NOTE: All references are taken from NFPA 99 – 2012 edition, this is an update from the original post which was made on September 3rd, 2015
There seems to be much confusion over the requirements set out by NFPA 99 for existing facilities vs. those for new construction / renovation work. The 2012 edition of NFPA 99 has done a great deal to help bring more clarity to this issue.
18.104.22.168 Subsection 5.1.2 through 22.214.171.124.14.5 and 126.96.36.199.2
shall apply to new health care facilities or facilities making
changes that alter the piping.
188.8.131.52 Paragraph 184.108.40.206.3 through 220.127.116.11.9 and 5.1.13
through 5.1.15 shall apply to existing health care facilities.
NOTE: TIA 12-4 from NFPA 99 – 2012 edition changed the wording from 18.104.22.168 and gave (10) paragraphs that apply to existing healthcare facilities. These are listed below:
22.214.171.124 The following subsections of this chapter shall apply to the operation, management, and maintenance of Category 1 medical gas and vacuum systems in existing facilities:
NFPA 99 doesn’t mention a specific schedule for medical gas outlet testing on existing outlets, it just says periodic. The healthcare facility will need to make a policy that says how often the med gas outlets get checked (i.e. every three years etc) and adhere to that.
The section of NFPA 99 that specifies all outlets / inlets must be checked falls under the new construction / renovation portion. (5.1.5* Station Outlets/Inlets & 126.96.36.199 System Verification) These requirements as they are written in 5.1.5 & 188.8.131.52 are not intended to be applied to existing healthcare facilities.
The medical gas outlet testing section for 5.1.14 is as follows:
184.108.40.206 Maintenance of Medical Gas, Vacuum, WAGD, and
Medical Support Gas Systems.
220.127.116.11.1* General. Health care facilities with installed medical
gas, vacuum,WAGD, or medical support gas systems, or combinations
thereof, shall develop and document periodic maintenance
programs for these systems and their subcomponents as appropriate
to the equipment installed.
18.104.22.168.3.1 General. The elements in 22.214.171.124.2.2 through
5.1.15 shall be inspected or tested as part of the maintenance
program as follows:
(11)*Station outlets/inlets, as follows:
Remember that the * next to (11) refers to additional material which is located in the annex of NFPA 99. In this case A.126.96.36.199.3.1(11) simply states that the outlets should be inspected for a general condition & be gas specific (noninterchangeable indexing).
Annex material is not enforceable as code and is meant for reference only however, that doesn’t mean that an AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) will not use annex material for a given facility or situation. Just be aware of the additional requirements located in the annex for this section and take them into consideration when doing your risk assessments and writing your medical gas outlet testing policy.