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Old 06-20-2011, 06:04 AM   #1
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Checking for leaks


I am finishing up re-plumbing my whole house and was looking for the right method to check for leaks. I have been told to try a two different methods.
First was to just turn on the water and inspect for leaks.
Second was to install a pressure gauge and fill the lines full of air, and let it sit over night and see if it holds the air pressure.
Right now there is obviously no water in the lines since there is new pipe from the main all the way through the house. Also I used copper if it makes a difference.
Thanks,

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Old 06-20-2011, 06:28 AM   #2
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Checking for leaks


The second method is much less messy in the event there is a leak. And the leak is more easily repaired if there has never been water in the system.

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Old 06-20-2011, 06:29 AM   #3
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Checking for leaks


Turn it on and listen works pretty good.

Turn off the HW tank and toilet supplies and then turn on the main supply.

After the Cold system is charged walk through the house and listen. After the cold lines are charged turn on the HW.

Walk through again and listen. Turn on the toilets.

Mark on the meter or note the smallest digit. Come back in an hour and check
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:30 AM   #4
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Checking for leaks


But will the leak be easy to find if there is no water coming out? I would expect it to make some noise. Also how much pressure should I use?
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:03 AM   #5
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Checking for leaks


Test with air @ 1.5X the working pressure, or what the water pressure will be. Testing with water is alright but if the joints only drip, it will be difficult to find until water stains are visible, not all joints spray water when they leak. Leave air on for 1 hour and gauge should not drop at all.

Last edited by Dougtheplumber; 06-28-2011 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:07 AM   #6
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Checking for leaks


Should have it finished this week and will give the air a try.
Thanks,
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:30 AM   #7
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Checking for leaks


spray joints with soapy water and check for air bubbles
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:17 AM   #8
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Checking for leaks


I tested with water and found a few leaks, which isn't hard if the place is gutted. However, I'd probably recommend doing an air test. As people have said, it's not as messy or a pain if you need to make repairs and also, if you use water, you can only test at your water pressure. Using air will allow for a more thorough test which would also be good in the event you ever add something to increase your water pressure or if the city makes upgrades which increases your pressure.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:14 AM   #9
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Checking for leaks


Well i followed through with the air test and I would recommend it. I only found three leaks which I didn't think was bad considering this was my first time plumbing a whole house from scratch.
The first two I could hear and the third I found by spraying soapy water on the connections.
Thanks for the advice.

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