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joside 08-31-2010 04:12 PM

Gas pressure test
 
I installed a new furnace (previously there was a gas wall heater) and ran about 20' of 3/4" black pipe with a shut-off, drip-leg, etc. at the furnace. I noticed on my inspection card there is a pressure test required. Can anyone tell me what I will probably have to do for this?

Will the inspector want me to test the entire system or just the new section I've added? My other gas appliances are water heater, dryer and stove. Capping the pipes on these is a PITA, especially with the stove which would have to be pulled out of an island to get to the gas connection through the floor.

As far as the actual test, is this a short duration thing or am I expected to keep things pressurized overnight? Does the inspector provide a pump and gauge? If so, do I need fittings? If not, can I rent the equipment?

I realize these are questions for the inspector, and I'll ask him, but I just want to prepare myself. BTW, this is a fully permitted remodel in California and there is no work being done in any of the areas where the old gas appliances are.

Rambo 08-31-2010 04:22 PM

your gonna have to furnish the gauge and compressor...just the new work needs to be tested...you should of added a gas cock on your new branch so you could isolate it from the rest of the main...so now your gonna have to test the whole system unless you take it back apart or cut and thread and add a union and gas cock at the T....

here the pressure needs to be half the gauge and hold...i usally test then leave and go back after the inspection is done...

the_man 08-31-2010 07:34 PM

If you have valves on the gas lines to the other appliances, you can shut em off and test easier so you don't have to cut in a valve on the new work. If I remember right its 15 psi air test for 30 minutes. Like the dude above said the gauge is supposed to be twice the test pressure, leave the test on for a couple hours just in case there are any problems

NHMaster 09-01-2010 02:59 PM

2 and 1/2 times working pressure and yes, you will be required to test the entire system.

braindead 09-01-2010 06:02 PM

I know you don't want to ask the inspector, but you have to. You need to know how much pressure he requires and how long you have to leave it on, you can't test against another appliance, they have to be valved off and capped, that includes the furnace.

joside 09-03-2010 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by braindead (Post 494464)
I know you don't want to ask the inspector, but you have to.

I think you missed when I wrote: "I realize these are questions for the inspector, and I'll ask him, but I just want to prepare myself."

I did ask him yesterday when I passed my HVAC/plumbing/electric rough-in:thumbup: and here's what he told me:

I only need to test the new part of the system. I need to get 10psi to hold for about 15-30 minutes (depending on how bored the inspector gets, I guess). The gauge is $10 at Home Depot, and it has a Schrader valve so I can just use my bike pump. He said put the gauge on one end and cap off the other. Then I can just attach the new pipe back into the system using a union as long as that union is accessible later (not inside a wall). My other option is to use a reverse threader piece and coupler so I can tighten the pipe inline.

I thought I'd post this as a reference to others, but keep in mind my inspector might be very different from yours.

NHMaster 09-03-2010 08:59 PM

Fortunately ( or rather unfortuantely ) for you, your inspector is ignorant. Only hold for 10 to 15 minutes? (so is it ok if it leaks after 30 minutes) It's gas. Gas has a nasty habit of removing houses from their foundations. So are you happy with 10 to fifteen minutes?

GAS PIPING, VALVES AND FITTINGS MUST HOLD PRESSURE......FOREVER :thumbsup:

10 lbs is not an accurate leak test. I said before, 2.5 times working pressure and the gauge can't be a 2 dollar HD water pump gauge. You need a Rogers gauge ( or similar ) or a manometer. Only a proper pressure and gauge will detect very small leakage which can and often does turn into a big BOOM

I'm sure that you decided to take on the piping project because you thought that hiring a pro to do it would cost too much. Now you know why it cost so much. It's because the pro would know the proper way to install and test reqardless of the expertese of the inspector. A pro would know that the entire system needs to be capped off and tested. A pro would know that the test would be performed at 2.5 times working pressure and a pro would have the 150 dollar gauge necessary to properly test the system.

Good luck with your project. Sleep well :wink:

fireguy 09-04-2010 05:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NHMaster (Post 495648)
Fortunately ( or rather unfortuantely ) for you, your inspector is ignorant. Only hold for 10 to 15 minutes? (so is it ok if it leaks after 30 minutes) It's gas. Gas has a nasty habit of removing houses from their foundations. So are you happy with 10 to fifteen minutes?

