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400 Pressure Measurement

This section is a practical guide to the selection, specification, and installation of
instruments for indicating, recording, and controlling pressure. Section 410
discusses general concepts of pressure measurementparticularly-as they bear on
selecting a pressure instrumentdescribes and discusses specific devices and
provides guidance in their application and specification. Section 420 gives general
and specific guidance for the installation of pressure instruments. Section 440 lists
reference material for further reading.

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Application and Specification of Pressure Instruments



General Information


Pressure Elements


Pressure Gages


Field Pressure Recorders


Field Pneumatic Pressure Controllers


Pressure Transmitters


Pressure Switches


Draft Gages


Diaphragm Seals


Installation of Pressure Instruments


General RequirementsField Pressure Instruments


Specific RequirementsPressure Instruments


Model Specifications, Standard Drawings, and Engineering Forms 400-18


Standard Drawings






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410 Application and Specification of Pressure Instruments

411 General Information
Pressure instruments should be suitable for the process pressure, the process fluid,
and the environment for which they are installed.

Field indicators, recorders, and transmitters should have ranges approximately
double the expected operating pressure. The field pressure controller range should
cover the minimum and maximum operating pressures.

Units of Calibration
Pressure instruments should read in the following units:

Above atmospheric: Pounds per square inch gage (psig), inches of water
(inches H2O), or inches of mercury (inches Hg)

Below atmospheric: Pounds per square inch absolute (psia), ounces per square
inch, inches H2O vacuum, or inches of mercury vacuum (inches Hg vac). Absolute pressure instruments should be ordered with compensation for barometric
pressure changes

Force-Balance vs. Motion-Balance

Pressure instruments with Bourdon tube, bellows, or diaphragm sensing elements
may use either force-balance or motion-balance mechanisms to convert the element
movement into an output signal. In a motion-balance transmitter (Figure 400-1), the
moving tip of the element is connected to an indicator, the flapper of a pneumatic
transmitter, or the current-producing section of an electronic transmitter. In a forcebalance transmitter (Figure 400-2), the force that tends to move the element is
opposed by an equal force generated by the electronic or pneumatic output signal. A
force-balance transmitter has no moving parts and therefore is not subject to hysteresis or dead band effects.

Overrange Protection
Pressure instruments should withstand the maximum operating pressures encountered. Under unusual conditions, such as thermal expansion, the instrument may
exceed its range. Most instruments can withstand overpressures up to 1.4 times their
maximum range. Instruments exposed to a vacuum should be selected to withstand
full vacuum. Certain pressure elements can withstand high overrange. Diaphragm
elements with capsules backed up by a metal housing have a high overrange
capacity, and many modern electronic pressure transmitters can withstand extreme
overpressure. Pressure limiting valves, or gage savers, block the inlet pressure at a
preset limit, but are rarely used.

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Fig. 400-1

400 Pressure Measurement

Motion-Balance Pressure Sensor

Fig. 400-2

Force-Balance Pressure Sensor

Pressure Element Materials

Pressure elements should be designed to minimize corrosion. Unless the process
fluid requires better corrosion resistance, pressure elements should be 316 stainless
steel (316 SS). For salt water or services where chloride stress corrosion is possible,
pressure elements should be Monel. Pressure elements for instrument air or sweet
water should be bronze. Most other process fluids require better corrosion resistance, for which 416 SS is usually acceptable. Consult a materials engineer
regarding highly corrosive services. See API RP 551, Section 4.2.10.

Connection Size
The process connection for all pressure instruments should be -inch male or
female National Pipe Thread (NPT). Receiver gages should have a -inch NPT
process connection.

