Frequently Asked Questions
If your pressure test contains buried pipe, which is the case for most pipeline pressure tests, then visually looking for leaks is simply not adequate. A lot of times, a pinhole leak can be so small that the leaked water never makes it to the ground surface. Other times, your pipe could be located in a muddy area, or it could rain on the day of the test; this would render visual inspection ineffective. Mass or volume balance is required to ensure that there was no volume loss due to leaks during a test.
Pipe temperature throughout the test has an effect on test pressure. If temperature rises, pressure will also rise. Temperature gains can sometimes create enough pressure gains to mask the pressure losses due to leaks.
The reverse case is also true. If a temperature drops, pressure will also drop. Pressure losses can sometimes be explained by temperature losses. They are not always the result of a leak.
TestOp training varies depending on your access level and the pipeline operator you are working for. Please email us at TestOpSupport@rcp.com and we will send you the right training registration link.
The training is entirely online and automated. You can take the training in your own time. The time it takes to complete TestOp training varies from person to person. Most people take between 2-4 hours to complete the training.
If your account is still active, you can click on “Can’t access your account?” on the login screen and enter your email. Password reset link will be sent to your email.
If resetting your password did not work, that means your account has expired and you will be required to retake TestOp training. Contact us at TestOpSupport@rcp.com and we will send you the training registration link.
Restrained temperature has fluctuated more than 2°F throughout the duration of test and caused the test to fail.
Restrained temperature is very stable and rarely changes more than 2°F over an 8-hour period. This issue is most likely caused by an incorrectly installed restrained temperature probe.
Before retesting, ensure that the restrained temperature probe is touching the pipe and buried at least 100 ft away from exposed piping. The hole where the probe is buried must be backfilled. Shade/cover is highly recommended to shield probe from the rain/sun.
Test contains only a small portion of buried piping. Huge unrestrained (exposed) temperature swings cause the test to be up or down a significant amount of pressure. Visual inspection cannot be used instead of mass balance because of the buried piping involved.
The temperature of water inside the pipe might lag behind the pipe surface temperature. Therefore, pressure readings can lag behind temperature readings. There are 2 ways to mitigate this issue.
- Use a thermocouple to obtain actual water temperature reading.
- Monitor unrestrained pipe temperature for 24 hours before testing. Identify a period where temperature is relatively stable (no huge swings) and schedule the test during that period.
It is not feasible to have the Restrained temperature probe 100 ft away from exposed piping and touching the buried pipe at the same time. E.g. testing HDD pipe, pipe going under a road, etc.
Install the probe 100 ft away from exposed piping and bury it as deep as practicable. In this case, we will be collecting ground temperature.
In order to ensure that the ground temperature is as representative as possible of the buried pipe temperature, allow time for the buried pipe to stabilize after filling. We recommend waiting 24 hours before starting the test. When waiting 24 hours is not possible, you should at least let the test section sit overnight, and test the following morning.
Remember to hit the “Save” button after filling out data on the Stress Strain Curve.
Remember to fill out the calibration information for the Pressure Measuring Device under TEST LOG – Test Summary
The test section MAOP is determined by the Design MAOP and Test MAOP. Design MAOP is dependent on pipe specifications or component pressure ratings. A low verified MAOP could be caused by missing pipe or component specs.
Review the pipe table to make sure all specifications have been correctly entered. Common issues include:
- Seam type is Unknown or Other, resulting in a reduced seam factor
- Valve’s ANSI rating is not filled out, causing design MAOP of 0.
A number of reasons can explain this.
- Pump specs:
Pump specs might be incorrect. Double check with test contractor.
- Testing against valves:
A closed valve on the test section will cut off part of the section from being tested. That means the pump will require less effort to ramp up pressure, making it look more efficient than it actually is. Have field crew check on valves to ensure they are open.
- Wrong footage:
The pipe lengths entered in the pipe table might be incorrect, causing TestOp to expect a different pipe volume amount, which leads to an incorrect pump efficiency. Compare TestOp pipe data with paper records to ensure accuracy.
Relative elevations can be used instead of absolute elevations. Ground level can be used as the reference point. For example, pipe buried 6 ft below ground can be given -6 ft elevation. And deadweights sitting 5 ft above ground can be given 5 ft elevation.
Temperature and/or pressure readings are unstable at the beginning of a test, but stabilize after some time and remain stable for the remainder of the test. The unstable readings cause the test to fail or have an undesirable result.
Move “On Test” time down to when the temperature/pressure readings have stabilized. TestOp will extend the test duration to ensure the minimum test duration is met. Communicate this to the test contractors so they do not end the test early.
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