Industrial piping is a complex and delicate system, especially when it’s not made for water. Oil and gas pipelines are more prone to issues, due to the materials contained within them. The United States has suffered 3,200-plus serious gas pipeline leaks since 1987, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. With this in mind, rigorous inspections of your industrial gas and oil piping are necessary to ensure it is working properly. But how can you tell when your piping has an issue?
Cracks and Leakage
Luckily, if you are faced with a flaw in your piping system, it will be easy to spot. And of all the issues, a crack or leakage will be the easiest. This will be an obvious, physical point of damage in the piping that is causing the leak. These can be caused by old piping or an imperfection in the make of the pipe. Over time, a constant flow of liquid and gas will eat away at the imperfection, causing it to deteriorate to the point of cracking and leaking.
This can be patched if the imperfection is found during an inspection. If it’s not, a problem like this will require new piping. Before it is fixed, halt the flow of oil or gas until the piping is replaced to save the product from being wasted by a leak. Once the welding of the new piping is complete, the liquid and gas flow should be uninterrupted and without leakage.
External or Internal Erosion
For underground piping, it is harder to find an issue during routine checks. An abnormality in the liquid and gas flow is usually a good sign that something is wrong with the piping. Due to its buried nature, underground oil and gas piping can face corrosion or cracks from its internal fluids and gas and its external environment. This will also likely require new piping. Or if the issue is at a branch connection, it may require welding work.
End of Lifespan
The average lifespan of a pipe is fifty years. That is a long time, but many piping systems have been around longer with little repair. If your industrial piping system hasn’t had a repair or replacement in a while, it probably is due for one. Contact Lynco Flange & Fitting if you are in need of industrial pipe repair parts.