Liquid LPG Filling Systems
Changes in Irish standards for tank installations
There have been a number of changes in the Irish Standards that covers tank installations from which L.P.G. in liquid form is used - this includes forklift cylinder filling, vehicle filling, grain drying, and any other cylinder or tank filling. The most relevant is Irish Standard is I.S. 3216 Part 2, Code of Practice for the Bulk Storage of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, which effectively is a legal requirement under the Irish Dangerous Substances Regulations.
To whom does this apply?
The aim of the amendment to the standard is to bring "private" refuelling systems into line with state of the art technology, and with practices developed in garage forecourt systems. "Private" refuelling systems include filling forklift cylinders (both when on and off the forklift vehicle); systems for filling fleet, company and private individual's cars; and filling systems for tanks / cylinders mounted on trucks such as tar tankers and road marking vehicles. The applicable points would also represent "good practice" anywhere L.P.G. in liquid form is used, such as grain-dryers.
Note that all retail automotive forecourts are already subject to similar requirements. These sites sell gas to vehicles owned by the general public. Where Flogas owns the equipment on such a site, we already carry out the annual inspection. Similarly, Flogas distributors who fill our cylinders have equivalent requirements and are on an even more strict inspection regime.
What are the Requirements?
The following are the principal requirements:
- All these sites are subject to an annual inspection. The owner of the property where the equipment is located is responsible for this. For our customers, we will carry out the first of these inspections free of charge - to avail of this, you must contact us and request us to carry it out - we do not know which of the thousands of our customers have liquid offtake installations. If you fail to do this, it is imperative that you make your own arrangements to have this inspection carried out annually by a gas service fitter who is competent in liquid L.P.G. installations.
- The system must be laid out so that both the vehicle (or cylinder) to be filled and the filling point are at least three metres away from the L.P.G. supply tank. One way of doing this is to put up a barrier three metres from the tank and having the filling nozzle, switch, etc., on the far side of the barrier to the tank.
- The filling nozzle (which is screwed on to the vehicle / cylinder filler valve) must incorporate a valve which automatically shuts off the nozzle unless it is connected to the filler valve.
- A breakaway coupling must be fitted on the filling hose so that if the vehicle drives away while still connected, the breakaway coupling will come apart and seal both sides of the system from escaping gas.
- Where an electric pump is used for filling (as distinct from a hand-operated pump or a gravity feed arrangement), a suitable solenoid valve must be fitted upstream of the pump which only opens when the pump is running.
- Again where an electric pump is used for filling, the electrical switch to turn it on (and to open the solenoid valve) must be of the "deadman's button" type, i.e. you must have to physically keep the button pressed down to run the pump.
- There must be an independent isolation switch which is under the owner / occupier's control, typically inside the owner / occupier's building.
- Filling instructions must be provided adjacent to the filling point.
- Prefarably, the supply tank's outlet should have thermal shutdown (to isolate the line in the event of a fire).
We are happy to provide advice on any specific issues to our customers. Should you prefer, further information can be obtained by purchasing and referring to a copy of this standard, I.S. 3216 Part 2, obtainable from the National Standards Authority of Ireland, Ballymun Road, Dublin 9.