Based on laboratory studies and model concepts, a profound understanding of the involved processes in ac corrosion and the required limits has been obtained in the last years. But there was no information whether these thresholds can be effectively applied to pipelines or whether operational constraints make their implementation impossible. Therefore, an extensive field test was carried out. Thereby, the relevance of the laboratory tests for field application could be demonstrated and all threshold values were confirmed. Detailed analysis made it possible to explain the observed threshold values based on thermodynamic and kinetic considerations. The results summarized in the present work are the basis for the normative work defining the thresholds for the operation conditions of cathodically protected pipelines.