

#egulators have relief valves fitted. These must ne$er be remo$ed or tampered 'ith.

,or all refrigerant syste$s, e/cluding >B
syste$s, a 41 Bar 7?8 outlet regulator will be
typical as standard. This is to ensure that the outlet pressure of the regulator can never be
significantly higher than the strength test pressure.

,or the case of pressure testing on >B
syste$s a higher pressure rated regulator 7say 71
Bar 7?8 or (11 Bar 7?8 outlet8 will be re)uired.
The pressure regulator outlet pressure li$it ensures that the syste$ is charged in a
controlled fashion. Cf the syste$ volu$e is of a si.e where it will take a considerable length
of ti$e to reach strength test pressure consideration should be given to charging fro$
$ultiple sources. Never ta$per with a regulator to increase its outlet pressure.

BB> cylinders are available with "31 Bar 7?8 and 311 Bar 7?8 pressures.
#egulators for use on "31 Bar 7?8 cylinders are not suitable for 311 Bar 7?8 cylinders.
The pressure ad3uster on the regulator shall always be unwound to its $ini$u$ position
before fitting the regulator to the cylinder 7or other pressure source8 shall always be
unwound and the cylinder valve shall never be opened without double checking that the
ad3uster is fully unwound. This will stop gas flowing through the regulator possibly before
all is ready.

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Standard Specification No
&ressure testing of secondary refrigerant circuits which are using water, glycol or brine is
treated as a special case.
,or this special case and where the pipes are long, hydraulic pressure testing of the
pipelines with water is acceptable. Bil cooler glycol circuits and underfloor heater $at
circuits fall into this category.
3.2.1 (ppro$ed Equipment
Manufacturer Pressure )nlet Pressure "utlet
?as!-rc ?- (011 (11 Bar cDw Nevoc fittings
or factory approved e)uivalent
311 Bar (11 Bar
?as!-rc ?- E11 ADS 41 Bar cDw Nevoc fittings
or factory approved e)uivalent
311 Bar 41 Bar
2incoln %(1 41 Bar "31 Bar 41 Bar
Esab AE11 41 Bar "31 Bar 41 Bar
3.3 Pressure Testin& Char&in& *oses
So$e care is needed when selecting the pressure test charging hose.
The preferred hose shall be "(1ST &olyfle/ 7"31N!14F118 ther$oplastic hose asse$bly
7with an allowable pressure of 711 Bar7?88 cDw G: BS& fe$ale swivel both ends and
stainless steel swaged ends. This hose co$es with a pressure test certificate and can be
supplied in various lengths.
-lternatively E$$ B;D4$$ C; stainless steel tubing 7with an allowable pressure of 4(E
Bar 7?88 with AE stainless steel EB unions 7with an allowable pressure of 3(0 Bar 7?88
$ay be used.
The refrigerant charging hose detailed in SS(47 can be used for pressure testing but its
allowable pressure li$it prevents its use on >B
3.3.1 (ppro$ed Equipment
Pressure Test *oses
Bnly the following hoses are approved for pressure testing=
+escription #or ,se ,p To
E$$ o.d.D4$$ i.d. stainless steel tube with AE stainless steel EB unions both
(1.1 Bar 7?8
G: NB %ydraline ,H -S, SS anti!static, black &T,E tube with 314 stainless steel
braid cDw E$$ o.d. standpipes with AE stainless steel EB unions both ends.
Stainless steel swaged ends
.1 Bar 7?8
I: NB %ydraline ,H -S, SS anti!static, black &T,E tube with 314 stainless steel
braid cDw E$$ o.d. standpipes with AE stainless steel EB unions both ends.
Stainless steel swaged ends
0E.1 Bar 7?8
"(1ST &olyfle/ 7"31N!14F118 ther$oplastic hose asse$bly cDw G: BS& fe$ale
swivel both ends. Stainless steel swaged ends. Buter cover pin!pricked for gas
(1.1 Bar 7?8
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Standard Specification No
3.- Calibrated Gau&e
- calibrated gauge with current calibration certificate shall be used. The pressure gauge
used during the pressure tests should be within "15 to 15 of its range at the test
pressure so the pressure is in the central part of the gauge, i.e. it shall have the dial
graduated over a range of about double the intended $a/i$u$ pressure.
&ressure gauges shall be re!calibrated on a E $onthly basis.
3.-.1 (ppro$ed Equipment
3.. Pressure Test Manifold
*hen pressure testing site pipework a pressure test $anifold $ay be used.
The $anifold was introduced to=
Enable two parts of a syste$ to be tested si$ultaneously
Fent a part of the syste$
-llow connection of a pressure gauge
-llow connection of a pressure test relief valve 7for e/a$ple on a s$all syste$ we
$ay choose to fit a >F& relief valve8
3./ Pressure Relief 0al$e
#or site B,N pressure tests a pressure test relief valve shall al'a1s be $ounted on the
syste$ being tested 7or fit a >F&!%& or >F&!H& relief valve on a $anifold8.
- pressure test relief valve 7or $anifold with >F&!%& or >F&!H& on s$all syste$s8 is
re)uired for both strength and tightness testing.
The pressure relief valve shall be $ounted near to the point at which the charging line is
connected with the $ini$u$ possible nu$ber of valves between it and the pressure test
gas charging point. There $ust be no $ore than one stop valve between the charging
valve and the relief valve. The relief valve shall be set between (.(0 and (.31 ti$es the
syste$ $a/i$u$ allowable pressure for standard strength test at (.( ti$es the
$a/i$u$ allowable pressure. Cf the strength test pressure is (.43 ti$es the $a/i$u$
allowable pressure the relief valve shall be set at (.0 ti$es the syste$ A-&. ,or higher
strength test pressures the pressure test pressure relief valve setting shall be agreed with
the Technical ;epart$ent.
The pressure test $anifold $ay have a >F&!%& or >F&!H& fitted. This is useful for
testing s$all volu$es, however due to the location of the >F&, charging gas too )uickly
will cause the relief valve to lift. The relief valve needs to be pre!set 7prior to use8 to (15
above the specified strength test pressure. The >F&!H& is re)uired when strength
testing above " Bar 7?8 is re)uired.
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Standard Specification No
2arge syste$s can be tested in stages although forward planning is necessary to ensure
bosses are welded in appropriate places. These bosses can subse)uently be plugged
7and insulated over if re)uired8.

