Piping – Do I Need a Registration?

PVE-3483 LRB / RDS / BEM, Last updated Aug 26 2016


July 2016: Piping requirements are constantly changing in Canada.  Please check the “Last updated” date for each province to determine how current it is.  We do our best to keep this page up to date, but please check with your destination jurisdiction for the latest requirements. 


The Canadian B51 standard covers the need to register Pressure Vessels, Boilers and Piping. Of the three, piping is by far the hardest to register.

The first problem is that the B51 standard provides the need to register piping systems, but does not define what a piping system is and when it needs registration. In absence of clarity in the covering standard, each province has a different guideline on what must be registered.

Registration of Piping:

Registration of piping is done to an address of installation. For a manufacturer of identical piping systems, each different address of installation must be registered. This can be avoided in cases where piping systems can be registered as fittings – typically smaller systems with less than 1.5 cuft volume. Update: Ontario has a category of standard piping systems which eliminates the need to register identical piping systems many times for different installation addresses. This standard category is also used for portable systems.

A piping system is made up of a collection of registered fittings (valves, elbows, flanges, hoses, and strainers etc.) and calculated components like pipe and nozzles. It is easiest to find registered fittings for common service like compressed air or steam. Be careful with expiry dates of fittings. Try not to use items that will expire within a year of your submission date – piping registrations can take a long time, requiring re-design if components expire during the process.

The easiest way to deal with fittings lacking CRNs that cannot be substituted is to get the manufacturer to get them registered. Some reviewers will allow you to burst test unregistered components as an alternative to registration.

The ACI web site (www.acicrn.com) contains a list of vessels and fittings registered in Atlantic Canada and the Territories. Many of the listed fittings are also registered in other Canadian provinces.

In all provinces except for Quebec, piping registration is done in advance of construction and is handled just like a pressure vessel. You need calculations, drawings and an appropriate QC program. In Quebec the piping design documents are reviewed on site by the Authorized Inspector before turning the system on.

Most provinces need piping systems to be signed off by a P.Eng. This is more restrictive than pressure vessels, but comes from the piping codes – see B31.3 301.1(b) “Qualifications of the designer”.

Customers are often surprised at the number of pressure relief devices required on a registered piping system.

Common definitions:

Expansible fluid: expansible fluid means any vapour or gaseous substance, or any liquid under a pressure and at a temperature that is such that the liquid will change – “flash” – to a gas or vapour when the pressure is reduced to atmospheric conditions (70°F, 15 psia).

15 psi exemption: many provinces do not specifically state that piping must be over 15 psi to require registration. This is taken from the B51 standard Figures 1(a), 1(b) and 1(c) which only covers items over 15psi. Some provinces require steam piping at any pressure to be registered.

Canada Wide Requirements

Refrigeration – Canada Wide

Each province has its own refrigeration requirements. The differences between provinces are large. Be especially careful interpreting exemptions.

Hydraulic Systems – Canada Wide

Hydraulic systems include high pressure piping which rarely requires registration. Individual provinces with specific requirements or exemptions are discussed.

Province by Province Piping Requirements

Piping – British Columbia

Piping Requirements for British Columbia

Piping – Alberta

Piping requirements for Alberta

Piping – Saskatchewan

Piping requirements for Saskatchewan

Piping – Manitoba

Piping requirements for Manitoba

Piping- Ontario

Piping requirements for Ontario

Piping – Quebec

Piping requirements for Quebec

Piping- New Brunswick

Piping requirements for New Brunswick

Piping – Nova Scotia

Piping requirements for Nova Scotia

Piping – Prince Edward Island

Piping requirements for Prince Edward Island

Newfoundland and Labrador

Piping requirements for Newfoundland and Labrador

Piping – Yukon

Piping requirements for Yukon

Piping – North West Territories

Piping requirements for the North West Territories

Quality Control and Comments

Piping QC Requirements

Piping QC Requirements

Piping – Authors Comments and Disclaimer

Authors comments and disclaimer for the piping requirements page.


While every effort is made to make these pages accurate and up to date as the CRN system changes, this information is only the opinion of Pressure Vessel Engineering Ltd. Please consider this an introduction – the first 20% of the information you require to navigate the CRN system.

Updated November 2012 – extensive re-write; Updated May 2013 – quick links added; Update in process May 2014 – revising decision flow charts and listing provincial legislation and other guides to determine the needs to register piping.  Aug 2016 – Clarified Ontario Piping QC requirements. Mar 2017 – accordion version.

Quick Links to Jurisdictions on This Page

British Columbia
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland & Labrador
Northwest Territories