412 Pressure Elements

Pressure instruments may use mechanical sensing elements such as Bourdon tubes,
bellows, or diaphragms. These elements are mechanically connected to an indicator, recorder, controller, or transmitter.
Electronic pressure transmitters, on the other hand, have sensing elements such as
resonant wires, strain gages, capacitors, and piezoelectric crystals that convert pressure into an electronic output signal. Specific techniques are often proprietary. The
Company has not established a preference.
Field pressure switches (see Section 417) may use Bourdon tube, bellows,
diaphragm, spring piston, or spring disk sensors. Spring disk pressure switches are
preferred for most applications.
The following descriptions and comparisons for different sensing methods are for
information only. In practice, the design engineer may have little or no say over the
type of element that the manufacturer has utilized for the selected instrument.
However, it may sometimes be necessary for a measurement to be performed that

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400 Pressure Measurement

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requires a specific type of sensing element. In this case it is important to know the
differences between various instruments.

A manometer is a U-shaped tube filled with a liquid, usually mercury or water. A
differential pressure will cause the column on the high-pressure side to fall and the
column on the low-pressure side to rise. The value of the differential pressure equals
the difference in hydrostatic head between the two columns of liquid. Manometers
are used to indicate low pressures, such as furnace drafts, and to calibrate low-pressure instruments.

Bourdon Tubes
A Bourdon tube (Figure 400-3) is a curved metal tube closed at one end and fixed to
a pressure source at the other. Application of pressure at the fixed end results in
movement at the free end as the tube cross section deforms. Bourdon tubes come in
a C shape, spiral, or helix, depending on the pressure to be measured. The Bourdon
tube is the most commonly used element for pressure gages.

A bellows pressure element expands when pressure is applied to the inside, actuating an indicator, transmitter or controller. Bellows elements are generally used in
pressure ranges from 0 to 10 inches H2O and from 0 to 10 psig, and for vacuum
ranges from 10 to 20 inches H2O. In pneumatic instruments, bellows usually operate
at approximately 3 to 15 psig.

The diaphragm sensor is a thin flexible metal disk. Pressure applied to one side of
the disk causes a deflection that actuates the indicator, transmitter, or controller.
Diaphragm elements are used to measure very low pressures, and vacuums
from inch to 5 inches H2O. They are commonly used to measure furnace draft

Resonant Wire Pressure Sensors

The resonant wire electronic pressure transmitter operates on the principle that a
taut wire vibrates at a natural frequency that varies with wire tension. Resonant wire
transmitters are accurate and stable. Ranges are 0 to 5 inches H2O and 0 to 6000
psig (Figure 400-4).

Strain Gage Pressure Sensors

Strain gage electronic pressure transmitters operate on the principle that metallic
conductors subject to strain exhibit a change in electrical resistance. The application of pressure bends the measuring element, and the resulting change in resistance
is converted to an output signal. Ranges are 0 to 30 inches H2O and 0 to 18,000
psig. Strain gages require regulated power supplies. They are very compact and
have a high speed of response.

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Fig. 400-3

400 Pressure Measurement

Three Types of Bourdon Tubes




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400 Pressure Measurement

Fig. 400-4

Instrumentation and Control Manual

Resonant Wire Pressure Transmitter (Courtesy of The Foxboro Company)

Capacitance Pressure Sensors

Capacitance pressure sensors operate on the principle that the change in capacitance of an elastic element is proportional to the applied pressure. Ranges are 0 to 3
inches H2O and 0 to 5000 psig. Capacitance pressure transmitters have good
linearity and frequency response.

Spring-piston Pressure Sensors

Spring-piston elements consist of a piston opposed by a spring. The application of
pressure moves the piston. The position of the piston opens or blocks instrument air
ports in the cylinder wall, changing the pneumatic output signal. These sensors are
used in pneumatic pressure switches, which are often called pressure pilots or stick
pilots. See Figure 400-5.

