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  • Is it really a leak?

    I installed a run of copper tubing to extend an new circuit on my Hydronic heating system. We did an air pressure test at 100 PSI. Initially I had one joint fail. Sweated this joint and the pressure held for weeks. I had not bothered to take the pressure test off when I notice it was going down some. Over a mater of weeks it finally went to Zero. During this time dry wall had been installed so doing a bubble test is not easy. Also the leak is so slow it may not blow a bubble.

    Now I am not sure what to do. There could be damage from leaving the high pressure on so long or there could be a dry wall screw hole.

    Does anyone have any comments or advice to offer? Are there any leak detectors that could be used, so I don't have to just start tearing out drywall?

    Or is it possible that such a small air leak might not leak water?

  • #2
    Re: Is it really a leak?

    there is a leak. Pump it back up and listen. Hopefully you dont have a drywall screw in the pipe pluging the hole.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Is it really a leak?

      Well if you are lucky maybe your gauge was leaking.. I would never have hung drywall till I was 100% sure there were no leaks. Try a different gauge and pump it back up and see. Or turn the water on to the loop and check it. You might have a drywall repair but oh well . Better now than later. It if leaks air it will leak water. A leak is a leak no matter how big or small..Let us know what you find Good luck...
      ''Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Benjamin Franklin

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      • #4
        Re: Is it really a leak?

        Gauge setup/snifter valve.

        J.C.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Is it really a leak?

          Originally posted by Holiday View Post
          I installed a run of copper tubing to extend an new circuit on my Hydronic heating system. We did an air pressure test at 100 PSI. Initially I had one joint fail. Sweated this joint and the pressure held for weeks. I had not bothered to take the pressure test off when I notice it was going down some. Over a mater of weeks it finally went to Zero. During this time dry wall had been installed so doing a bubble test is not easy. Also the leak is so slow it may not blow a bubble.

          Now I am not sure what to do. There could be damage from leaving the high pressure on so long or there could be a dry wall screw hole.

          Does anyone have any comments or advice to offer? Are there any leak detectors that could be used, so I don't have to just start tearing out drywall?

          Or is it possible that such a small air leak might not leak water?
          The pressure held steady for weeks? If it dropped only after sheetrock was installed you may well have a screw in the pipe. You could try pumping it up to 100 pounds with air and use an ultrasonic detector to locate the leak. I'm sure you can find a place to rent one. (the units are not cheap so it may be worth renting). There used to be an outfit called GE Rents which rents all kinds of gear. Something like this should work.
          http://uesystems.com/prod_up_2000.asp

          Maybe Rick has one you could rent.
          Time flies like an arrow.

          Fruit flies like a banana.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Is it really a leak?

            I would look at your gauge set-up first.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Is it really a leak?

              Your air testing hydronic componets or just piping and tubing circuit? this may seem like a dumb question but did you isolate your air seperator? at 100psi you would hear to the leak even if it was a small spiderwebb pisser..
              keep in mind 100# of compressed is excessive in a 15 - 20# hydro closed loop
              Last edited by plumbworker; 10-11-2010, 09:22 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Is it really a leak?

                Thanks for all the quick replies.

                Well I guess the consensus is that I need to fix this, if it leaks air it will leak water.

                This circuit has not been connected to the boiler system yet. It is just piping.

                I am putting together another gauge set up. I bubble tested all the joints on my current set up but it could be a bad gauge.

                I will check around for an ultrasonic tester. It may be worth having a pro come out with a unit and do the testing. Otherwise I could tearing out more dry wall than I need too. Is the Ultrasonic gear a common thing for plumbers these days?

                Maybe I just need a younger set of ears against the wall.

                Thanks
                Randall

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Is it really a leak?

                  i would do as oldie says. breid...............

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Is it really a leak?

                    Originally posted by Holiday View Post
                    Thanks for all the quick replies.

                    Well I guess the consensus is that I need to fix this, if it leaks air it will leak water.

                    This circuit has not been connected to the boiler system yet. It is just piping.

                    I am putting together another gauge set up. I bubble tested all the joints on my current set up but it could be a bad gauge.

                    I will check around for an ultrasonic tester. It may be worth having a pro come out with a unit and do the testing. Otherwise I could tearing out more dry wall than I need too. Is the Ultrasonic gear a common thing for plumbers these days?

                    Maybe I just need a younger set of ears against the wall.

                    Thanks
                    Randall
                    After re-reading your original post you indicate it originally held, and then dropped over a matter of weeks. I would be inclined to just go for it if:

                    It's a single story addition, an unfinished basement or crawlspace underneath. If the floors aren't finished (no raw hardwood floors) I think I would just turn the water on and keep an eye on it. How much damage do you think will occur if there is a small leak and you locate it right away?

                    Probably faster and cheaper than locating ultrasonic gear and hiring people to locate the leak, if there is one.
                    Time flies like an arrow.

                    Fruit flies like a banana.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Is it really a leak?

                      Test or fill and deal with it
                      ''Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Benjamin Franklin

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Is it really a leak?

                        Well it wasn't a leak. Just a bad gauge in the test set up. My son replaced tha gauge and it held 80 PSI for 8 hours.

                        Thanks for all the help. We had checked the gauge with a bubble test and close listening. It was in the gauge itself and must have been extremely small to not be audible. I probably would not have checked the gauge again without your suggestions.

                        Comment

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