Is repeat inspection of
your hoses mandatory?
It isn't always entirely clear which requirements apply to your situation in practice and how to meet them. What's more, there is often confusion as to whether the repeat inspection of hoses is mandatory. There is only one possible answer to this question: Yes, it is mandatory! In this article, we explain how it works.
Hoses in use
New hose assemblies are increasingly supplied with a pressure test report. This means that if you order a hose with a pressure test report, you will receive a certificate. This certificate serves as proof that the new hose is safe and has passed the statutory pressure test.
During use, your hose is exposed to a range of influences, including varying operating pressures, operating temperatures and cleaning procedures. All of these factors—as well as other factors—have a negative influence on the mechanical properties of the hose. This may cause the pressure resistance of the inlays and the connection between the hose and fitting to weaken.
Weakened mechanical properties make a hose less safe for use. If you own or use a hose, it is therefore important to make sure that the hose can be used without risk.
Hoses are governed by the Dutch guidelines for pressure equipment. Dutch food legislation has referred to these guidelines since May 2015 and states that the user has a duty of care. The duty of care is defined as follows in the guidelines:
A general, user-oriented, obligation (primary responsibility) to exercise care for the technical integrity of labour resources including fixed (stationary) pressure equipment for safety, health and environmental protection
In Dutch guideline 5527 (NPR 5527), you can find out how to prove that you meet the duty of care. This guideline describes exactly why, how, at what pressure and how often different types of hose should be inspected. Please note! NPR 5527 is applicable to all hoses. Hoses with seemingly harmless applications are also covered by this guideline.
Repeat inspection in practice
Repeat inspection of your hoses proves that your hoses are safe for use. NPR 5527 specifies an inspection interval of one year. You can, however, deviate from this interval if you can demonstrate that it is permissible by performing a risk analysis.
The inspection of hoses in use has two aspects. One of these is testing by the user, which happens continuously during use. If a hose is found to have cracks, dents or is seriously dried out, then it needs to be replaced.
The other aspect is the repeat inspection of hoses by an expert. This inspection consists of two parts. The first is a visual inspection in which the hose is assessed for visible wear marks. If the hose passes this part, a hydrostatic pressure test will follow.
Getting started with testing
Carry out a visual inspection of the hose yourself. All of the points for attention can be found in the NPR 5527 guideline. The inspection includes a check for leaks, damage, correct installation and discharge of static electricity. If the hose does not meet the prescribed criteria, it is necessary to repair the hose or take it out of operation completely. The criteria outlined in NPR 5527 enable you to make a responsible judgement on the condition of your hose.
Tip: Click here to read how to safely test your steam hoses yourself.
The visual inspection carried out only offers a superficial picture of the condition of your hose. The quality of the inlays and inner wall are almost impossible to inspect visually. Furthermore, a visual inspection does not show whether the hose still meets the minimum test pressure. For a complete picture, have the hoses inspected by an expert. They will check your hose at fixed test pressures, which are usually double the maximum operating pressure. In addition to leaks, the test is also intended to check for changes in length, blisters on the outside wall, twisting and warping.
After the test, the expert will issue a certificate recording the test results. If the test is failed, the reason for this will be stated on the certificate. The certificate is your proof that you have fulfilled your duty of care by commissioning an independent test.
Of course, the pressure test is a snapshot; vigilance is always required when using hoses. However, repeat inspection allows you to identify a weakened hose at the early stages and decommission it if necessary. This increases safety and reduces the health and environmental risks.
Need help with repeat inspection?
External inspection of your hoses grants you the security of an independent test. Rather than sending your hoses away, ask for a test at your location. That way, the hoses are out of operation for less time, reducing downtime at your business and keeping the costs associated with testing low. ERIKS has a team of experts who can take care of the repeat inspection of your hoses on-site. Please contact our specialists for more information.