Spring-disk Pressure Sensors

The spring-disk pressure sensor (Figure 400-6) is used in pneumatic and electronic
pressure switches (see Section 417). The sensor is a convex metal spring disk
(Belleville spring). Pressure applied against the convex side gradually deflects the
disk until it snaps to a concave shape. When the pressure is released, the disk snaps
back to its original shape. The snap action is connected to an electrical or pneumatic switch. The switch usually includes a helical spring behind the disk for adjustment of the trip point. The switch contacts can be ordered to close or open at the set
pressure on either an increasing or decreasing pressure. Pressure switches may be
either field-adjustable or preset at the factory. This type of pressure switch is
dependable and has good repeatability.

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400 Pressure Measurement

Fig. 400-5

Pressure Pilot (Courtesy of the Cooper Cameron Corporation, owner of the

W-K-M trademark.)

Fig. 400-6

Spring-disk Pressure Switch (Courtesy of Custom Control Sensors, Inc.)

413 Pressure Gages

It is recommended that locally mounted pressure gages be installed at the following
locations to monitor the performance of equipment and pressure instruments:

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Pump and compressor discharges

Pump and compressor interstages


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Many pump and compressor suctions

Vessels and the vapor spaces of columns

Nonindicating pressure transmitters

The sensing side of each direct-operated pressure regulator and field pressure

Each field pressure switch

Each field pressure recorder

Across filters

Furnace fuel oil, fuel gas, and atomizing steam branch headers

Each furnace, using a single draft gage manifolded to the convection section
inlet, bridgewall, and below the stack damper

Any application where local pressure indication is desirable, such as inlets of

production manifolds

Pressure Gage Specification

Pressure gages are available in a wide range of qualities and prices. Standard quality
pressure gages with blowout backs are acceptable. The Richmond Refinery has
standardized on stainless steel liquid-filled pressure gages, some of the other locations use a combination of stainless steel liquid filled and unfilled gages.

For most process applications, pressure gages with an accuracy grade 2A in accordance with ANSI B40.1, GaugesPressure Indicating, Dial Type, Elastic Element,
are acceptable. Grade 2A means the pressure gage is accurate to 0.5% of span.

Gage Construction
Pressure gages should have 4-inch dials, -inch gage connections, and stainless
steel movements (gages with 6-inch dials are also acceptable in most locations). The
case can be cast iron or cast aluminum with a blowout plug or plastic (fiberglassreinforced polypropylene or phenolic) material with a blowout back. The gage
connection should have wrench flats. The lens should be shatterproof glass. White
dials with black figures and letters are standard. Other colors and graphic designs
are available. Adjustment of the zero should be possible without removing the
pointer from its shaft.
All pressure gages should display the tube, tip, and socket material on the front dial.
The information should be imprinted by the manufacturer and should clearly
describe the materials.

Pressure gage range should be selected so that the gage operates in the middle third
of the scale. Overrange and underrange travel stops should be provided.

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400 Pressure Measurement

When the maximum scale reading is 1000 psig or higher, metal case gages should
have solid fronts separating the dial from the movement (this is standard with plastic
cases). Also, the Bourdon tube should be bored instead of drawn, and the connection between the Bourdon tube and the socket and tip should be threaded and backwelded.

Liquid-filled Gages
The cases of liquid-filled gages are filled with a viscous lubricating fluid. Such
gages maintain their accuracy much longer than conventional gages. They should be
used in pulsating or vibrating services, such as the discharges of reciprocating
pumps and compressors, and should be considered for other severe services. The fill
liquid should be glycerine for ambient temperatures above 0F and silicone oil for
ambient temperatures below 0F, or if the process fluid and glycerine are incompatible. Mineral oil (sometimes specified under the brand name Kaydol) is acceptable for services above 0F. Liquid-filled gages should be filled until only a trace of
a bubble is left in the face, to allow for thermal expansion and to show that the gage
case is filled. The maximum temperature for liquid-filled gages is 150F.

Receiver Gages
Receiver gages should have 4-inch diameter dials, bronze Bourdon tubes and
stems, and -inch NPT process connections. Local instrument air pressure gages on
control valves, pneumatic transmitters, and controllers should have 1-inch or
2-inch diameter dials. Receiver gages and instrument air pressure gages should be
rated Grade B in accordance with ANSI B40.1. Grade B pressure gages are accurate to 2%.

