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I recently visited a new customer to produce a written scheme of examination and examine the system’s pressure vessels. Whilst I was shown around the site I asked whether they service their compressor and whether they drain the system regularly. To both questions the answer was positive. I then proceeded onto the examination and I came across the above:

There were approximately 250 litres of condensate removed from a 340 litre vessel. I promptly questioned myself:

 

  • Should I had asked the customer to have the system drained and ready before my visit?
    • As Mandate Systems handles the preparation for the customer.
  • Would a 12 month thorough examination eliminate that phenomenon from reoccurring? 
    • We currently have a 12 month working and 24 month thorough schedule.
  • What are the effects of water on steel corrosion rate?
    •  Atmospheric conditions 4–60μm/year, marine 60-170μm.
  • How can this condensate deposit rise the danger on this system?
    • First I thought water can cease the compressor or even worse cause a compressor explosion. Secondly, water freezing on a very cold non working day and causing cracking on the vessels walls.
Now, the most common question of owners or users of pressure systems is whether they are obliged by law to have a written scheme of examination and examinations done on their system so as to comply with the regulations. If they match the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR 2000) criteria , they will have their system examined and a scheme produced.
It is of major importance, though, to highlight that the work of keeping a pressure system safe does not stop there.
On Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000, Regulation 2 Interpretation (1), we can read:
“examination” means a careful and critical scrutiny of a pressure system or part of a pressure system, in or out of service as appropriate, using suitable techniques, including testing where appropriate, to assess:
(a) its actual condition; and
(b) whether, for the period up to the next examination, it will not cause danger when properly used if normal maintenance is carried out, and for this purpose “normal maintenance” means such maintenance as it is  reasonable to expect the user (in the case of an installed system) or owner (in the case of a mobile system) to ensure is carried out independently of any advice from the competent person making the examination;
It is clear, that however much effort, knowledge and enthusiasm I dedicate to a job, safety of a pressure system will also depend upon how well a user/owner maintains the system.
To conclude, the importance of maintenance is underlined in Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000, Regulation 12 Maintenance, where one can read:
The user of an installed system and the owner of a mobile system shall ensure that the system is properly maintained in good repair, so as to prevent danger.