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  • Testing 3/4" Copper Pipe for Leaks - Dry Test Kit

    I've tried to find a gauge to test my 3/4" copper pipe and soldered joints for air leaks, but I can't seem to find a "Dry Test Kit" as they are called in the UK anywhere here in the US? I've been to two Home Depots, Lowe's and True Value and no luck.

    I've been told I can make one, but it would be nice not having to Solder on the gauge everytime. They appear to come with a SCHRADER VALVE to hookup a compressor or an air pump.

    I've been told the pipes need to withstand 10-13psi for 24hrs. PLEASE HELP, before I call up my local Wholesale Plumbing Supply Place.

    Is there a name for this gauge?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Testing 3/4" Copper Pipe for Leaks - Dry Test Kit

    purchase a gas test gauge with a higher pressure gauge. it comes with a 3/4'' fip thread and a tire/ schraeder valve. the typical gauge is either a 15# or 30#. they should be able to get you a higher pressure gauge.

    the proper test should be at least equal to the working pressure of the system. i would suggest at least 75#. but i would go to 150# to be safe.

    h.d and lowes carries both the gas test gauge assy. and a higher pressure gauge. you can also purchase a water test gauge that screws onto a hose bibb.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Testing 3/4" Copper Pipe for Leaks - Dry Test Kit

      Hey there 10 to 13 psi is a little low to do a pressure test on water lines it more like 100 psi for 2 hours with no pressure drop. Since your avarage water pressure is around 60 psi. How much line do you want to test. If its not to much just turn on some water slowly and see if there is a leak and if you have a leak you will see it. If your worried about water getting every where then lay dish clothes or a old dry rag on every joint. This is a lot more practical for a home owner and a do it your selfer and water test is defenetly safer.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Testing 3/4" Copper Pipe for Leaks - Dry Test Kit

        I built one out of home-depot parts. First, by visiting the air tools section and getting a valve/pressure gage combo. Add a quick-release male (same as air tools) .. and then go over to where all the brass fittings are .. you can build up the 3/8" female from the gage to a 3/4" compression fitting. It took me about 4 fittings (plus the gage).

        Just clamp it on, tighten the compression fitting, and hookup a compressor.

        I pressure tested mine at 100psi, you can turn off the valve on the gage, disconnect the air .. and go get lunch.

        Another side benefit of this I discovered by accient is that when you release the pressure, a lot of the crap that got into the pipe (shavings, etc) will blow out.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Testing 3/4" Copper Pipe for Leaks - Dry Test Kit

          Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
          purchase a gas test gauge with a higher pressure gauge. it comes with a 3/4'' fip thread and a tire/ schraeder valve. the typical gauge is either a 15# or 30#. they should be able to get you a higher pressure gauge.

          the proper test should be at least equal to the working pressure of the system. i would suggest at least 75#. but i would go to 150# to be safe.

          h.d and lowes carries both the gas test gauge assy. and a higher pressure gauge. you can also purchase a water test gauge that screws onto a hose bibb.

          rick.
          i went to TWO local Home Depot's and Lowe's and had no luck at either place, they claimed they didn't carry them here in New England and recommended I build my own...i did see they had a "water test gauge" but that didn't have an air fitting to add air pressure to the system...

          i certainly will go to at least 150lbs, didn't really think when i was typing...

          i have 120' of 3/4" thin-walled copper to test (Type M) plus 4 six foot baseboards, all using the new Pre-Soldered Joints...could make things interesting, certainly made life easy...

          learned real quick though, that the new "water-based" solder can't be left for long...i had a couple joints where I waited overnight and another one where i waited a week and didn't feel i got a good flow of solder...will soon find out...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Testing 3/4" Copper Pipe for Leaks - Dry Test Kit

            Originally posted by mindcandy30 View Post
            I built one out of home-depot parts. First, by visiting the air tools section and getting a valve/pressure gage combo. Add a quick-release male (same as air tools) .. and then go over to where all the brass fittings are .. you can build up the 3/8" female from the gage to a 3/4" compression fitting. It took me about 4 fittings (plus the gage).

            Just clamp it on, tighten the compression fitting, and hookup a compressor.