Instrument Air Pressure Gages

Instrument air pressure gages are usually installed in the following locations:

Each instrument air header (manifold)

Each instrument air supply regulator outlet (if the regulator does not have a
pressure gage)

Control valve diaphragm actuators (where there are no positioners)

Pressure Test Points

Pressure test points consisting of a process connection with a plugged processquality root valve should be provided on process equipment and piping at the
following locations:

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Inlet and outlet of packed vessels and columns

Indicating pressure transmitters, controllers, and recorders. The pressure test

point is the same as the calibration connection on the instrument manifold

Inlets and outlets (both shell and tube side) of all heat exchangers and reboilers

Inlet and outlet of each air cooler


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414 Field Pressure Recorders

Field pressure recorders should have weatherproof cases of fiberglass-reinforced
plastic or aluminum. Colored epoxy or baked vinyl is used to provide a textured
finish. If the case contains electrical components, it should meet the electrical classification requirements for the area. The pressure element should be suitable for the
process pressure and fluid.
The range should be selected so that the normal process pressure is in the middle
third of the chart. If suppressed-range pressure recorders are specified on critical
applications, such as compressor suction or discharge, a full-range pressure recorder
should also be provided. A dual-pen, dual-range recorder may be used instead of a
full-range recorder.
The process connection should be -inch female NPT. The chart should be
12 inches in diameter. The case should include a socket or yoke for mounting on a
2-inch pipe. The typical chart drive has a 7-day rotation and a clockwork drive with
an 8-day wind. Electric and pneumatic chart drives are also available.

415 Field Pneumatic Pressure Controllers

The field pneumatic pressure controller (pressure controller) compares the measured
process pressure to a setpoint and sends an output signal to a final control element
(control valve) which acts to hold the process pressure at the setpoint. Field pressure controllers are used when local control of pressure is required and the
following conditions hold:

It is not necessary to change the pressure setpoint from a central control house
It is not necessary to record the pressure from a central control house
It is not necessary to change the controller tuning from a central control house
The controlled pressure is not part of a cascade loop

Field pressure controllers may be either indicating controllers or recording controllers. Blind controllers are rarely used.

Specification of Field Pressure Controllers

Field pneumatic pressure controllers should have weatherproof cases of fiberglassreinforced plastic, or aluminum. Colored epoxy or baked vinyl is used to provide a
textured finish. If the case contains electrical components, it should meet the electrical classification requirements for the area. The pressure element should be suitable for the process pressure and fluid. The controller should include an indicator
for the process pressure and setpoint. The setpoint should be easily adjusted using a
knob either inside or outside the case, depending on the need to make adjustments.
The controller should operate on an instrument air pressure of 18 to 22 psig. The
output should be 3 to 15 psig. (Although some locations have safely used other
supply mediums such as natural gas, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, caution is
advised since some instrument components may be incompatible with the medium
selected. When available, instrument quality air is preferable.)

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400 Pressure Measurement

The controller should include a two-position, bumpless, auto/manual switch that is

internally mounted to avoid accidental switching. The controller action should be
specified as either direct or reverse acting, and it should be possible to change the
action in the field. The controller should include supply and output pressure gages.
The process connection should be -inch female NPT. The case should include a
socket or yoke for mounting on a 2-inch pipe.

Control Mode
The control mode is normally selected from the following options:

On/off control. For alarms, protective devices, and startup and shutdown of

Proportional only control. For simple pressure control where small variations
from the setpoint are unimportant. The proportional band should be adjustable
at least from 0% to 200%

Proportional plus reset control. This is the usual control mode for field pressure controllers. The proportional band should be adjustable at least between
0% and 200%. For applications where the controller occasionally operates
above or below setpoint or in intermittent service, it should be specified to
include anti-reset windup

416 Pressure Transmitters

Process fluids should not be piped directly to a control building. Pressure transmitters permit the control, recording and indicating of pressure at a central location.