GAS PIPING, VALVES AND FITTINGS MUST HOLD PRESSURE......FOREVER :thumbsup:

10 lbs is not an accurate leak test. I said before, 2.5 times working pressure and the gauge can't be a 2 dollar HD water pump gauge. You need a Rogers gauge ( or similar ) or a manometer. Only a proper pressure and gauge will detect very small leakage which can and often does turn into a big BOOM

I'm sure that you decided to take on the piping project because you thought that hiring a pro to do it would cost too much. Now you know why it cost so much. It's because the pro would know the proper way to install and test reqardless of the expertese of the inspector. A pro would know that the entire system needs to be capped off and tested. A pro would know that the test would be performed at 2.5 times working pressure and a pro would have the 150 dollar gauge necessary to properly test the system.

Good luck with your project. Sleep well :wink:

NH Master plumber forget one minor thing, a licesenced pro will have liability insurance to protect himself and you against mishaps. Does your homeowners insurance cover you if you make a mistake?

braindead 09-04-2010 06:19 PM

joside: I didn't miss what you said, I was just commenting on the fact that no matter what the forum said you would have to get your final answer from the inspector. :yes:

braindead 09-05-2010 09:42 AM

Gas Test
 
NHMaster: I don't want to start a pizzing contest, but some of your statements don't compute:

...10 lbs is not an accurate leak test. I said before, 2.5 times working pressure...

Since most residential systems run on 1/2psi a 10 lb. test is 20 times working pressure.

...Fortunately ( or rather unfortuantely ) for you, your inspector is ignorant...

The inspector has to do the test the way his jurisdiction wants it, not the way someone on the job thinks it should be done; that dosen't make him ignorant.

...Only hold for 10 to 15 minutes?...

A good gage will tell you instantly if you have a leak in the system, i.e. mercury, (which most areas will not allow anymore).

Used to test major systems with 6in of mercury, which comes out to 3psi, even under your figures a 2lb. system would only be checked to 5lb.

...GAS PIPING, VALVES AND FITTINGS MUST HOLD PRESSURE......FOREVER...

Does that mean that you can never take the test off? :huh:

NHMaster 09-05-2010 10:52 AM

No, what it means is that you need to get a copy of the National Fuel Gas Code and read the section on gas pipe testing ( so does your local inspector )

Gauges accurate enough to detect a very slow leak will not handle 10 lbs pressure, and are very expensive.

Look, I'm not busting your chops here, I'm trying to keep your house on the foundation. The Nat. gas code has everything you need to know about gas pipe testing. I'm licensed for gas service and installation in three states and I don't give a crap what the inspector wants in any case. I care what the code says and what will cover my ass legally. 10lbs on a 4 dollar pressure gauge does not meet those requirements.

the_man 09-05-2010 08:06 PM

I gotta say i agree with NHMaster, if you have to ask that many questions you're probably not ready to do it. Too many things can go wrong, and you can't put a bucket underneath one of those leaks :no:

joside 09-07-2010 10:12 AM

This is getting comical. Dude, I understand you're a professional but I think you're missing some things here. Braindead pretty much hit the nail on the head but to reiterate:

10psi is well over 20 time the allowed gas pressure for the furnace.

"...GAS PIPING, VALVES AND FITTINGS MUST HOLD PRESSURE......FOREVER..." What exactly is that supposed to mean? I have to test it "forever"?

Also, it's not a "water pump gauge". It's a gas gauge, the increments are in tenths.

Not to burst your bubble, but I wasn't asking for your professional opinion on my local inspector. I can sleep perfectly fine, as I have for years, using pipe dope and tightening the crap out of my pipes. My question was simply about passing the inspection.

NHMaster 09-07-2010 03:31 PM

No, what is comical, actualy a tragic comedy, is that you do not have a clear understanding of what I am telling you, and unless you are willing to invest a few years of your life and get some training, you never will. But for the sake of the show I'll say it again. Gas piping gets testeed at 2.5 times working pressure. Testing it at 20 lbs tells you nothing and is not necessary. Unless you spent in the neighborhood of a hundred dollars or so that "gas" gauge you have is not worth spit. But, you naturally, know more than a guy with 36 years experience in the trade and the licenses and certs to back it up. So for the final act, keep on keeping on and we'll all be here for the grand finale' Hopefully you will also. :laughing:

(Quote)Not to burst your bubble, but I wasn't asking for your professional opinion on my local inspector. I can sleep perfectly fine, as I have for years, using pipe dope and tightening the crap out of my pipes. My question was simply about passing the inspection.

You ought to re-think that sentence
As far as your inspector goes. do whatever he want's from you. After all he's a licensed professional gas technician too.... isn't he?

kenmac 09-07-2010 08:18 PM

code states 1.5 x the max working pressure, but not less than 3 psig . test not to exceed 24 hrs...Around here , inspectors require 10 psig for 10 min.


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