Testing and Inspection
Central High Rise offer the knowledge, skills, expertise and experience to test and inspection all industrial chimney types, be these steel, concrete or brick. Our services cover all external aspects and internal refectory and flues.
Depending on the chimney type, all inspections are a combination of both visual and specialist technical testing; all results, findings and recommendations are then fully documented with the supporting data, stills and video images as required.
As a general rule, Central High Rise would usually recommend that all chimneys types should be inspected on an annual basis, to ensure the chimney’s structural stability and condition which can alter over time. In our experience a properly planned survey and maintenance schedule for any chimney, will help reduce know problems and can greatly extend the life cycle of a chimney.
As part of the chimney inspection service, we would also look to combine the inspection of any lightning protection systems fitted, testing for earth resistance and continuity and to ensure that the lightning protection system meets the latest requirements and relevant standards.
Please see our Chimneys Section for detail of all the testing, inspection and maintenance works Central High Rise offer and our specialist services for all chimney types.
At Central High Rise, all steel chimneys inspections are done in strict accordance with the A.T.L.A.S Inspection guide for Single Flue Industrial Steel Chimneys and Multi Flue steel chimneys to BS4076.
Central High Rise are fully qualified to offer a wide range of lightning protection products and services. This includes the test and inspection of existing lightning protection systems through to the design and installation of a full faraday cage system, or the supply and installation of early streamer emission (ESE) systems to both new builds or retro fits.
Our ATLAS accredited designers are fully qualified to carry out the necessary risk assessment to determine exactly what level of protection will be required.
Lightning Protection Testing to BS 6651:1999
For any lightning protection system installed before August 2008, the system can be tested, inspected and maintained to a previous standard (BS 6651:1999 ‘ Protection of Structures Against Lightning’).
As per section 5 of the British Standard 6651, all Lightning Conductors and earth installations in the system should be “visually inspected and tested regularly at fixed intervals, preferably not exceeding 12 months”.
It is beneficial to choose a period slightly shorter than 12 months in order to vary the season in which tests are made.
Lightning Protection Testing to BS EN 62305:2012
For systems installed after August 2008 then the system must be tested and inspected and maintained to the new standard (BS EN 62305:2012 Protection Against Lightning). BS EN 62305 E.7.1
Again the standard is that ‘The Lightning Protection System should be visually inspected at least annually’. The statutory instrument applicable in the UK and published by the authority having jurisdiction is the Electricity at Work Regulation 1989 (EWR).
Early Streamer Emission Systems
Where cost or the aesthetics of the building is an issue we also can offer the supply and installation of early streamer emission systems. The ESE standard, NF C 17 – 102, is from a Member State of Europe.
Fall Protection Systems
As specialists in fall protection systems, Central High Rise are fully qualified to offer the testing, certification and ongoing scheduled maintenance of the majority of the fall arrest systems offered by the UK suppliers. On inspection, all fall arrest systems are tested in accordance with BSEN 795 & EN7883.
Single Point Safety Anchors
Central High Rise also supply, install, inspect, test and maintain a range of single point safety anchors, connectors, abseil anchors and hooks for use when working at height.
These devices include a range of static eyebolts for work restraint, work positioning and to provide fall protection when window cleaning. All safety anchors and eyebolts are categorised and tested according to their usage and design.
Ultrasonic Metal Thickness Testing
Non Destructive Testing (NDT)
Non-destructive testing (NDT) is the process of inspecting, testing, or evaluating materials, components or assemblies for discontinuities, or differences in characteristics without destroying the serviceability of the part or system. In other words, when the inspection or test is completed the part can still be used.
In contrast to NDT, other tests are destructive in nature and are therefore done on a limited number of samples (“lot sampling”), rather than on the materials, components or assemblies actually being put into service. These destructive tests are often used to determine the physical properties of materials such as impact resistance, ductility, yield and ultimate tensile strength, fracture toughness and fatigue strength, but discontinuities and differences in material characteristics are more effectively found by NDT.
Today modern non-destructive tests are used in manufacturing, fabrication and in-service inspections to ensure product integrity and reliability, to control manufacturing processes, lower production costs and to maintain a uniform quality level. During construction, NDT is used to ensure the quality of materials and joining processes during the fabrication and erection phases, and in-service NDT inspections are used to ensure that the products in use continue to have the integrity necessary to ensure their usefulness and the safety of the public. It should be noted that while the medical field uses many of the same processes, the term “non-destructive testing” is generally not used to describe medical applications.
Central High Rise offer a full range of Non Destructive Testing (NDT) including:
- Magnetic Particle Testing (MT)
- Liquid Penetrant Testing (PT)
- Ultrasonic Testing (UT)
- Electromagnetic Testing (ET)
- Visual Testing (VT)
- Acoustic Emission Testing (AE)
- Guided Wave Testing (GW)
- Leak Testing (LT)
- Vibration Analysis (VA)
Flue Inspection and Maintenance
It is important to check the condition of an old chimney, especially when re-opening one, after many years of not being used. A chimney should contain a sealed flue from the appliance to the chimney pot to transport the products of combustion safely to the atmosphere. Over time the condition of the flue can deteriorate. It was only from 1965 that Building Regulations required all new chimneys to be built with suitable flue liners of the correct flue size to protect the chimney.
The check should be carried out by a chimney specialist and would entail the following procedures:
- The chimney should be swept to ensure that it is clear obstructions such as dislodged masonry or bird’s nests
- A smoke test should then be carried out to establish whether there is any major fault that can cause products of combustion to leak through the chimney walls. A smoke test procedure is given later on in this guide.
- The structural stability should also be checked, as well as making sure the chimney is wind and water tight.
This should identify the repair work that is needed. Often the safest and most economical way to make the flue secure is to reline the chimney shaft with new liners. This can be done with clay, concrete or pumice liners, single wall stainless steel or flexible stainless steel liners.
To reline the chimney with clay, concrete or pumice liners, the liners are lowered down the chimney on guide ropes with locating bands at the joints. The gap between the liners and chimney is then backfilled with a lightweight insulating compound. The existing flue opening has to be made large enough for the liners to be installed. This benefit of this type of re-lining is its durability. However the cost can be prohibitive.
The alternative is to use stainless steel liners, either single wall rigid liners or flexible liners. Stainless steel flexible liners are designed to take on the shape of the chimney. The liners are installed by either lowering them down or pulling them up the chimney. They can go around most bends. Whilst their slim profile enables quick installation into chimneys where other systems might not fit, their life can be reduced if abnormally high corrosive soot or condensate deposits are created and allowed to accumulate in the flue or have not been thoroughly removed from the walls of the existing chimney flue.