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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Perform hydro-static pressure testing procedures on pipes and pipe systems 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
253587  Perform hydro-static pressure testing procedures on pipes and pipe systems 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Generic Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Manufacturing and Assembly 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
Learners in the field of engineering require the skills, values and knowledge reflected in this unit standard.

The learning outcomes in this unit standard also contribute to the exit level outcomes required for related NQF Level 4 qualifications and may be used as an individual learning unit within a skills programme.

Qualifying learners are able to:
  • Explain the purpose of pressure testing of pipes and pipe systems.
  • Plan and prepare for pressure testing.
  • Perform a test procedure and conduct a pressure test.
  • Maintain and care for tools and equipment.

    It also reflects the understanding of:
  • Pipe components and pipe systems.
  • The operation of the plant or engineering system where applicable.
  • The procedures applicable to the commissioning of pipe systems and/or pressure vessels.

    This unit standard would be assessed in the context of:
  • A plant or engineering system within the workplace or a structured training environment.
  • Any process controlled environment.
  • Fluid flow systems related to utilities other than domestic flow systems.

    The skills, knowledge and values reflected in this unit standard form part of the Exit Level Outcomes required for the National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting): NQF Level 4 or an equivalent learning programme. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    This unit standard has been designed as part of a progression. It is one of a series of unit standards for machine and equipment maintenance in the engineering area.
    The credits allocated to this unit standard assume that a learner has already learned to assemble mechanical components, maintain static seals, maintain pipe systems and pipe components and sling loads safely. 

    UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    The ranges as indicated under the specific outcomes determine the scope and level of this unit standard.

    However for the purpose of assessment, pipe systems and/or components include but are not limited to the following environment contexts:
  • Manufacturing and Engineering (Metals, Plastics, Tyre and Rubber, Electrical Power Generation, Automotive Manufacturing).
  • Chemical and Petrochemical.
  • Mining.
  • Transport (Maritime, Road, Rail and Aviation).
  • Civil Engineering and Construction.
  • Food and Beverages.
  • Other engineering-related industry sectors.

    Pipes and pipelines apply to liquid and gas pipelines, heat exchangers and other pressure vessels.

    Dismantling and assembly methods play an important role in assessing competency in this learning unit standard.

    The learner should be able to:
  • Work autonomously with minimal supervision and according to worksite and manufacturer specifications and occupational safety, health and environmental legislation.
  • Work in a workshop, plant or underground environment with varying levels of light, space and safety risks.
  • Work in a team environment.
  • Understand the pressure test procedures relevant to the workplace. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Explain the purpose of pressure testing of pipes and pipe systems. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The purpose of hydrostatic testing is explained according to industry practice by explaining the need for pressure testing in terms of regulatory requirements, including safe practices. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The purpose of hydrostatic testing is explained according to industry practice by explaining the need for pressure testing in terms of specific circumstances. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Specific circumstances include new piping installations, piping that has welding alterations, over-water piping, and times specified by the piping inspector or engineer.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Hydrostatic testing is explained according to industry practice by explaining the testing process. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The testing process includes:
  • The welding of manifolds at pipe ends.
  • Insertion of a "pig" (restriction of water to the test section).
  • Setting up and connection of the low-head water pump.
  • Ensuring clean or filtered entry of water.
  • Test instruments (lead-weight testers, electronic pressure gauges, temperature recorders).
  • Correct use of shut-off valves.
  • Dewatering, drying process.
  • Rejoining the pipeline.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The terminology used when explaining and discussing pipe systems and pressure testing, is in keeping with manufacturer and industry standards. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Plan and prepare for pressure testing. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The company policy and procedures for pressure testing are understood including safety procedures, the use of personal protective equipment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The medium for performing the pressure test is identified according to specific considerations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Specific considerations include particular type of metal in the piping, climate conditions, disposal issues, possibility of unforeseen release/escape in case of a leak, possibility of water freezing, adverse effects on piping and other environmental factors.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Proper plans are instituted in terms of specific information in relation to the piping and the pipe system. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Specific information includes:
  • Past and future operating pressures.
  • Composition of the pipe and piping components.
  • Familiarity with the ratings of pipeline valves, equipment and other connections.
  • Temperature involved.
  • Safety and environmental requirements.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    A pressure/temperature plan is prepared according to industry practice and regulatory requirements and which includes the minimum yield strength, grade and wall thickness, anticipated temperatures of the pipes and the stability of the test. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    A safety and environmental plan is prepared according to industry practice and regulatory requirements in terms of the test medium and hazardous implications. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    A test procedure plan is prepared according to industry practice and regulatory requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    A test procedure plan may include:
  • Cleaning, decommissioning, filling and the re-commissioning of test segments.
  • Pressurising the test segments.
  • Isolating the test segments.
  • Removal/disposal of the test medium.
  • Provision of safety precautions.
  • Ensuring the availability of the Approved Inspection Authority (where required).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The required equipment is selected in order to perform the pressure test according to company policies and may include measuring equipment, pumps, manifolds, valves, tanks and miscellaneous equipment. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Measuring equipment may include devices used for pressure sensing and display, dead-weight tester or pressure sensing, continuous recording pressure measuring, test medium temperature, test medium temperature-time measurement, ambient temperature, excess test medium measuring and other electronic pressure/temperature monitoring systems which record and analyse test data.
  • Miscellaneous equipment may include "pigs", scrapers and other devices to clean and dry the line.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Perform a test procedure and conduct a pressure test. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The pipeline is emptied and cleaned according to standard industry practice and geometric abnormalities within the pipe cross section are simultaneously identified where applicable. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The pipeline is filled according to standard industry practice by applying the use of a fill pump, taking care to measure the flow-rate and to perform the necessary adjustments. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Filter screens may be applied when using non-municipal water.
  • Sufficient volume should be provided so that "fill pigs" travel at a speed that maintains a tight fit for the "pigs".
  • Testing performed on a sloped pipeline with or without backpressure.
  • Temperature of the test medium to be taken prior to filling.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The pipeline is pressurised according to company policy and is performed in a controlled manner using pressure testing equipment. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Equipment includes high pressure positive-displacement pump, flow-meter and volume accumulator, dead-weight pressure tester, temperature recorder, pressure recorder, portable tank.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The pressure test is conducted according to standard industry practice and company procedures by ensuring that the test pressure is maintained so that test period timing may begin for the continuous recording of pressure and temperature. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Data monitoring and recording may include:
  • Pressure and temperature (minor or gradual changes indicate leaks and change in temperature).
  • Dead-weight tester comparisons with pressure recorder readings.
  • Weather changes.

