46 CFR 56.50-1 - General (replaces 122).

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§ 56.50-1 General (replaces 122).

The requirements in this subpart for piping systems apply instead of those in section 122 of ASME B31.1 (incorporated by reference; see 46 CFR 56.01-2). Installation requirements applicable to all systems:

(a) Where pipes and scuppers are carried through watertight or oiltight bulkheads, decks or tank tops, or are carried through fire control bulkheads and decks, the integrity of the structure shall be maintained. Lead or other heat sensitive materials shall not be used in piping systems which make such bulkhead or deck penetrations where the deterioration of such systems in the event of fire would impair the integrity of the bulkheads or decks. (For plastic pipe installations, see § 56.60-25(a).) Where plate insert pads are used, bolted connections shall have threads tapped into the plate to a depth of not less than the diameter of the bolt. If welded, the pipe or flange shall be welded to both sides of the plating. Openings in structure through which pipes pass shall be reinforced where necessary. Flanges shall not be bolted to bulkheads so that the plate forms a part of the joint. Metallic materials having a melting point of 1,700 °F. or less are considered heat sensitive and if used must be suitably insulated.


(1) Pipes piercing the collision bulkhead shall be fitted with screwdown valves operable from above the bulkhead deck and the valve shall be fitted inside the forepeak tank adjacent to the collision bulkhead. The pipe penetrating the collision bulkhead shall be welded to the bulkhead on both sides. On new installations or replacement in vessels of 150 gross tons and over, the valve body shall be of steel or ductile cast iron.

(2) Passenger vessels shall not have the collision bulkhead pierced below the margin line by more than one pipe conveying liquids in the forepeak tank except that if the forepeak tank is divided to hold two different kinds of liquids, the collision bulkhead may be pierced below the margin line by two pipes, provided there is no practical alternative to the fitting of the second pipe and further provided the safety of the vessel is maintained.

(c) Valves and cocks not forming part of a piping system are not permitted in watertight subdivision bulkheads, however, sluice valves or gates in oiltight bulkheads of tankships may be used if approved by the Marine Safety Center.

(d) Piping shall not be run over or in the vicinity of switchboards or other electrical equipment if avoidable. When such leads are necessary, welded joints only shall be used and provision shall be made to prevent leakage from damaging the equipment.

(e) Stuffing boxes shall not be used on deep tank bulkheads, double bottoms or in any position where they cannot be easily examined. This requirement does not apply to ore carriers operating on the Great Lakes or cargo lines of oil tankers.

(f) Piping systems shall be installed so that under no condition will the operation of safety or relief valves be impaired.


(1) Power actuated valves in systems other than as specified in § 56.50-60 of this part may be used if approved for the system by the Marine Safety Center. All power actuated valves required in an emergency to operate the vessel's machinery, to maintain its stability, and to operate the bilge and firemain systems must have a manual means of operation.


(i) Remote valve controls that are not readily identifiable as to service must be fitted with nameplates.

(ii) Remote valve controls must be accessible under service conditions.

(iii) Remote valve controls, except reach rods, must be fitted with indicators that show whether the valves they control are open or closed. Valve position indicating systems must be independent of valve control systems.

(iv) Valve reach rods must be adequately protected.

(v) Solid reach rods must be used in tanks containing liquids, except that tank barges having plug cocks inside cargo tanks may have reach rods of extra-heavy pipe with the annular space between the lubricant tube and the pipe wall sealed with a nonsoluble to prevent penetration of the cargo.

(3) Air operated remote control valves must be provided with self-indicating lines at the control boards which indicate the desired valve positions, i.e., open or closed.

(h) Suitable drains shall be provided at low points of piping systems.

(i) Valves and cocks shall be located so as to be easily accessible and valves or cocks attached to the shell of the vessel or to sea chests located below the floorplating shall be operable from above the floorplates.

(j) When welded fabrication is employed, a sufficient number of detachable joints shall be provided to facilitate overhauling and maintenance of machinery and appurtenances. The joints shall be located so that adequate space is provided for welding, and the location of the welds shall be indicated on the plans.

(k) Piping, including valves, pipe fittings and flanges, conveying vapors, gases or liquids whose temperature exceeds 150 °F., shall be suitably insulated where necessary to preclude injury to personnel.

(l) Where pipes are run through dry cargo spaces they must be protected from mechanical injury by a suitable enclosure or other means.

[CGFR 68-82, 33 FR 18843, Dec. 18, 1968, as amended by CGFR 69-127, 35 FR 9978, June 17, 1970; CGD 77-140, 54 FR 40607, Oct. 2, 1989; USCG-2003-16630, 73 FR 65178, Oct. 31, 2008]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.

United States Code
Presidential Documents

Executive Order ... 12234

Executive Order ... 12777

Title 46 published on 2015-12-02

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 46 CFR Part 56 after this date.

  • 2016-07-22; vol. 81 # 141 - Friday, July 22, 2016
    1. 81 FR 48220 - Harmonization of Standards for Fire Protection, Detection, and Extinguishing Equipment
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      Final rule.
      This final rule is effective August 22, 2016. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register on August 22, 2016.
      33 CFR Parts 140, 145, 148, and 149