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Owner Waiving All required B31.3 & B31.1 NDE Requirements

Owner Waiving All required B31.3 & B31.1 NDE Requirements

Owner Waiving All required B31.3 & B31.1 NDE Requirements

Good morning, hope all is having a good day.
I'm looking for some guidance on a waiver letter. To be more precise, I'm looking for I guess you could say the in depth correct verbiage. Give a quick run down on what im dealing with. I'm working a maintenance project for a paper mill all fairly simple gravy gig. So for the majority of work B31.3 will apply however due to pressure/temp some work may fall to B31.1. The owner has requested no hydro's in lieu of in-service test for Cat D service. B31.3 gives the owner the option to waive hydro for Cat. D. Actually 31.3 allows owner to pretty much waive any and all testing so long as they assume all responsibility. Which without getting into all the paragraphs of 31.3. It started with no hydro now has bleed over into no NDE at all on ANY b31.3 Cat systems and we'll notify you if any further testing is needed. Well I received a email (see below ) from owner which in this case is the maintenance manager. That email "waiver" leaves to much grey area and at minimum might cover us on the spoke of hydro's. Unfortunately, by his admission he has no knowledge on the subject matter. His decision is based on "when I was a welder in the maintenance dept. we never did testing" I'm ok with in service for Cat D. Now that being said, per IP spec it states any issues found during in-service the contractor will be liable for all rework and man hours. Cat D doesn't require RT of welds just VT. So you the client are waiving one of only two NDE process. One being the hydro which is intended to reveal any issues that would be found in a in-service test but still want the contractor to assume financial responsibility. That makes zero sense from a contractor view point. So its now went from no hydro on Cat. D to no NDE period across the board. If NDE is required we'll let you know. That doesn't site well with me because we just fabed up for example a seal water line 14 welds, and steam trap lines which was 94 SW joints. Both of those systems due to pressure falls under B31.1. That's the lack of knowledge I'm dealing with and up to this point there is no convincing them that an umbrella waiver of all NDE isn't a good idea. The maintenance manager is making this decision based on his budget and that's not my opinion but fact. Not to mention there is no quality rep for IP out here to bring concern to. So what I'm looking for is some guidance on writing a letter for client to sign. I don't want to present a letter containing basic everyday verbiage. My vocabulary is what id like to think is pretty articulate. I'm obviously no attorney, however Id like to present them with a letter with somewhat of a legal tone, and with verbiage that encompasses all liability they will be responsible for by them choosing to make such a decision as to signing waiver. I'm hoping to word it to where after he's completed reading. It will cause him to pause and rethink his decision to waive ALL NDE.. Below in yellow is the email our current PM send prior to my arrival to project. In red is the reply he received back. Hoping we have some lets say "wordsmiths" in here or someone who has written a waiver covering broad scope.

Thanks in advance for any help that may be given!!

I know that we had discussed the process for NDE on site previously, but I wanted to confirm that there will not be a requirement on site for Bilfinger. We will continue performing “In Service” test when needed.

Please confirm so that I can align our team and our QC department.

Thank you,

Correct. If there is something that would need NDE we would notify you and we would bring in an outside group to do that testing.

RE: Owner Waiving All required B31.3 & B31.1 NDE Requirements

B31.3 300(b)(1)
B31.1 100.1.1
That's where I would start.

B31.3, the owner has responsibility for all.
B31.1 "However any such legal requirement shall not relieve the owner of his inspection responsibilities specified in para. 136.1."

RE: Owner Waiving All required B31.3 & B31.1 NDE Requirements

TY, yes im aware of what code says. I was looking for direction on putting a waiver letter together for owner signature on the B31.3 side.

RE: Owner Waiving All required B31.3 & B31.1 NDE Requirements

Fair enough....don't think this is the best site. Engineers are far from lawyers....although both can be incomprehensible at times.

RE: Owner Waiving All required B31.3 & B31.1 NDE Requirements


RE: Owner Waiving All required B31.3 & B31.1 NDE Requirements

How does pressure/temp. makes something go from B31.3 to B31.1?

- You never get what you expect, you only get what you inspect.

RE: Owner Waiving All required B31.3 & B31.1 NDE Requirements

WE often have clients wave the hydro test in B31.1 and just run the in service leak test. Because we are dealing with hot pipe and expansion loads the in service leak test actually puts more loads on the most stressed butt welds than the hydro would.

Wheater it's a hydro or leak test the fabricator still has make it to the piping to code.

The contractor should only be liable for defects found under the NDT required in the contract?

RE: Owner Waiving All required B31.3 & B31.1 NDE Requirements

Does your B31.3 piping fall under Cat D or NFS based on pressure and temperature ?
If it is Cat D the Owner can do what he wants.
If Normal Fluid Service they have to follow the code.

RE: Owner Waiving All required B31.3 & B31.1 NDE Requirements

We have the maint contract. That being said, our work can and will fall under all cats. of B31.3 as well as some work will be B31.1. The owner can waive any and all NDT if they want with the understanding they will be 100 percent reliable for any and all financial, safety and legal issues that could possibly arise from their decision. So im looking for advice/guidance on putting together a waiver letter or a release from liability letter for the owner to sign releasing us the contractor from any liability

RE: Owner Waiving All required B31.3 & B31.1 NDE Requirements

This is a 100% commercial matter.
Your sales department should consult with a lawyer


RE: Owner Waiving All required B31.3 & B31.1 NDE Requirements

B31.3 Introduction

It is the owner’s responsibility to select the Code Section
that most nearly applies to a proposed piping installation.
Factors to be considered by the owner include limitations
of the Code Section; jurisdictional requirements; and the
applicability of other codes and standards. All applicable
requirements of the selected Code Section shall be met.

The owner is also responsible for imposing requirements supplementary
to those of the Code if necessary to assure safe piping
for the proposed installation.

Bottom line is the Owner can make the requirements more stringent but they cannot make the requirements less stringent.

As David noted:

(b) Responsibilities
(1) Owner. The owner of a piping installation shall
have overall responsibility for compliance with this
and for establishing the requirements for design
and construction that will govern the entire fluid handling
or process installation of which the piping is a part.

If the NDT required is not performed the piping does not comply with ASME B31.3 - end of story.

RE: Owner Waiving All required B31.3 & B31.1 NDE Requirements

One other thing to keep in mind - while the ASME codes are not specific legal requirements, the building codes within the jurisdiction may mandate compliance with them and your client's insurance company probably also has code compliance requirements.

Ultimately, as the other folks have noted - this is a matter for your company's legal team, not you.

Edward L. Klein
Pipe Stress Engineer
Houston, Texas

"All the world is a Spring"

All opinions expressed here are my own and not my company's.

RE: Owner Waiving All required B31.3 & B31.1 NDE Requirements

What does API 570 require as it is used by many Owner/Operators in their Maintenance Contracts. I've seenn this before and it essentially a ploy by the Owner/Operator to make the Maintenance Contractor perform NDE at its own costs. Do run the Contract by your compant's legal team.

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