    Note:
  • Underground pipelines are tested for longer periods at greater than standard pressures according to standard industry practice.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The necessary test records are completed according to company policies and procedures and by listing the results and corrective action taken. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Test records include field records and file records which list a complete record of:
  • The pressure test with details of weather variations, test failures, bleed-offs and re-pressurisations.
  • Failures, giving location, type and cause.
  • Method of repair.
  • Components that fail and are replaced to be marked with location and the "fail" pressure.
  • Any information required by the inspection authority.

    Test records apply to liquid and gas pipelines, heat exchangers and other pressure vessels.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The test medium is displaced according to company policies and procedures by taking into account safety, health and environmental factors. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Care for and store tools and equipment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The proper care and storage procedures for tools and equipment in accordance with work site practices and specifications are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Work area is restored to a safe and serviceable condition. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Tools, equipment, lifting equipment and tackle are stored in accordance with manufacturer's specification and requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Malfunctioning tools and equipment is reported and the necessary arrangements for the repair thereof is made according to accepted worksite practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Applicable documentation is completed and processed according to company policies and procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Job completion is reported to supervisory management levels according to standard work-site practice. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Completion of pressure test procedure is confirmed and verified.
  • Visual plant care inspection is carried out to manufacturer specifications.
  • System performance is confirmed to meet operational requirements.
  • Work is carried out in a safe manner in accordance with schedules and manufacturer specifications.
  • Problems are reported to appropriate personnel.
  • A clean and tidy work environment is maintained.
  • No delays are caused as a result of poor planning for performing pressure test procedure.
  • System and equipment condition report is accurate, clear and processed.
  • Applicable health, safety and environmental procedures are adhered to.
     


  • UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • The assessment will be governed by the policies and guidelines of the relevant ETQA which has jurisdiction over this field of learning. The assessor will be registered and have a technical qualification in this learning area.
  • The learner can be assessed in the language of his/her choice although s/he has to report incidents or conditions to someone else. The learner will be assessed on his/her ability to report in the language commonly used in his/her working environment.
  • The learner will be assessed in the workplace but s/he can submit documents, projects, test results and assignments that were not produced in the workplace.
  • The learner can be assessed against this Unit Standard to obtain credits or as part of an integrated assessment for a qualification. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    Names and functions of:
  • Pipe systems and pipe components.
  • Consumables, lubricants, cleaning agents used.
  • Equipment on which maintenance is performed.
  • Associated tools and equipment.

    Attributes, descriptions, characteristics and properties:
  • Typical system defects.
  • End users of the system.
  • Strength of materials.
  • Sealing components.

    Sensory cues:
  • Sensory cues (what I see, hear, smell, feel) utilised for identifying problems during system maintenance.

