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MAY 1994


EGE 32-B-3 1994

TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. 2. 3. Scope References General 4. Modifications to API RP 550, Part I

History of Change

1. SCOPE This Guide covers basic requirements for the design and installation of liquid level indicators and transmitters. 1.1 This Guide is based on practices as specified in API RP 550, Part 1, Section 2 and/or as amended herein. 1.2 For requirements pertaining to level measurement EGE 32-B-19, EGE 14-S-9, EGE 14-S-10, and EGE 265. REFERENCES of storage tanks, refer to


The following publications form a part of this Guide. The references cited with dates in this Guide were used in its development. For all references which have been superseded, revised, and/or corrected, the user of this Guide is obligated to determine if the latest versions of the cited references have any impact on the content of this Guide or its use. Mobil Technology Company (MTC) Guide Sponsor should be consulted if there are any concerns or questions.
Mobil Engineering Guides EGE 00-B-3 EGE 00-S-3 EGE 12-B-1 EGE 14-S-9 EGE 14-S-10 EGE 16-B-1 EGE 16-B-10 EGE 32-B-1 EGE 32-B-19 EGE 33-B-13 EGS 265 (1993) (1992) (1993) (1993) (1993) (1993) (1988) (1989) (1992) (1990) (1993) Structures and Equipment External Loading Design Basis Piping and Instrumentation Diagram Standard Schematic Details Pressure Vessels Design and Fabrication Storage Tanks Gaging Datum Plate Storage Tanks Ground Reading Averaging Thermometer Piping General Design Piping Instruments Instrumentation General Requirements Instrumentation Storage Tank Level Gaging Electrical Lighting and Receptacle Installations Automatic Tank Gaging Systems


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API (American Petroleum Institute) Recommended Practice RP 550 (1985) Manual on Installation of Refinery Instruments and Control Systems, Part I Process Instrumentation and Control, Section 2

NOTE: Although API RP 550 is no longer a current publication, Mobil considers the referenced material to be valid for Mobils purposes, except as noted in this Guide. Requests for a copy of RP 550 should be directed to The Librarian, American Petroleum Institute, 1220 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA. Phone: (202) 682-8040/ Fax: (202) 682-8232.

3. GENERAL The references and requirements in EGE 32-B-1 apply to this Guide. 4. MODIFICATIONS TO API RP 550, PART I Liquid level instruments shall conform to API RP 550, Part I, Section 2, except for the following modifications. The paragraph numbers refer to those given in API RP 550.

Paragraph 2.2.2 (Substitution)

The term "readable" shall be used in place of "visible."

Paragraph (Addition)

Connections to the bottom of vessels or boots are not allowed without written approval from Mobil.

Paragraph (New)

The minimum size of instrument connections allowed on vessels shall be as required in EGE 16-B-1, EGE 16-B-10, and EGE 12-B-1. Liquid residence time (LRT) specified in project documents shall be the basis of liquid measurement range. Normal range for LRT volume is between 20 percent and 80 percent of the level measurement range. In order to reconcile the requirements of this criteria, vessel fabrication details, and this Guide, the following method shall apply: (1) Determine minimum distance from vessel tangent line for placement of the bottom level connection. This will be a function of the vessel fabrication and will conform to EGE 12-B-1. Factors of vessel rating, wall thickness, and nozzle size and rating will influence this dimension. (2) Determine the least detectable measurement above the centerline of the nozzle. This will be influenced by connection, orientation, standpipe or direct connected instrument, piping configuration of the instrument connection and the manufacturer data for the selected instrument. (3) Determine 20 percent of the selected instrument range.

(4) Add the results of Items 1, 2, and 3 above. This will give the least practical low liquid level for the LRT, referenced to the vessel tangent line.


MAY 1994 PAGE 3 OF 8

EGE 32-B-3 1994

By comparing this result with the minimum level in the P&ID and/or project specification, need for adjustment can be determined. If the results indicate a higher minimum level than specified, then an adjustment must be made which would include: (1) (2) (3) Enlarging the vessel. Changing measurement selection or configuration. Changing the operating range.

Any of these adjustments require Mobil approval.

Paragraph (Users Choice)

Level instrument piping shall conform to requirements in EGE 00-B-3, EGE 16-B-10, and EGE 12-B-1.

Paragraph (Addition)

Devices installed for interlock, shutdown, or critical alarm shall be on connections separate and independent of other control devices measuring the same level.

Paragraph 2.2.8 (Addition)

Valves shall be installed at the highest points for both venting and steamout connections, as shown in Figure 2-6.

Paragraph (Addition)

Visible lengths of level glasses shall extend a minimum of 25.4 mm (1 in.) above and 25.4 mm (1 in.) below the range of the level instrument or any independently mounted switch associated with the level measurement. A typical installation is shown in Figure 2-2. Where possible, level glasses shall be installed so they are visible from other level instruments measuring the same level. Standard lengths for level gage glasses are as follows:
Number of Sections 1 2 3 4 Unit Designated Glass Size Section Size 1!9 2!9 3!9 4!9 Total Visible Length of Glass mm in. 321 679 1038 1397 12 5/8 26 3/4 40 7/8 55

If longer ranges are required, a combination of these level gages shall be used (see Paragraph


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Paragraph (Addition)

When two or more gage columns are required to cover the level range, they shall be so installed that the visible lengths overlap by at least 25.4 mm (1 in.). In multiple gage installations, the gages must be independently isolated from the process piping or vessel. Standard gage cocks (with built-in velocity checks) shall be furnished for all services, except where the viscosity of the liquid precludes the use of the gage cocks. Gage cocks shall be the offset type with union bonnet, NPS 3/4 male unions at valve seat, and gage connections. The stem shall have handwheels and quick-closing threads, with a double-seated plunger to unseat the ball check before the cock is closed. The body shall be forged steel. Ball check, plunger seat, and valve stem shall be Type 316 or 304 stainless steel. Where necessary, higher-grade material shall be used. Drain connections shall be a minimum NPS 1/2 threaded and shall be provided with a drain valve. Vents and drains shall be considered branch piping and shall conform to the requirements of EGE 16-B-1. Vessel side block valves shall be provided for all gage glass installations. The gage cock shall not be considered to satisfy this requirement.

