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Old 03-24-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
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Gas line test (LP gas)


So the inspector told me to put a test gauge on it, and it must hold 5 psi for 15 minutes.

So I put a gauge on it, pumped it to 5 psi and it holds 5psi for at least 3 hours.

It held the full 5psi for at least 3, however, I'm going into the 4th hour now and I notice the gauge is down to about 4 1/2 psi.

Is that acceptable loss, or do you think it's a matter of the temperature change from this afternoon until now or?

-- Joe

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Old 03-24-2012, 09:39 PM   #2
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Gas line test (LP gas)


I would suspect a leak, unless the temperature really plummeted. Minimum code in all of Canada is 15 psi for 15 minutes, and many inspectors require a 30 psi test. I would always test at 30 psi for 24 hours, even for residential. There should be zero loss. I recommend you pump it up to 30 psi and soap test all joints. The added benefit of higher pressure is that you'll detect smaller leaks sooner.

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Old 03-25-2012, 07:44 AM   #3
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Gas line test (LP gas)


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I would suspect a leak, unless the temperature really plummeted. Minimum code in all of Canada is 15 psi for 15 minutes, and many inspectors require a 30 psi test. I would always test at 30 psi for 24 hours, even for residential. There should be zero loss. I recommend you pump it up to 30 psi and soap test all joints. The added benefit of higher pressure is that you'll detect smaller leaks sooner.
The problem with that is that I cannot test at 30psi with the valves in place (ball shut off valves), and the inspector requires the test to be performed with the valves in place and the lines as they would be in service.

I'll double check what the rating is on the ball valves and see the max pressure I can pump it up to.

-- Joe
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:58 AM   #4
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Gas line test (LP gas)


I would be very surprised if your shut-off valves can't handle 30 psi. The cheapest gas valves that I use are rated up to 600 psi.

When installing gas lines, there are two tests that must be done:

1)The "rough-in" test: This is the 15 psi for 15 min test, with all meters, regulators and appliances disconnected.

2)After you've determined that test one is good, you make all final connections (meter or tank, regulators and appliances) then either dial test or attach a manometer and test at operating pressure, AND soap test all connections made after test one.

I realize that you are following what the inspector is telling you to do, but it falls short of even minimum code requirements where I am.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:19 PM   #5
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Gas line test (LP gas)


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I would be very surprised if your shut-off valves can't handle 30 psi. The cheapest gas valves that I use are rated up to 600 psi.

When installing gas lines, there are two tests that must be done:

1)The "rough-in" test: This is the 15 psi for 15 min test, with all meters, regulators and appliances disconnected.

2)After you've determined that test one is good, you make all final connections (meter or tank, regulators and appliances) then either dial test or attach a manometer and test at operating pressure, AND soap test all connections made after test one.

I realize that you are following what the inspector is telling you to do, but it falls short of even minimum code requirements where I am.
I had proposed #1 when I spoke with him, and he said no. He told me "Connect everything, turn your valves off and set it to 5 psi. I want to see it on for 15 minutes. 15 psi is way too high, these things run at half a psi on a good day".. I was like Ok. So I finished all my connections. Previously I had end caps in place of valves and I had intended on doing the 15 psi test, calling him to inspect, and then calling the gas company. (since the gas company does the 5psi test it seemed redundant that I should do it).

Uggg!


Thanks for the help!

-- Joe
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:30 PM   #6
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Gas line test (LP gas)


What code is your inspector using?
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:46 PM   #7
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Gas line test (LP gas)


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What code is your inspector using?
No idea. I told him I'd use the NFGC to size my pipes, and he said OK.

Benny:

I used brasscraft vales. A couple 3/4, and a 1/2". They say on the tag they came with that they are rated for 1/2" PSI. Yet home depot says they are rated at 125psi... There is obviously something I'm missing.