    Purpose of:
  • Sealing components.
  • Individual components in the system.
  • Making system safe.
  • Following maintenance schedules.
  • Interpreting instruction.
  • Adhering to system maintenance principles.
  • Adhering to safety, health and environmental legislation.
  • Signing off the task instruction.
  • Reporting non-conformances, incidents and problems.
  • System earth-leakage protection.

    Processes, events, causes and effects, implications:
  • Implications of overlooking system maintenance.
  • Implications of thermal expansion.
  • Acquiring required lubricants, consumables and cleaning agents.
  • Performing system maintenance.
  • Implications of not adhering to safety, health and environmental legislation.
  • Making pipe system safe.
  • Causes and responses to common problems.

    Procedures and techniques:
  • Making system safe.
  • Servicing components.
  • Performing visual inspections.
  • For minimising wastage.
  • Identifying problems.
  • Identify and select required components.
  • Reporting on system operation.
  • Handling and storage of components.
  • Isolation technique and procedure.
  • Posture during hand tool usage.
  • Applying pressure.
  • Communication procedures.
  • Applicable recording and reporting procedures.
  • Applicable safe working procedures.
  • Applicable quality assurance procedures.
  • Removing and replacing defective components.
  • System earth-leakage protection, regulations, legislation, agreements, policies, standards.
  • Applicable safety, health and environmental protection legislation.
  • Applicable company policies and procedures.

    Theory: Rules, principles, laws:
  • Different pressures/flows.
  • Different types of materials have different expansion rates.
  • Equipment operating principles.
  • Equipment maintenance fundamentals.
  • Associated engineering principles.
  • Pressure, temperature and volumetric rules of physics (Thermodynamics).
  • Pipe disassembly, assembly.
  • Inspecting for wear and damage.
  • Flange-face seating.
  • Determining pipe system flow and pressure criteria.
  • Documenting and reporting fundamentals.
  • Earth leakage-protection concept.

    Relationships, systems:
  • Relationship between maintained system and the production process. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems:
  • Related to the maintenance of pipe system. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as a member of a team:
  • Interact with colleagues and team members in order to acquire required consumables, lubricants and cleaning agents. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage my activities and myself:
  • Apply the correct procedures and techniques for performing system maintenance.
  • Manage resources and my time. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information:
  • Interpret information off job instructions to maintain correct system.
  • Make decisions based on that information. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively:
  • Report condition of system. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems:
  • Understand and explain the purpose of system maintenance to the production process.
  • Justify my actions as appropriate. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Notes to Assessors:

    Assessors should keep the following general principles in mind when designing and conducting assessments against this unit standard:
  • Focus the assessment activities on gathering evidence in terms of the main outcome expressed in the title to ensure assessment is integrated rather than fragmented. Remember we want to declare the person competent in terms of the title. Where assessments at title level are unmanageable, then focus assessment around each specific outcome, or groups of specific outcomes.
  • Make sure evidence is gathered across the entire range, wherever it applies. Assessment activities should be as close to the real performance as possible, and where simulations or role-plays are used, there should be supporting evidence to show the candidate is able to perform in the real situation.
  • Do not focus the assessment activities on each assessment criterion. Rather make sure the assessment activities focus on outcomes and are sufficient to enable evidence to be gathered around all the assessment criteria.
  • The assessment criteria provide the specifications against which assessment judgements should be made. In most cases, knowledge can be inferred from the quality of the performances, but in other cases, knowledge and understanding will have to be tested through questioning techniques. Where this is required, there will be assessment criteria to specify the standard required.
  • The task of the assessor is to gather sufficient evidence, of the prescribed type and quality, as specified in this unit standard, that the candidate can achieve the outcomes again and again and again. This means assessors will have to judge how many repeat performances are required before they believe the performance is reproducible.
  • All assessments should be conducted in line with the following well documented principles of assessment: Appropriateness, fairness, manageability, integration into work or learning, validity, directness, authenticity, sufficiency, openness and consistency.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    Credits may be obtained by applying to an accredited/approved training provider/institution in order to have prior learning recognised in lieu of past work experience. Past experience must relate to the specific outcomes contained within this unit standard. The ensuing assessment of candidates seeking recognition of prior learning should not be so onerous as to deter them from doing so. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  59769   Further Education and Training Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Pipe-Fitting  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2021-06-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Belique Training Centre cc (ALBERTON) (TP) 
    2. Jericho Safety Consultants (Pty) Ltd (TP) 
    3. S & S Training & Construction (SPRINGS) (TP) 
    4. Wilbat Projects 148 (Pty) Ltd (ISIPINGO) (TP) 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.