Electronic Pressure Transmitters

The electronic pressure transmitter is used to transmit a signal to a remote electronic receiver. The receiver may be a controller in a remote building, a remote
marshalling cabinet for numerous signals, or a remote terminal unit (RTU). Transmitters should be compatible with the remote control house instrumentation. Indicating transmitters should not be specified; they generally use Bourdon tube
pressure elements and motion-balance mechanisms, and are not as reliable as forcebalance transmitters.
An electronic pressure transmitter may be specified with a suppressed range to
allow for range and span adjustments without changing electronic or mechanical
components. Transmitters should include adjustable damping to smooth out the
noise from high frequency pressure transients. The accuracy of electronic transmitters has drastically improved since the introduction of smart transmitters. Accuracy should be within 0.25% of calibrated span for standard electronic transmitters
and 0.1% of calibrated span for smart transmitters. It is advisable to consult individual manufacturers specifications; for example, Rosemount gage-pressure transmitters have a span accuracy of 0.05% of span.
The transmitter signal may be digital or 4 to 20 milliamps DC. The transmitter
should be loop powered, which means that the operating voltage is carried on the

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same two wires that carry the output signal. Smart transmitters that operate on a
24-volt DC power supply are preferred. Some advantages of smart transmitters
include lower cost of ownership, improved diagnostic capabilities, ease of calibration and commissioning. The electronics enclosures for newer transmitters minimize the effects of radio frequency interference (RFI). In addition, much of the RFI
in the signal wiring can be eliminated by metal conduit.
Electronic pressure transmitters must be specified to meet the appropriate electrical
classification. Intrinsically safe transmitters must be specified as such and so labeled
by the manufacturer. Transmitters should be supplied with linear output meters and
with accessories for mounting on a 2-inch pipe.

Pneumatic Pressure Transmitters

Pneumatic pressure transmitters transmit pressure signals to remote pneumatic
receivers. Both blind and indicating transmitters are available. Blind transmitters are
preferred because they use force-balance mechanisms (See Section 411). Accuracy
should be within 0.5% of the calibrated span.
Pneumatic pressure transmitters should have weatherproof cases of fiberglass or
aluminum. The pressure element should be compatible with the process pressure
and fluid.
The transmitter should be designed to operate on an instrument air supply pressure
of 18 to 22 psig. The output pressure should be 3 to 15 psig. Output is typically
specified as direct acting, but reverse acting is an available option. The transmitter
should have supply and output pressure gages. The process connection should be
-inch female NPT. The case should include a socket or yoke for mounting on a
2-inch pipe.

Receiver Pressure Gages

A receiver pressure gage operates on the 3 to 15 psig pneumatic signal from a pneumatic transmitter. It provides a local indication of the transmitters performance.
The dial is specified to match the range of the transmitter.
All blind pneumatic transmitters except (in most cases) level transmitters should
have at least one receiver gage on the transmitted signal. The receiver gage should
be mounted at a location convenient for the operator. For instance, if a control valve
is associated with the transmitted variable, the gage should be readily visible from
the manual bypass valve for field manual control. For split-range instruments, a
gage should be visible from each bypass valve. A receiver gage is not required on
level transmitters if the gage glass is readily visible from the bypass valve. Indicating pressure transmitters should have receiver gages if the transmitter cannot be
easily read from the bypass valve.

417 Pressure Switches

Field pressure switches protect equipment and machinery from overpressure and
underpressure without reliance on a remote control house. Hermetically sealed

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400 Pressure Measurement

switch contacts are used in many producing applications. They are usually electrical but can be pneumatic.

