Question: If repair work is performed on a medical gas high-pressure manifold, are we required to re-certify the installation?
Answer: If the repair work was a like-for-like replacement part (i.e. pressure regulator swap out), the short answer is no. However, one always needs to consider the work that is being performed and whether or not system integrity can be assured. If brazing work or potential contamination could enter the system, then a recertification may be necessary. , you do not have to have the system re-certified or verified by an ASSSE 6030 Medical Gas Verifier. However, there is some “inspecting and testing” that is required.
Permit to work!
NFPA 99 requires testing to be performed anytime a medical gas system is “breeched.” The code has a broad definition of what it means to breech a medical gas or vacuum system. The code deems a breach of the system as anytime that there is a pipeline intrusion by physical separation OR when a system component is removed, replaced, or added.
The code establishes a difference between pipeline intrusion and component removal for the purposes of repair and reinstallation or for the replacement of like for like components.
For ANY pipeline intrusion or physical separation of piping that includes brazing, the system must be verified (recertified) by an ASSE 6030 certified verifier.
If components are simply removed, repaired, or replaced like for like with no brazing, then the only testing that is required is what we call “Functional Testing.”
Functional testing must be performed to ensure the component and any other portions of the system that might be affected by the work are tested and that they function properly. This must be performed by a “qualified individual.” For maintenance purposes, usually an ASSE 6040 Maintenance Personnel certification or specific documented training on the equipment is required to be considered qualified. This can be the same person who made the repairs and does NOT have to be a third party verifier or tester.
So, in your case the functional testing would be to ensure the regulator is leak-tight, operating properly, set to the proper operating pressure, doesn’t negatively affect anything downstream, and the work has been documented. Documentation requirements can follow your standard documentation procedures used for most other essential equipment repairs.
Soon there will be a requirement for a Responsible Facility Authority (RFA) to be identified for managing the medical gas systems and their operation, repair, and maintenance, as well as, a Permit-To-Work system required to be used for any work performed on the medical gas systems.
I will be writing an article for HFM magazine this summer to explain all of these new requirements that are coming in the 2021 edition of NFPA 99…Stay tuned!
Acute Medical Gas Services
About the Author: Jonathan C. Willard is the president and co-owner of Acute Medical Gas Services, which is a comprehensive medical gas and environmental testing services company with the vision to be a single-source, turnkey provider of these services. He has worked in the medical gas and health care construction industries for over 20 years. Prior to starting the company, he was the vice president of operations for a large mechanical contractor and also worked as a project manager on some of the most significant and complex healthcare projects in the Northeast. He holds numerous certifications and is one of only a handful of individuals that have earned all of the ASSE 6000 medical gas certifications. He is a principal member of the Technical Committee on Medical Gas and Vacuum Piping Systems (NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code) and a principal member of the Technical Committee on Industrial and Medical Gases (NFPA 55: Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code). He holds a Credentialed Medical Gas Verifier (CMGV©) certification and has served on the Medical Gas Professional Healthcare Organization (MGPHO) Board of Directors as the Vice President of Credentials. He is also a LEED AP© (Accredited Professional), a certified Project Management Professional (PMP©), a Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC), and is Certified in Plumbing Design (CPD©) and has a Master of Science degree in Business Education (MBE). He has published many articles on the subject of medical gases and has presented on compliance, emergency operations management, program development, and risk assessments to many of the healthcare engineering societies, trade groups, and other interested organizations.
Medical Gas Credentials:
- ASSE 6005 Medical Gas Systems Specialist Certified
- ASSE 6010 Medical Gas Systems Installer / ASME IX Brazing Certified
- ASSE 6015 Bulk Medical Gas Systems Installer Certified
- ASSE 6020 Medical Gas Systems Inspector Certified
- ASSE 6030 Medical Gas Systems Verifier Certified
- ASSE 6035 Bulk Medical Gas Systems Verifier Certified
- ASSE 6040 Medical Gas Systems Maintenance Personnel Certified
- ASSE 6050 Medical Gas Systems Instructor Certified
- ASSE 6055 Bulk Medical Gas Systems Instructor Certified
- MGPHO Credentialed Medical Gas Verifier (V-0135)