Installation of laboratory gas systems generally requires three important considerations.
Documents must be reviewed in detail to ensure that shutoff valves to isolate labs and other areas are included. Oftentimes, these basic details are missing from drawings. Also, building and system pressures must be checked to make sure all of the proper pressure reducing valves are installed where needed.
Verify that specified piping and fittings are correct for each system, as there are many different gases with very different requirements. Compressed air, nitrogen, vacuum, and clean domestic water are the most common. Helium, natural gas, carbon dioxide and some others are usually bottled but must follow strict piping rules due to the nature of the gas and size of the molecules.
Once the system is largely completed, piping must be properly labeled and valve tags must be assigned for each system. Each system must be individually pressure tested, then checked to make certain that lines are not cross-connected. Once the lab is complete, a multi-tester should be used to verify that the right gas is at the associated turret or valve, and findings should be documented for the qualification process.
It is important that contractors work closely with lab users, who have an excellent idea of how their laboratory will operate, which equipment will go where, and how much room will be required to work safely and efficiently. To that end, lab fume hoods should be tested and certified for safe operation, and air balancing and building automation should be commissioned to assure safe and satisfied lab users.
PJM has many years of experience with all aspects of proper laboratory gas system design, installation and commissioning. We know all of the right questions to ask to help avoid problems and take every advantage for a quality installation. If you have any questions or if PJM can help you with a new or existing lab, please call us at 609.921.1394.
PJM Mechanical Contractors, Inc. is a multi-faceted mechanical contractor providing construction and installation, service and maintenance, and design/build services in a comprehensive range of mechanical disciplines that include HVAC, plumbing, controls, refrigeration, custom metal fabrication, piping, fire protection, and backflow preventer testing. PJM primarily serves clients in pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, healthcare, institutional, and other various commercial and industrial sectors.