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Originally published in Southern California Gas Company, on February, 2013
This paper reviewed the history of industry standards and regulatory requirements in the areas of hydrostatic pressure testing and recordkeeping. The review shows that hydrostatic pressure testing after construction was not required by applicable industry standards (ASME B31.8) until 1955.
The technology for pressure testing cross-country gas pipelines was not developed until 1950. Prior to 1955, operating pressure was established by the pipe mill test or an engineering calculation. Post- construction tests were discretionary, and generally for detecting leaks at flanged or welded joints above ground. Industry standards were referenced by some state regulations (e.g., GO 112 in 1961) until the issuance of federal safety regulations in 1970.