Paragraph (Addition)

For interface service, gages shall be mounted on the vessel with the top connections always submerged.

Paragraph (Addition)

In condensate service, gage glasses shall be protected against etching by the use of mica shields. Nonfrosting extensions shall be fitted to gage glasses operating below 0C (32F). For services below 0C (32F), selection must be reviewed and approved by Mobil.

Paragraph (New)

Level gage glasses shall be top and bottom connected. The minimum ratings given in Table 1 shall be used for gage glasses and gage cocks.

40C kPa gage Reflex glasses Transparent glasses Tubular glasses Gage cocks 12,400 6,900 1,700 10,300

100F psig 1800 1000 250 1500


540C kPa gage

1000F psig

kPa gage 9250 5100




MAY 1994 PAGE 5 OF 8

EGE 32-B-3 1994

Paragraph 2.4.1 (Addition)

Displacer instruments shall be furnished with rotatable head construction. Standard displacer lengths shall be used.

Paragraph (Addition)

External displacer type of liquid level instruments shall not be used in the following services: those in which the level range exceeds 1524 mm (60 in.); services below !50C, liquefied gas, and refrigerant services; or those in which other types of level instruments have proven to be more suitable. Paragraph (Users Choice) Connections shall be NPS 2 minimum ANSI Class 300 flanges top-side and bottom-bottom.

Paragraph 2.4.2 (Addition)

Differential pressure transmitters shall be used in all services in which the level range exceeds 1524 mm (60 in.), and in services below !50C, liquefied gas, and refrigerant services.

Paragraph (New)

A number of differential pressure cells have been developed specifically for level measurement of difficult services such as viscous, slurry, toxic, or waxy fluids. Examples are remote seal units with flush or extended diaphragm seals. Installation of these units shall require Mobil approval.

Paragraph (New)

Differential pressure transmitters installed in services where liquids boil at ambient temperatures shall be normally located above the vessel taps (refer to detail G of Figure 2-10). As an exception, some applications may require that the transmitter be mounted below the vessel taps and the legs to the transmitter be sealed with a liquid heavier than the liquid in the vessel (refer to project specifications).

Paragraph (New)

Special installations such as purged or flushed taps will be considered when warranted by application. Such installations require Mobil approval.

Paragraph Condensate Control (New)

Where steam is used as a heating exchange medium with process hydrocarbon, steam traps shall not be used in the condensate lines. Steam condensate vessels with displacer-type instruments shall be installed (refer to Figure 1 of this Guide). On some applications, this arrangement is used to establish additional turndown of the exchanger by flooding or uncovering tubes and thereby changing the effective heat exchange. Detail arrangement is a function of process development and is influenced by:


Desired control variable. Pressure of steam supply and condensate return. Range and frequency of heat demand changes.


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Ball-float drainers may be used when units of sufficient capacity are commercially available. The sizing and capacity calculations shall be submitted to Mobil for approval prior to purchase.

Paragraph (Addition)

Ball-float controllers, either for pilot operation or mechanical operation of control valves and signals, shall be used only for asphaltic, waxy, coking, or particulate services or for nonprocess applications. Control valves mechanically operated by a float shall have a double port and rotary stem and be no larger than NPS 3. Larger valves shall be pilot-operated, diaphragm motor control valves.


Condensate pot 400 mm (16 in.) OD by 760 mm (2 ft, 6 in.) with NPS 4 nozzle and slotted internal guide pipe for level displacer, if internal. Pneumatic internal displacement type of level controller, flange mounted. External displacement type of level controller may be used as an alternative. Level gage with velocity check gage valves.

FIGURE 1 CONDENSATE POT LEVEL CONTROL (Example only Dimensions to be determined by service and equipment.)


MAY 1994 PAGE 7 OF 8

EGE 32-B-3 1994

Paragraph 2.7 (Addition)

All critical alarm services, interlock systems, and shutdown liquid level actuators shall be installed as shown in EGE 00-S-3. Shutdown actuators shall be mounted on nozzles dedicated for their use only. Flanged-body level devices (see Figure 2-16) shall be used in the aforementioned services to permit access to the float or displacer. Vents and drains shall be provided on the alarm switch side of the arrangement. Ball checks on the drain and gage glass vents make draining of level switches difficult and therefore will not be used to isolate the switch. Switches shall be installed so that their operation may be checked in situ. Electrode units shall be used for primary high- and low-level safety shutdown on steam boilers, as well as in other nonhydrocarbon services.

Paragraph 2.9.2 (Clarification)

The illumination level requirement for gage glass illuminators shall be as specified in EGE 33-B-13. Illuminators shall be used on all transparent gage glasses.


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The history of change contained herein does not constitute a complete listing of revisions and changes made to this document. Only revisions and changes of significant technical content (per sponsor and Steering Committee) are listed. EGE 32-B-3 1994 EGE 32-B-3 1994 supersedes the 1985 version with the following significant technical changes: 1. 2. Sections that refer to control mode or configuration have been removed. Current practices have been expanded or clarified.