The BiS valve is nor$ally used on >B
syste$s. #e!calibration isnJt nor$ally carried
out. The valves should be replaced if they beco$e da$aged or after 0 years.
The e)uip$ent and arrange$ent described allows the pressure test gas supply pressure
in the charging line to be above the syste$ allowable pressure so that the pressure can
be brought up to test pressure in a reasonable ti$e using a nor$al si.e of charging line.
The outlet pressure of the pressure source regulator dictates the allowable pressure of
charging line and the person carrying out the pressure tests $ust ensure that the
charging line is fit for the purpose.
3./.1 (ppro$ed Equipment
Relief 0al$es
Manufacturer Pressure 2ettin& Code o.
BiS Falves (1 Bar S"0N!(1B
;ean K *ood (E." Bar (770>E
;ean K *ood "1.0 Bar (77E>E
;ean K *ood "4.(3 Bar (777>E
;ean K *ood "7.0 Bar (77>E
%#& 3(.1 Bar "'0'
BiS Falves "7.0 @ ((1.3" Bar #2"0!?!(.E6
BiS Falves E.'0 @ 00(.0 Bar #2"0!?!E6
;anfoss >F&!H& "0 @ 0" Bar 1"7B111
;anfoss >F&!%& 4 @ " Bar 1"7B((E(
-.0 Pressurisin& the 21stem and Test Pressures
-.1 Pressurisin& the 21stem
Before pressurising it is important to check that:
>o$pression type fittings 7e.g. T> pockets8 are tight and unda$aged
The pipe work being tested has no valves in the closed position

*here there are check valves the syste$ is being pressurised on both sides
and insert e)ualisation lines where re)uired

The pressure testing charging line is located in the correct place and that it is
secured 7e.g. with $etal tie wraps8 to prevent it flailing about 7in the event that
it co$es apart8
Eye protection shall be worn throughout the pressure testing procedure.
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Standard Specification No
&ressurisation shall be carried out in a controlled fashion at all ti$es and the pressure
applied gradually Note ! pipework seeing pressure for the first ti$e is in fact being
9strength pressure tested: fro$ the $o$ent gas is first introduced.
*hen open to the syste$, the pressure source shall not be left unattended.

