Understanding Medical Gas Piping Regulations

Understanding Medical Gas Piping Regulations

Medical facilities rely on special gases to perform lifesaving procedures. Professionals use gases like oxygen, compressed air, and nitrous oxide regularly for the health and safety of their patients. However, there are specific guidelines that contractors must follow to install the systems that supply these essential substances. Understanding medical gas piping regulations is critical to the success of these establishments, so read on to learn more.


Before any healthcare facility can install or alter medical gas piping, they have to compile extensive documentation with the appropriate agencies regarding construction blueprints and design plans. This includes site schematics with clearly indicated gas cylinder storage locations, property lines, and existing structures.

Medical facilities will also need to submit design plans. These documents should include the expected piping layout and mark all essential components, like alarms, valves, outlets, and gas sources. In addition, construction documents should also feature a section that describes the scope of work and demonstrates that everything adheres to the proper guidelines.

Pressure and Flow Rates

Piping in medical facilities must supply essential gases at the correct pressure and flow rates. This is crucial to satisfy regulations and ensure the well-being of all patients. For example, medical air piping should supply gas at a pressure between 50-55 PSIs. Piping supplying carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitrous oxide must follow these same guidelines.

Flow rates also have minimum levels that piping systems need to meet to adhere to regulations. Compressed air, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitrous oxide have minimum rates of .71 CFM per outlet. However, rooms with permanent ventilators and anesthesia machines need piping systems capable of delivering flow rates of at least 6.36 CFM from the station outlet.

Outlets and Inlets

Outlets and inlets are vital components of medical gas piping systems. These locations are where medical providers connect and disconnect their equipment from the desired gas sources. The outlet and inlet numbers vary based on several factors, including the purpose of the given room and the type of gas in question.

Oxygen and medical air have the most detailed inlet and outlet requirements. Patient rooms need at least one of each per bed, as well as first aid locations and delivery rooms. Intensive care units need three oxygen outlets per bed and only two for compressed air. Gases primarily used for surgery, like nitrous oxide, only have regulations in operating rooms, requiring one outlet per room.

Qualified Installers

Medical facilities must hire a qualified installation service with proven experience to implement their piping system. ICOM Mechanical is a reputable process piping contractor that knows how to meet requirements and deliver spectacular service. Now that you have a better understanding of medical gas piping regulations, call us today and let us design and build a better piping system for your facility.

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