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Field Repair or Modification of an ASME-Stamped Pressurized Vessel

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By Tyson Williams on June, 3 2016

ASME R StampHave you ever had a situation where your ASME stamped pressurized vessel needed to be field modified or repaired? Hopefully you haven’t but, if you have, you are well aware of how extensive of a process it is to keep and maintain ASME certification after a repair in the field has been made. Recently, I was made aware of a situation where someone clearly had not played by the rules and followed correct protocol. I won’t focus on what was done to this equipment and fortunately no one was hurt in the time that lapsed before being identified. Instead, I wish to share a brief overview of the proper procedure for obtaining an ASME “R” stamp.

Prior to beginning any field repair of an ASME stamped pressurized vessel, one should always first consult the manufacturer and/or manufacturer’s representative to make them aware of the issue, as there may be manufacturer specific protocols that should be adhered to. The manufacturer or manufacturer’s representative will guide you through the appropriate equipment specific measures and consulting with an authorized ASME inspector will cover the on-site process.   Remember that without following the proper steps, you will void the original ASME stamp, substantially increase liability, and cause workplace safety issues for your staff, your customers, and yourself.

One should NEVER modify an ASME stamped vessel without following the proper steps and having an authorized ASME inspector’s approval on:

  • Qualified Material with Documentation (steel and pipe)
  • Supporting Calculations for Material
  • Qualified/Certified Welder and Welding Procedures
  • Authorized ASME Inspector to Witness On-Site Hydro Testing
  • Authorized ASME Inspector to Witness the “R” Test and Attachment of Stamp to vessel
  • Register the “R” Alteration with the National Board

*** Pressurized vessels must meet all National, State, and Local Codes. ***

So before you make any field repairs, please make sure you follow correct protocol to keep your workplace safe and to keep that ASME stamp on your pressurized vessels.

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