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SSP Blog

A Visual Insurance Policy for Fitting Installation - The Stop Collar

Posted by Darren Ekron on Nov 11, 2016 10:25:41 AM

We have all seen those “For Dummies” books.  And we understand the point of them is to try to make people feel more comfortable tackling something new.  And apparently they work.

Unfortunately, there is not really any sort of “Working with High Pressure, Critical Applications, Tubing, Connectors, and Valves for Dummies” book.  And if there was, possibly no one would read it.Recently, an Engineering Procurement Construction Management Company (EPC) that provides solutions for the CNG Fueling Station Construction industry had a “not unheard of” occurrence.

They supplied a tubing, fittings, valves, and other related product for an installation.  When it came time for the inspection, virtually everything leaked.  From a manufacturer’s standpoint, there is nothing worse than when a fitting leaks at a job site.  But there is a little clue here.  When everything is leaking, you can bet that the problem is not related to the manufacture, or the quality of the items.  When everything leaks, you start by looking at the installation process.

Sure enough, the EPC had supplied all the material, and had conducted a very comprehensive training session at the jobsite, with the contractors’ people.  And just as soon as the EPC left, the contractor brought in a completely different, and untrained crew for the actual work.

SSP partnered with the EPC to go to the site and we found virtually every end connection was severely overtightened for all the ¾” sizes, and just absolutely crushed for the 3/8” sizes.

When the smoke cleared (metaphorically speaking) the EPC contacted SSP to see if we had any solution that might help mitigate these types of failures in the future.

Fortunately, SSP offers our Stop Collar, which is a stainless steel ring that gets sandwiched between the end connection nut, on the tube connector side, and the hex on the body.  How it works is that the end connection nut is tightened to the point where the Stop Collar does not rotate freely. This prevents the types of over tightening that occurred at our customer’s jobsite.

As a matter of fact, the EPC has already undertaken steps to choose SSP fittings with our Stop Collar installed on them.  The Stop Collar is not designed as a substitute for the correct installation procedure, but rather the Stop Collar is really just a visual insurance policy that the fittings are sufficiently tightened, BUT NOT OVER-TIGHTENED.  Supplying the fittings with the Stop Collar installed on them, is new for them.  They have only been able to put them into effect on one installation.  We are awaiting their testimonial.  So keep watch for an update. 

Topics: Fittings, Safety, Stop Collar