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Safety/Overpressure Protection

Importance of PSV
(Pressure Safety Valve)

 Required by codes. ASME, DOT, API,

 Protects a pressure vessel from
 Last line of defense.
 Saves Lives!!!
What is ASME?

 Independent organization concerned about

 Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code
 Over 100 years of experience creating and
modifying the safety code.
 Required by law in some states.
 Recognized authority in court.
 Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Section
VIII Division 1
 Maintenance, Installation, and Manufacturing
of Pressure Relief Valves
 Paragraphs UG-125 to UG-136
 UG-135 is on Installation
 Appendix 11 is on Sizing
 Appendix M is on Installation
What is API?
American Petroleum Institute

 Code Developed by Manufacturers and

Industry Personnel
 Developed Standards on flange dimensions,
seat tightness, and orifice sizes
 Give a generalization for sizing relief valves
API Code
 API RP 520 part I is on Sizing
 API RP 520 part II is on Installation
 API RP 521 is on Pressure-Relieving
 API STD 526 is on Flange Valves
 API STD 527 is a leak Specification
What is DOT?
The United States Department of Transportation

 Authority over any system that crosses state lines

 Authority over any mobile pressure system (CO2
trucks, etc.)
 Required by law in some states
DOT Code
 Code of federal regulations (cfr) Title 49
 Part 192 is transportation of gases by
 Part 193 is Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities
 Part 195 is transportation of hazardous
liquids by pipeline
How a PSV Works
 Spring keeps valve
 Pressure attempts to
open the valve
 When the pressure
exceeds the set
pressure the valve
What PSV’s Will Protect
 Accidental valve closure
 Valve failure
 Pool fires
 Thermal expansion
Code Rules
ASME Code Rules
 Requires valves to be set at or below
the MAWP of the system.
 The Valve has to be at Full Lift by 10%
above the MAWP or 3psi above the
MAWP, which ever is greater.

The valve has to start opening by MAWP

and goes full by 10% or 3psi above
ASME Code Rules

 For Fire cases the valve can go to 21%

overpressure to go to full lift.
Installation Rules
 Install in the vertical
 Tighten using the
wrench flats
 Rigidly support the
 Never reduce piping
Installation Rules
 A ball valve is not to
be used under a
pressure relief valve
unless it is:
 A Full Port Ball Valve
 A Locking Ball Valve
that locks in the open
Gas Installations
 For compressible
fluids (gases) the
valve pick-up tube
must be higher than
the normal liquid fluid
Liquid Installations

 For incompressible
fluid (liquids) the
valve pick-up tube
must be lower than
the normal fluid level.
Liquid vs. Gas
 Liquid valves set using water
 Gas valves set using air
 Gives Set pressure difference (about 2 to
Inlet Piping Rules
 Piping between a vessel and a pressure relief
valve must have an area as big as the inlet of
the relief valve.
 The piping between a vessel and a pressure
relief valve must be done in a way that there is
no significant pressure drop between the vessel
and the valve.
Outlet Piping Rules

 Discharge lines must

be equipped with
drains if water can get
in them.
 Discharge lines must
discharge to a safe
Effects of Bad Piping
 Increasing Back Pressure
 Chattering
 Reduce Capacity
 Prevents valve from protecting vessel
 Reaction Forces
 Destroy valve and piping
 Damage other Equipment or People
Temperature Effects
 Capacity Reduction
 Set Pressure Difference
 Seating Material
 Valve Material
How Often a Valve Should be
 ASME states at regular intervals.
 API RP 520 also provides guidelines for PSV
applications and maintenance
 PSV’s protecting DOT/state jurisdictional
systems must be tested once each calendar
year but not to exceed 15 months. (See CFR
Part 192.195-201 for DOT PSV’s)
What Tests Should be Done
for Each Testing Period
 Visual Inspection

 Set Pressure Test

 Leak Test
Visual Inspection
 Seal wire is not broken.
 No corrosion inside outlet.
 No visible damage to valve.
 Tag indicates proper service.
(set pressure, temperature,
and flow requirements)
Set Pressure Test
 ASME Code requires the actual set pressure

of the valve to be within ±3% over 70psi and

±2psi below 70psi.

 Set pressure is determined on most Mercer

valves by a crisp “Pop.”

Leak Test
 API 527 leak test is preformed at 90% of
set pressure.
 Can use SCFH gauge or soap film.
When do I replace / repair
a valve?
 When the seal wire is broken.
 When there is damage to the valve.
 When there is corrosion inside the
 When the valve fails the set pressure
 When the valve fails the leak test.
How do I replace a valve
with an equal?
 Inlet and Outlet Connections.
 Orifice Designation.
 Set Pressure.
 Service Temperature.
Orifice Sizes
Orifice Mercer Spring Mercer
Letter Operated Pilots API
D 0.122 0.151 0.110
E 0.212 0.223 0.196
F 0.337 0.371 0.307
G 0.472 0.559 0.503
H 0.865 0.866 0.785
J 1.430 1.431 1.287
K 2.074 2.074 1.838
L 3.205 3.205 2.853
M 4.080 4.083 3.600

Orifice Sizes Do Vary by Manufacturer

 Tag includes
 Set Pressure
 Cold Differential Set
 Capacity
 Temperature
 Date
 Part Number
Who should repair a valve?
 A certified VR repair facility.