When inspecting gas pipeline networks, inaccessible service line connections are a problem that causes a lot of trouble and it is time consuming.
Times have changed here. In the past, there were hardly any problems to enter properties in rural areas; rarely were the properties completely fenced and the doors locked. Especially in residential areas with single-family houses this problem exists today. In addition, in almost all households both are working and are in the office during the day. It is therefore quite difficult to reach people at home.
There is actually only the option of taking a high risk and climbing over the fence and risking a lot of trouble, or writing a note to the tenant or owner of the building to arrange an appointment. In any case, it is a great effort, which is not always rewarded with success, because unfortunately these messages often remain unanswered.
In these situations active laser measuring devices are considered by some users as a solution. If they are used, the range of application must not exceed the range of use of the device itself and the course of the service line connection must be visible.
This type of inspection is not sufficient to tick off the safety of the service line connection as checked. Thus the current pipeline network inspection cannot be reported as completed. Please also read our article on Gas detection – Laser infrared spectrometry.
Escaping gas generally only has a low concentration and layer thickness at the surface. Therefore a laser measuring instrument can only hope for a small concentration length of a few ppm x meter. A reliable proof is not guaranteed.
We suggest solving the problem with a remote controlled and off-road vehicle. We call it GasCar RC. This remote controlled all-terrain vehicle offers the possibility to securely attach our measuring devices HUNTER or GOLIATH. The vehicle also has a pivoting camera, whose image is transmitted to video goggles. If the driver moves his head, the camera follows his movement.
With the help of a rotatable bell probe, the user can selectively place the probe and measure the concentration with the gas detector and view the reading on the camera display.
This means that even the retention time required in the German DVGW guideline G 465-1 in front of the house can be complied with.
The advantage of this approach is that it allows the necessary inspections to be carried out professionally. However, sceptics reject this type of entry into the property, as it is carried out without the permission of the tenant or owner. On the other hand, we or the client must be granted access for the inspection of the pipeline network.
In our view, it would also be reasonable to consider a change in the customer contracts, so that an inspection in this way would be admissible.
And what do we do if a dog is loose on the property?
The GasCar RC is equipped with an ultrasonic dog guard. This animal-friendly solution is only switched on during the inspection and keeps four-legged friends away.