All You Need To Know About Hydrostatic Pressure Testing

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Pipes are composed of materials that have the ability to last for quite a long time, however, eventually joints come apart or the pipes crack under the pressure of soil and buildings above. This results in leaks that you may not even be aware of. 

Hydrostatic testing is a great way to determine if your pipes may be leaking. It’s especially effective for areas that are concealed under slabs. 

What Is Hydrostatic Pressure Testing?

Hydrostatic testing is able to identify leaks in pressurized systems. Commonly tested areas are pipelines, fuel tanks, plumbing, gas cylinders and boilers, along with a home’s sewer line. 

Hydrostatic testing consists of filling the system with liquid. Once the system is full, it is pressurized in order to determine the integrity of the system. Following this, we observe the area. If the level of liquid drops, we can discern that the liquid is leaking out somewhere else, even if we’re unable to see where.  

How Does it Work? 

Hydrostatic testing helps plumbers identify hidden leaks. It begins with finding the drain’s cleanout. Once this is found, the plumber will insert an inflatable ball in the cleanout in order to block the sewer line. With the line blocked, the plumber will fill the line with water and wait to see what happens. If the water level begins dropping, then there is a leak present within the line.

The next step is figuring out exactly where the leak is. One option for this is feeding a camera down into the pipes to find the leak and inspect the condition of the pipes. The other option is using inflatable plugs that can isolate/test individual sections of the pipe. The plumber will use the video camera to position the plugs and proceed with testing the sections. 

Why Hydrostatic Testing for Your Home?

Detecting slab leaks is a huge part of being a plumber, so we rely heavily on hydrostatic pressure testing in order to find these hidden leaks. When it comes to a home with a sub-slab sewer system, it’s the perfect way to identify leaking pipes. Test plugs are put in existing cleanouts in order to block and fill the sewer system with water. We observe the water in an exposed toilet drain to observe any water level changes. If the level drops, there is a leak in the line and we will proceed with the next step of pinpointing exactly where it is. 

A few examples of signs that you might have a leak are:

  • Mold growth
  • Cracks in your home’s foundation
  • Higher water bills
  • Unpleasant odors or septic waste pools in the yard
  • Damp flooring or carpeting

If you’ve noticed any of these things, it’s definitely possible that you have a leak that you just can’t see. The cost of cleaning up the damage of a leaky pipe is astronomical, so you want to get it taken care of ASAP. 

If you suspect you may have a leak, give us a call and we’ll come take a look!

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