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  • Failure investigations

Failure investigations, analysis and forensic engineering

When things go wrong

BSRIA provides independent investigations and reports on the causes of failure
Failures of plant, pipework and fittings are not only annoyances, but potentially costly. Failure Investigations and forensic engineering from BSRIA allows effective remedial action to be taken and enables forward maintenance planning that can reduce the risk of future failures.

Our failure investigation experts can respond quickly to help pinpoint causes of failure in building services. We carry out independent mechanical, electrical and corrosion related failure investigations. This can include failures in boilers, pin-holing in pipes and radiators to valves, actuators, motors and controls etc.

Our recommendations help to determine the most likely cause of failure for corrective action to be put in place to prevent further problems.

Technical expertise

Our on site test methods and laboratory facilities can reveal the underlying cause of failures i.e. manufacturing, design or installation. We can also identify whether similar components may be susceptible to failure, and recommend preventive measures.

Examples of the range of forensic failure investigations recently undertaken by BSRIA

  • Actuator electrical and mechanical malfunction
  • Capillary joint leakage
  • Circulation pump seizure
  • Compression joint separation
  • Corrosion failures of metal pipes
  • Electric shock investigation
  • Electrical component over heating
  • Electrical connector problems
  • Electrical fire investigation
  • Electrolytic corrosion
  • Fan coil leakage
  • Flange seal leakage
  • Glued/welded joint failure in plastic pipe
  • Heat exchanger blockage
  • Heat exchanger tube bundle perforation
  • Lighting control gear failure
  • Low voltage lighting failure
  • Microbiological induced corrosion
  • Pin-hole corrosion of copper pipe
  • Pressure testing to destruction
  • Push-fit joint failure
  • Radiator corrosion
  • Refrigerant expansion valve blockage
  • Sensor failure
  • Stress corrosion cracking of brass valves and pipe fittings
  • Stress cracking of plastic valves and pipe fittings
  • System failures
  • Transformer failure
  • Underfloor heating performance
  • Valve cavitation/erosion
  • Valve leakage
  • Vibration induced failure


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