What are the servicing and inspection intervals for propane storage tank pressure relief valves?

Technical Safety BC has issued Directive No. D-BP-2016-01: Propane Storage Tank Pressure Relief Valve Servicing & Inspection Intervals. This directive:

  • Is issued to owners of propane storage tanks.
  • Sets timelines for the visual inspection and servicing of pressure relief valves (PRVs) installed on propane storage tanks.
  • Does not impose any new requirements beyond those already required by regulation (specifically CSA B51).
  • Applies to propane storage tank PRVs that require an operating permit in British Columbia, that are in operation, and that are within the scope of regulation (specifically CSA B149.2).

What are the servicing intervals and when must I comply (have the work completed)?

The servicing interval and deadline for compliance depends on your tank’s specifications:

Tank Specifications Maximum Servicing Intervals Comply Before
Greater than 2500 USWG 10 years January 1, 2024
2500 USWG or less with an external PRV** 10 years January 1, 2024
2500 USWG or less with an internal PRV** 25 years January 1, 2027

*USWG or United States water gallons
**excluding cylinders as defined by CSA B149.2

What does “servicing” include?

Servicing of a propane tank PRV includes all of the following:

  • disassembly
  • inspection of all internal components
  • refurbishing
  • replacement of parts as necessary
  • testing
  • recertification

Who can service PRVs?

Any of the following can service and/or recertify PRVs for installation on propane tanks:

  • The original manufacturer of the PRV.
  • An organization holding a current and valid “VR” stamp Certificate of Accreditation issued by the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors.
  • An organization holding a BCSA contractor licence Class “SRV” for PRV service.

Technical Safety BC Guidance Document – Propane Storage Tank Pressure Relief Valve Servicing and Inspection Intervals (Sept. 12, 2016)

How often must a visual inspection be conducted and when must I comply?

The frequency of PRV inspection depends on the operating environment and the manufacturer’s recommendations but shall not exceed five years. The visual inspection must be completed before January 1, 2022.

What are the visual inspection requirements?

  • Owners must ensure that periodic visual inspection of propane storage tank PRVs are performed, as required by regulation (specifically CSA B51).
  • If there is evidence of malfunction, PRVs must be serviced or replaced. Unsafe or suspect PRVs shall be replaced immediately.
  • Personnel performing in-service inspection must be trained and competent in the duties for which they are responsible.

Who is enforcing this directive?

Technical Safety BC will enforce servicing and inspection requirements in accordance with the implementation timelines set out in Directive No. D-BP-2016-01. Technical Safety BC reserves the right to require immediate correction or servicing of a PRV in any case where evidence suggests such action is necessary for public safety. Technical Safety BC may use progressive enforcement as needed.

Where can I get more information or clarification?

Please access our guidance materials for information, safety tips and video instructions for owners and suppliers of propane pressure vessels. You may also contact us at propane@technicalsafetybc.ca or 778-396-2033.

Owners of propane storage tanks are encouraged to read Directive No. D-BP-2016-01: Propane Storage Tank Pressure Relief Valve Servicing & Inspection Intervals to inform themselves of the requirements and definitions necessary to comply with relevant legislation.

Technical Safety BC Guidance Document – Propane Storage Tank Pressure Relief Valve Servicing and Inspection Intervals (Sept. 12, 2016) 

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