            I pressure tested mine at 100psi, you can turn off the valve on the gage, disconnect the air .. and go get lunch.

            Another side benefit of this I discovered by accident is that when you release the pressure, a lot of the crap that got into the pipe (shavings, etc) will blow out.
            do you have any pictures of this gauge you built???i picked up some parts today, including a brass block with a air tire fitting (same as a portable air tank), a gauge and two threaded holes...picked up a plug for the hole and plan to just thread it right on with a reducer to the boiler drain plug...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Testing 3/4" Copper Pipe for Leaks - Dry Test Kit

              I would be really careful when using air pressure to test anything. 150 psi could really hit you hard if anything where to go wrong, and even more so when your not sure about the odd joint. Start a low pressure of 25psi for 30 min with know drop and work your way up. Go up in incerments of 25psi an you don't need to go up to 150 psi, 100 to 120is more than enough.
              Tyler

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Testing 3/4" Copper Pipe for Leaks - Dry Test Kit

                Originally posted by Tyler S View Post
                I would be really careful when using air pressure to test anything. 150 psi could really hit you hard if anything where to go wrong, and even more so when your not sure about the odd joint. Start a low pressure of 25psi for 30 min with know drop and work your way up. Go up in incerments of 25psi an you don't need to go up to 150 psi, 100 to 120is more than enough.
                Tyler
                great tip, 150psi for boiler lines just seemed awfully high...i'll go up 25psi at a time...good tip...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Testing 3/4" Copper Pipe for Leaks - Dry Test Kit

                  Using Air is a different animal than using water when hydro testing pipe.
                  I you are just testing simply for leaks you need not go more
                  than 10 to 25 psi. Make sure you wear goggles or a face shield.

                  If you just want to test the Integrity of the joint,.. pressurize the pipe to
                  10 - 25 psi. Take a cup of soapy ( dish soap ) water and a small acid brush and swipe the joint.
                  watch for air bubbles. If you are pressuring a whole line an air compressor air gauge will work.
                  Last edited by Davet; 02-25-2007, 03:27 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Testing 3/4" Copper Pipe for Leaks - Dry Test Kit

                    Originally posted by buoychaser View Post
                    great tip, 150psi for boiler lines just seemed awfully high...i'll go up 25psi at a time...good tip...
                    i talked with two plumbers and they both said when testing Boiler Lines, the maximum psi needed is 20psi...so i've hooked it up, found one leak, fixed it and we're good to go, going to wait a couple hours then fill her up...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Testing 3/4" Copper Pipe for Leaks - Dry Test Kit

                      Originally posted by Davet View Post
                      Using Air is a different animal than using water when hydro testing pipe.
                      I you are just testing simply for leaks you need not go more
                      than 10 to 25 psi. Make sure you wear goggles or a face shield.

                      If you just want to test the Integrity of the joint,.. pressurize the pipe to
                      10 - 25 psi. Take a cup of soapy ( dish soap ) water and a small acid brush and swipe the joint.
                      watch for air bubbles. If you are pressuring a whole line an air compressor air gauge will work.
                      EXACTLY!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Testing 3/4" Copper Pipe for Leaks - Dry Test Kit

                        here's the gauge i built for $20, would have rather had a 50psi gauge but just have to be careful with this one since it isn't as sensitive...
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Testing 3/4" Copper Pipe for Leaks - Dry Test Kit

                          here's the other side...
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Testing 3/4" Copper Pipe for Leaks - Dry Test Kit

                            You guys realize you can buy a gauge set-up (3/4" ips inlet, a gauge, and an air chuck fitting) for less and less labor, refer to Pasco et al.

                            Also, 20psi is not enough to check soldered joints installed with California approved flux. I would suggest at least 60 psi.
                            the dog

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Testing 3/4" Copper Pipe for Leaks - Dry Test Kit

                              dog, i tried to tell them that more than once. i even went and typed up a large post last night, but deleated it since i was tired of trying to convince them to listen to a plumber. one is sales, the other is a pump manufactor. i guess us plumbers are not to be trusted

                              you were pretty easy on it

                              rick.
                              phoebe it is

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