No one wants a leaking sewer pipe. However, sometimes it’s unavoidable. As a homeowner, it’s important to know when plumbing leaks occur in order to avoid prolonged water damage and high repair costs. Therefore, if a leak is suspected, a plumber will sometimes perform what’s known as a hydrostatic test – here’s why this test is important and what you need to know about it.
A hydrostatic test is a way in which pressure vessels such as pipelines, plumbing, gas cylinders, boilers and fuel tanks can be tested for strength and leaks. Hydrostatic testing is the most common method employed for testing pipes and pressure vessels. Using this test helps maintain safety standards and durability of a vessel over time. Newly manufactured pieces are initially qualified using hydrostatic testing. They are then revalidated at regular intervals according to the relevant standard. In some cases where a hydrostatic test is not practicable a pneumatic pressure test may be an acceptable alternative.
This type of test is done by first locating a home’s mainline sewer cleanout. Once the cleanout is located, a plumber will insert an inflatable ball. They will then inflate the ball to plug the sewer line under your home. While the line is blocked, the plumber will begin to fill the sewer system with water, which may be dyed to aid in visual leak detection. After this, the water level will be monitored for about 15 minutes.
If during the 15 minutes, the water refuses to fill up to your home’s slab level or if the water’s surface level begins to drop, chances are you have a leak in your plumbing system that’s in need of repair.
Sewer line leaks can be caused by external factors like tree root intrusion, old pipes and shifting soil. Static test plumbing should be used for leak detection whenever you notice unusual changes in your home’s plumbing. If left uncorrected, leaking sewer pipes can cause major damage to your home’s foundation and plumbing system – so it’s important to have a hydrostatic test done as soon as you suspect a leak.
If you think there may be a leak under your home and are in need of a static test in Pittsburgh, contact Terry’s Plumbing today for an expert consultation on leak detection and repair.