;uring initial pressurisation of the syste$ up to strength test pressure and until the
pressure is reduced to tightness test pressure, at least two people shall be in

The syste$ shall never be approached if the pressure is greater than (15 of the
allowable pressure unless the pressure has been reduced by at least (15 fro$ the
previous highest pressure.
Never atte$pt to tighten anything 7e.g. screwed fittings8 with the syste$ under pressure.
-lways isolate and blow down.

- strength test shall be held for a $ini$u$ of five $inutes. Never approach the syste$
during this ti$e.

B,N shall not be vented into a closed space where it could beco$e an asphy/iation
-.2 Test Pressures
The values of test pressures to be used shall be $arked on the relevant
-.2.1 Pipe'or3 Test Pressure
British Standard BSEN37!" Safety and environ$ental re)uire$ents for refrigerating
syste$s and heat pu$ps specifies that the syste$ strength test pressure shall be in
accordance with e/isting standards and that the tightness test pressure shall be less
than or e)ual to (.1 / the allowable pressure.
,or pipework, the test pressure to prove $echanical strength shall be at (.( / the
allowable pressure when non destructive testing 7N;T8 has been carried out e.g. steel
piping syste$s or (.43 / the allowable pressure for copper piping syste$s when no non
destructive testing 7N;T8 has been carried out. The tightness test pressure shall be (.1
/ the allowable pressure.
,or (7.1 Bar 7?8, "1.7 Bar 7?8, "4. Bar 7?8, 41.1 Bar 7?8, 0".1 Bar 7?8, E0.1 Bar 7?8
and 70.1 Bar 7?8 allowable pressures, the pipework test pressures are=
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Standard Specification No
Pressure 4ar 5G6
-llowable &ressure (7.1 "1.7 "4. 41.1 0".1 E0.1 70.1
Strength Test &ressure (.( (.7 "". "7.3 44.1 07." 7(.0 ".0
Strength Test &ressure (.43 "4.3 "'.E 30.0 07." 74.4 '3.1 (17.3
Tightness Test &ressure (7.1 "1.7 "4. 41.1 0".1 E0.1 70.1
The syste$ allowable pressure deter$ines the relief device setting.
..- 2ite Pipe'or3
..-.1 2ite Pipe'or3 "# 2tren&th Test
The strength test shall be carried out PR)"R to the tightness pressure test. The pressure test
shall be carried out using B,N applied through an approved pressure reducing valve.
- Aethod State$ent is re)uired and the instructions shall be followed.
- pressure test safety valve of ade)uate si.e shall be installed to prevent significant over
pressure. The pressure relief valve should be $ounted on a pressure vessel and the
pressure test gas should be introduced into that vessel without any stop valves between the
charging point and relief valve position. Cf this is not possible any valve between the gas
charging point and the relief valve shall be gagged open.
&ressure vessels and co$ponents 7e.g. co$pressors, condensers, evaporators, etc8 which
have been strength tested previously need not be sub3ected to a further strength test 7but see
Syste$ pressure relief devices shall be re$oved and openings capped or plugged before
strength and tightness pressure tests. *here possible, previously tested pressure vessels
shall be valved off and opened to at$osphere. 7#eference $ay be $ade to the Cnstitute of
#efrigeration Safety >ode for #efrigerating Syste$s8.
*here pressure testing against closed valves to protect a neighbouring section with a lower
allowable pressure fro$ the higher strength pressure, then the low pressure side shall have
vent valves left open to ensure the pressure can not build up due to a passing valve.
*here pressure testing against closed valves which are isolating fro$ a refrigerant charge
part of the syste$, a double block and bleed arrange$ent shall be pre!arranged to prevent
test $ediu$ being forced past a leaking valve into the charged part of the syste$. Cf this is
not possible, consult a Technical ;epart$ent.
The area must be e$acuated of all personnel. This means7
"utside the buildin&
4ehind a bric3 'all or similar so that there is no line of si&ht to the condensers!
outside pipe 'or3 or other components bein& pressurised
)f it is not possible to compl1! b1 8out of hours9 'or3in& or similar! then please
consult a Technical +epartment.
&ressure shall be raised gradually. -n initial e/a$ination $ay be $ade at low pressure,
provided the gas pressure does not e/ceed (15 of the allowable pressure. Thereafter
pressure shall again be raised gradually.
The strength test procedure $ay be interrupted if leaks need attention. Cn general, and at any
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Standard Specification No
stage in the procedure, repairs to leaks shall not be carried out unless the pipework syste$