-- Joe
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:31 PM   #8
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Gas line test (LP gas)


I use brass craft shut-offs on my test gauges to isolate the schraeder valve (they are prone to leaking after several uses) and they definitely hold up to repeated use at 30 psi. Look for the WOG number, I think 125 psi may be the correct max operating pressure. It should have something like '125 WOG' written on the valve.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:38 PM   #9
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Gas line test (LP gas)


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I use brass craft shut-offs on my test gauges to isolate the schraeder valve (they are prone to leaking after several uses) and they definitely hold up to repeated use at 30 psi. Look for the WOG number, I think 125 psi may be the correct max operating pressure. It should have something like '125 WOG' written on the valve.
I did another 5psi test just to see what happens. It lost 1/2 psi after an hour.

I'll go look at the valve bodies as you suggested and pump it up higher if I can.

I hope if there is a leak it's now somewhere in the crawl space. It would be impossible to soap test there.

-- Joe
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:09 PM   #10
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Gas line test (LP gas)


They say on the casting/body "1/2 PSIG"...

Maybe I should just put some caps on for now and test it to 15psi (max my gauge will go to).

??

-- Joe
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:18 PM   #11
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Gas line test (LP gas)


On all pressure tests here we break the appliance loose at the union and then remove the union and cap.

You really need to find out what code the inspector is using and what section. Not just the NFGC. Most codes are based off International Fuel Gas Code or the Uniform Plumbing Code.

Here we use the Uniform Plumbing Code which states no pressure against a valve. Meaning the shut off valves cannot be used as a cap. So we are require to disconnect the appliance being served and cap the line or plug the valve with it open.

Here we are required to test at 20 psi for 30 mins.

If I remember correctly code states that the gas pressure test shall be at 1 1/2 time the rated pressure for 10 mins. But with NG being at such a low pressure you will never find a leak at 3-5 psi so that is why we test at 20 Psi.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:37 PM   #12
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Gas line test (LP gas)


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On all pressure tests here we break the appliance loose at the union and then remove the union and cap.

You really need to find out what code the inspector is using and what section. Not just the NFGC. Most codes are based off International Fuel Gas Code or the Uniform Plumbing Code.

Here we use the Uniform Plumbing Code which states no pressure against a valve. Meaning the shut off valves cannot be used as a cap. So we are require to disconnect the appliance being served and cap the line or plug the valve with it open.

Here we are required to test at 20 psi for 30 mins.

If I remember correctly code states that the gas pressure test shall be at 1 1/2 time the rated pressure for 10 mins. But with NG being at such a low pressure you will never find a leak at 3-5 psi so that is why we test at 20 Psi.
I'll try that tomorrow. I tightened the crap out of everything, so I suspect if their is a leak it's at one of the unions in the main line, since I'm told they tend to be the culprit.

If something leaks, ever so slightly at 5, or 10, or 20 psi would it also leak at 1/2 psi operating pressure ?

-- Joe
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:48 PM   #13
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Gas line test (LP gas)


We really need to know how much pipe we are talking about....if it's 1/2 PSI in an hour....and we are talking about 10' of pipe....yea...you have a potential problem...but if we are looking at about 100' total of 3/4" pipe with 3-4 connections on it....time to shag the wife...you have more important things to worry about.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:59 PM   #14
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I'll try that tomorrow. I tightened the crap out of everything, so I suspect if their is a leak it's at one of the unions in the main line, since I'm told they tend to be the culprit.

If something leaks, ever so slightly at 5, or 10, or 20 psi would it also leak at 1/2 psi operating pressure ?

-- Joe
After you put pressure to the line tap on the gauge to settle the needle. Pressure to 20 psi for 30 mins or an hour, if the needle moves then you have a leak..you want zero psi drop reguardless of size of pipe or length. If you have a drop in pressure get a reusable spray bottle and mix it with a liquid soap and water mix. Spray each joint and watch for bubbles. If you have no drop after 30 mins move on life is toooooooooooo short.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:24 AM   #15
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Gas line test (LP gas)


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Originally Posted by ddawg16
We really need to know how much pipe we are talking about....if it's 1/2 PSI in an hour....and we are talking about 10' of pipe....yea...you have a potential problem...but if we are looking at about 100' total of 3/4" pipe with 3-4 connections on it....time to shag the wife...you have more important things to worry about.
No, this is absolutely wrong and dangerous advice. A 1/2 psi drop over one hour from a 100' section of pipe is a much larger leak than that from a 10' section of pipe.

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