Electrical Pressure Switches

Electrical pressure switches provide on/off contact closures for use with equipment
or an alarm or shutdown system. They should have one of three standard case
designs, depending on the electrical classification where they are installed:

Explosionproof (NEMA 7)
Weather-resistant (NEMA 3 & 4)
General purpose (NEMA 1)

Electrical pressure switches should have snap-acting, dual, single pole double throw
(SPDT) or double pole double throw (DPDT) contacts. The contacts should be rated
to supply the operated device with a minimum of 10 amperes at 115 volts AC and
5 amperes at 28 volts DC. For potentially corrosive environments and for intrinsically safe systems, hermetically sealed switch contacts should be specified. The
engineer should study the switch specifications to verify that its ratings are compatible with the application. Switch contacts should be open in the alarmed condition.
Terminal blocks or terminal strips should be provided. Dead front or shrouded
terminal blocks are acceptable.
The electrical conduit connection should have a minimum diameter of inch. If the
switch contacts are handling milliamp signals, the contacts may be specified with a
gold or other conformal coating to minimize oxidation. This usually adds only about
20 dollars to the cost of the switch.
The pressure element may be a Bourdon tube, a bellows diaphragm, or a spring
disk. Spring disks are preferred if the application permits a relatively large dead
band (about 7% to 8% of the differential pressure range). Otherwise, specify
Bourdon tubes for set pressures above 100 psig and bellows diaphragms for set
pressures less than 100 psig. The pressure switch setpoint should be in the middle
third of the range. Proof pressure should be higher than the maximum process pressure.
Electrical pressure switches are available with either a fixed or an adjustable dead
band between the setpoint and the reactivation point (see Figure 400-7). Closedifferential switches are generally factory set at 0.5% to 1% of the span. On double
adjustment switches, both the set and reactivation points can be adjusted. The
minimum differential varies from 2% to 8% of the span. The type of switch depends
on the application.
Electrical pressure switches should have internally adjustable setpoints with calibrated scales. Dual control electrical pressure switches are available with two independent switches in the same housing.
Selection of the adjustable range for a specific installation should consider both the
setpoint actuation accuracy and the life factor. For greatest accuracy, the setpoint
should fall in the upper half of the range. For the most favorable component life, it

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Fig. 400-7

Instrumentation and Control Manual

Pressure Switch Dead Band

should be in the lower half. The usual compromise is to specify a setpoint in the
middle third of the range.

Pneumatic Pressure Switches

Pneumatic pressure switches are on/off pneumatic controls used to operate equipment, alarms, and shutdown systems. Pneumatic pressure switches are also called
pressure pilots and are of two basic types: stick pilots and Bourdon tube pilots.
Stick pilots are spring piston sensors with a three-way spool valve block-and-bleed
device. Spring and piston size is determined by the pressure range. They are used in
wellheads and flow lines in production fields because they are resistant to plugging
by solids. Stick pilots should be constructed of 316 stainless steel with Viton
O-rings. The trip point should have a repeatability of 3% of the set pressure or 5 psi,
whichever is least. The connection for the transmitted air signal should be -inch
Bourdon tube pressure pilots are pressure switches with a 0% to 2% proportional
band to give on/off control. The range is determined by the Bourdon tube. They are
available in high switch point only, low only, and high/low configurations. Bourdon
tube pressure pilots are used in producing applications that are not subject to plugging by solids.

418 Draft Gages

Draft gages are low-pressure indicators or transmitters that are installed on process
furnaces to measure draft. To improve accuracy, a single draft gage is normally
piped to various locations on the furnace.

