Pipe Support Services

Pipe Support Inspection Program

ASME Code Requirements - Basics of Inspection and Maintenance on all Covered Piping Systems (CPS)

(Reference: ASME B31.1 Chapter VII, Paragraph 139-141)

Covered Piping Systems (CPS) require regular inspection and maintenance throughout service life.  Either during the initial construction or after years of operation, the original design and/or operating conditions may have change (such as installation deviations, operating temperatures, pressures and flow rates).  According to the referenced ASME Code, a periodic inspection is required to evaluate the status of the individual pipe supports and the overall support of the CPS piping system.  Safe operation and the overall safety of the system is an important concern when considering replacement of individual pipe supports or re-design of the entire support system.

If available, a study of the original design conditions (reviewing the data sheets, drawings and specifications) should establish the original designed operating conditions at construction.  Once this is established the inspector will focus not only on the difference (if any) from the original design and what exists in the field today but the pipe supports themselves.  During the field inspection stage, the physical integrity of the supports, adjustments or need for replacements will be determined.

Field inspection of the spring supports will check the following:

  • The original designer specifications;

  • The position (amount of compression) of the spring coils;

  • The size for the variable spring support at a certain point based on the load and travel of the pipe expected during start-up, ope

  • ration, and shutdown cycles of the system; and 

  • The resistance to movement that a spring coil provides depending on how compressed the coil is.  If the indicator shows that the coil is not compressed to the proper position, this means something is different from what the original design.

Once all field data is collected, an analysis of the current status of the system can begin.  During this analysis, if the field data (pipe configuration, spring hanger location and/or sizes) is not the same as the original design It may be necessary to have a new stress analysis on the piping system.  As a result of the field data along with the stress analysis, additional steps may be necessary.  Stress analysis results can determine if a completely new spring hanger is necessary or if field adjustments can restore the support system to safely function at current conditions.