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Cathodic Protection 101 for Propane Marketers

Did you know that routine cathodic testing is required for underground tanks 2011 or newer by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code 58? Make sure your company is up to speed on cathodic testing methods.

How to Stay Compliant with NFPA 58 Cathodic Testing Requirements

Step 1: Get your forms in order

Do you have initial testing records and inspection forms? P3 Propane Safety can provide industry best practice forms with guidance documents to make the process easy for your employees.

Step 2: Check on follow-up testing

Have you completed follow-up testing, as required on a timely basis?

Step 3: Evaluate your follow-up process

Does your company utilize technology or any system to track these follow-ups? A systematic tracking process is essential to help you keep up with required follow-ups. Industry leaders recommend that propane marketers implement a technology-based system, like the P3 Compliance System, to keep up with cathodic requirements.

P3 documents cathodic testing and generates management reports to automatically alert you when follow-up testing is due. When initial inspection or follow-up testing forms are uploaded, the P3 Compliance System can detect missing information or errors and notify you when corrective action is needed.

Step 4: Document cathodic tests

Are completed cathodic tests documented and archived properly? Since follow-ups are required, it is a good idea to make sure cathodic test documentation is easily accessible, preferably in electronic storage.

Step 5: Assess employee training

Are your employees trained in proper cathodic testing methods? Testing requirements per NFPA 58 include:

  • Cathodic protection must be at least -.85 D.C. or more (meaning negative) using a copper-copper sulfate half cell.
  • Test must be completed upon installation unless prohibited by climatic conditions, in which case testing shall be done within 180 days after installation of the system.
  • For continued verification of the effectiveness of the system, 12 to 18 months after the initial test.
  • Periodic follow-up testing shall be performed at intervals not to exceed 36 months.
  • Systems failing a test shall be repaired as soon as practical unless climatic conditions prohibit this action, in which case the repair shall be made not more than 180 days thereafter. Testing schedule shall be restarted as required initially.
  • Documentation of the results of the two most recent tests shall be retained.

In order to stay compliant with NFPA 58, it is critical that every applicable employee completes these cathodic tests appropriately.  P3 Propane Safety offers hands-on field training for propane employees to learn cathodic testing methods from experienced safety instructors.

Contact P3 Propane Safety to learn more about our cathodic testing forms, cathodic testing follow-up system, or cathodic testing training.