419 Diaphragm Seals

Diaphragm seals, also called chemical seals or gage protectors, use a thin flexible
diaphragm to isolate the pressure element from the process fluid (see Figure 400-8).
The space between the diaphragm and the sensing element is filled with a suitable

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400 Pressure Measurement

noncompressible liquid. Diaphragm seals can be an integral part of the pressure

instrument or be connected by capillary tubing. Capillary tubes up to 25 feet long
Fig. 400-8

Typical Diaphragm Seal (Used with permission. Ashcroft is a registered

trademark of Dresser Industries Instrument Division.)

are available. In vibrating service, diaphragm seals should be remotely mounted and
have armored stainless steel capillary tubing. Diaphragm seals have the following


Water, if the leads are subject to freezing

Process streams that are corrosive to the pressure element

Dirty process streams containing solids that can plug the pressure element

Viscous process streams that can solidify in the pressure system

High-temperature process streams that exceed the maximum temperature rating

of the instrument

Diaphragm seals can be used at temperatures ranging from -40F to 1500F. They
can have either a -inch or 1-inch NPT screwed or flanged process connection,
depending on the piping classification. The bottom housing and the diaphragm
material should be 316SS or better and should be compatible with the process fluid.
Filling fluid identification or maximum temperature limit should be stamped on the
body or nameplate. The diaphragm should be welded or attached to the body so that
fluid will not escape when the diaphragm is disassembled.

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420 Installation of Pressure Instruments

421 General RequirementsField Pressure Instruments
Field pressure instruments may be affected by ambient conditions such as humidity,
dust, and airborne corrosive vapors and mists. Temperature extremes will also affect
performance. For example, a pneumatic pressure transmitter may show as much as a
3% zero shift in span for a 75F rise or fall in ambient temperature.

Accessibility and Visibility

Pressure instruments should be located so that they are easy to observe, calibrate,
and repair. Figure 400-9 gives the access recommendations for specific kinds of
pressure instruments.
Fig. 400-9

Access Requirements for Pressure Instruments

Acceptable Means of Access
Platform or

Stepladder or
Rolling Platform(1)


Pressure Transmitter




Field Pressure Controller




Field Pressure Recorder




Field Pressure Switch




Field Pressure Gage




Instrument Type

(1) Provided the instrument is less than 10 feet above grade and the site is safe for a ladder or platform.

Pulsation and Vibration

Pressure instruments for lines or equipment such as reciprocating compressors,
high-pressure pumps, and high-pressure drop control valves whose vibration can
impair instrument performance or cause connection failure should be remotely
mounted, with tubing or a diaphragm seal and capillary between the instrument and
the root valve. See API RP 551, Sections 4.2.5 and 4.2.6.

Heat Tracing, Purges, and Seals

Pressure leads handling fluids that may solidify or become viscous enough to impair
measurement should be heat traced. Alternatively, the process fluid can be isolated
from the pressure instrument by diaphragm seals, seal pots, flowing seals, or other
means. Diaphragm seals and heat tracing up to the seal are preferred. If heat tracing
is provided, the viscosity of the process fluid in the leads to pressure instruments
should be maintained at 4000 centistokes or less at the plant minimum recorded
ambient temperature. The process fluid should not be traced at a temperature higher
than the maximum working temperature of the pressure instrument.

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400 Pressure Measurement

For process leads, pretraced, preinsulated tubing bundles, heated either by steam or
electricity, are preferred. In liquid service where plugging is likely (i.e., heavy fuel
oil) pressure taps should be located in the top half of the pipe.

Siphons, or pigtails, should be provided for vapor services above 150F and for
steam service to prevent the condensing vapor from overheating the instrument. In
liquid service, if the pressure gage is mounted above the pressure tap, a siphon
should be provided when the process fluid temperature exceeds 300F. See
Standard Drawings GB-J1143, GB-J1146, and GB-J1147. See also API RP 551,
Section 4.3.4.

AP RP 551 recommends -inch or 3/8-inch O.D. tubing to connect remote-mounted
pressure instruments to process connection block valves. For manufacturing applications, -inch O.D. stainless steel tubing should be used. For production applications, many facilities have standardized on 3/8-inch O.D. stainless steel tubing.

Pressure Instrument Piping

Root valves should use -inch process connections and -inch process valves to
the process tap. Normally, gate valves are used, but the valve should match the
piping classification. Do not install valves that can trap pressure without bleedoff
when the pressure gage or switch has been removed.