has been sub3ected to a pressure at least (15 higher than the pressure proposed for the
checking for leaks. #epairs $ust only be carried out with that section vented to at$osphere.
Thereafter the pressure will be increased in stages until the strength test pressure is reached.
-fter the strength test pressure is reached, the pipework shall be isolated fro$ the pressure
source and held for a $ini$u$ of 0 $inutes.
There should be no appreciable drop in pressure during this ti$e.
..-.2 2ite Pipe'or3 "# Ti&htness Test
,ollowing the strength test, the pressure in the syste$ shall be reduced to the tightness test
pressure and held there for a $ini$u$ of 31 $inutes. There should be no appreciable drop
in pressure during this ti$e. - tightness inspection test shall be carried out with a +soapy
bubble+ trace solution.
The co$plete syste$ 7including co$ponents which have been previously strength tested8
shall be tested for tightness. >o$ponents previously tested in the factory shall be re!tested
on site to ensure leaks have not developed at $echanical 3oints during transportation and
The Aethod State$ent instructions shall be followed.
The pressure will then be reduced by venting the B,N to at$osphere.
..-.2 2ite Pipe'or3 *1draulic 2tren&th Test
&ressure testing of refrigerant circuits which are designed for water, glycol or brine are
treated as special cases and where pipes are long a hydraulic test of the pipelines with water
is acceptable.
The strength test shall be carried out using water 7or so$e other li)uid approved by a
Technical ;epart$ent8.
;uring the filling process, care shall be taken to re$ove as $uch trapped air as possible fro$
the syste$.
The pressure will be applied using a hydraulic pu$p.
&ressure shall be raised gradually. -n initial e/a$ination $ay be $ade at low pressure 7say
(15 of the specified test pressure8. &ressure shall be gradually increased to a value 015 of
the specified test pressure. Thereafter the pressure will be increased in stages of
appro/i$ately (15 of the specified test pressure until the test pressure is reached. -fter the
strength test pressure is reached, the pipework shall be isolated fro$ the pressure source
and held for a $ini$u$ of 0 $inutes. There shall be no appreciable drop in pressure during
this ti$e.
The pressure shall then be reduced by venting fro$ a top connection 7where possible8.
... Ti&htness Chec3in& of Pac3a&ed ,nits on 2ite
&ackage units that have been strength and tightness tested and are delivered fro$ a factory
7but not charged with refrigerant8 shall be tightness checked on site to ensure non per$anent
3oints such as flanges and screwed fittings have not developed leaks due to $ove$ent during
transport or craneage. Cn this case the tightness check pressure shall be between 4 Bar 7?8
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Standard Specification No
7or lower if the design pressure is lower8 and the factory tightness test pressure. This is
intended to allow utilisation of pressure test gas fro$ another part of the site installed syste$
and 4 Bar 7?8 is high enough to find all likely leaks but is co$ple$entary to the factory
tightness test. Ct shall not be used instead of the factory tightness test and all new pipe work
etc shall be tested to the tightness test pressure specified on the ;iagra$ of >onnections.
/.0 +ocumentation
The following docu$ents give further infor$ation.
+ocument +etails
#isk assess$ent Tightness pressure testing of packaged unit piping, site pipe
work K pre! fabricated pipe and co$ponent asse$blies
>ertification &ressure test certification of syste$s
%SE ?uidance Note ?S4 Safety in pressure testing
Aethod State$ent ?eneric pressure testing $ethod state$ent

>ontrol $easures for infor$ation=
-ll pressure vessels will previously have been hydraulically strength tested to a $uch
higher pressure
-pproved weld procedures
-pproved welders
&ercentage N;T
Aanagers are responsible for ensuring staff is co$petent to carry out pressure testing.

?eneric risk assess$ent and $ethod state$ent docu$ents are available in the reference
library but site specific risk assess$ents and $ethod state$ents $ay be re)uired.
The following will be produced as a result of pressure tests.
/.1 Pac3a&ed ,nit Pipe'or3
Syste$s &ressure Test >ertificate and 2eak >ertification
Test &ressure ?auge >alibration >ertificate
/.2 2ite Pipe'or3
#ecord of Syste$s &ressure Test, clearly identifying e/tent of test
Syste$s &ressure Test >ertificate
Test &ressure ?auge >alibration >ertificate.
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