Restriction Fittings
Restriction fittings are installed at the root valve to minimize the release of process
fluid should the instrument or instrument tubing fail. They are subject to plugging
and are generally used only in toxic (H 2S), corrosive (NH3), hazardous (LPG) and
clean refinery stock services. Remotely mounted pressure instruments should
include a restriction fitting screwed into the outboard end of the root valve. The
fitting should be a special blind tubing fitting with a small-diameter drilled hole.
(See Standard Drawing GB-J1223). Pressure instruments mounted directly on the
root valve should include a restriction adapter screwed into the outboard end of the
root valve. The adapter should be made of steel barstock with NPT threads at both

422 Specific RequirementsPressure Instruments

Pressure Gages
Direct-mounted pressure gages may be installed with a -inch root valve that meets
the piping standards or with proprietary pressure gage block and bleed valves or
approved equivalent. See Standard Drawings GB-J1143 and GB-J1144.
Remote-mounted pressure gages should be installed with a -inch root valve that
meets the piping standards. See Standard Drawing GB-J1146.

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Field Pressure Recorders, Controllers, and Transmitters

Field pressure recorders, controllers, and transmitters should be piped in parallel
with a process pressure gage and should include a three-valve manifold to facilitate
field calibration. See Standard Drawings GB-J1145, GB-J1146, and GB-J1147.

Pressure Switches
Facilities for testing alarms and shutdowns should include but not be limited to:

Field High Pressure Switch. A pressure gage on the switch process lead and a
valved connection should be provided to permit testing with a portable pressure source. See Standard Drawings GB-J1146 and GB-J1147

Field Low Pressure Switch. A pressure gage on the switch process lead and an
atmospheric bleed connection should be provided to bleed off pressure and
permit testing against the pressure gage reading. In LPG, high H2S, and other
hazardous services, the bleed should be piped to the relief system or another
safe place. See Standard Drawings GB-J1146 and GB-J1147

Draft Gages
See Standard Drawing GB-J1148 for typical installation.

Automatic Pump Starters

The process connection for a pressure-operated automatic pump starter (APS)
should be made between the prime pump unit discharge and its check valve (first
The APS pressure pilot should be located at the process connection if the steam
APS control valve is visible from that location. If the steam valve is not visible from
the process connection, the pressure pilot should be located where the steam valve
can be observed.
Steam-driven APS pumps are used in refineries where the process must keep
running through power failures. Most other plants use a pressure switch on the
common discharge line and select between the main pump and a standby motordriven pump with HOA (Hand-Off-Auto) switches.

430 Model Specifications, Standard Drawings, and Engineering Forms

431 Standard Drawings

July 2000


Instrument Installation Details

Pressure Gage Installation" Root Valve


Instrument Installation Details

Pressure Gage with Diaph. Seal" Root Valve


Instrument Installation Details

Remote Mounted Pressure InstrumentWith Pressure Gage


Chevron Corporation

Instrumentation and Control Manual

400 Pressure Measurement


Instrument Installation Details

Two Remote Mounted Pressure Instruments with Pressure Gage


Instrument Installation Details

Draft Gage


Details for Gage Adapters and Restriction Fittings

440 References
The Company employs the following industry codes, standards, and recommended
practices for the design, specification, and installation of pressure instrumentation:

Chevron Corporation


API Recommended Practice 551, Process Measurement Instrumentation,

American Petroleum Institute.


ISA S20, Specification Forms for Process Measurement and Control Instruments, Primary Elements and Control Valves, Instrument Society of America,


Pressure Instrumentation, Production Facility Bookware Series, Paragon Engineering Services, Inc., 1987.


ANSI B40.1, GaugesPressure Indicating, Dial Type, Elastic Element.


PIP PCCPR001, Pressure Measurement Criteria.


July 2000