10 Tips for Easy Hydrostatic Pressure Testing

Hydrostatic testing is when you check the pressure of a unit using water to check for leaks. This method of testing is used across many industries to test objects such as gas canisters and fire extinguishers. Here are ten tips to help with your hydrostatic testing:

1. Make sure everyone understands what you are testing. 

Make sure whoever is carrying out the hydrostatic testing understands what the desired pressure is, the fluid you are using, and the acceptance criteria. 

Often, the specification for testing is 1.5x the required pressure of the unit. This is held for around 5 minutes, where you will check for leaks and any other signs of deterioration. 

You should plan whether you want absolutely no leak/pressure loss whatsoever, or if there is a number which you can allow. 

2. Check the fluid you are using. 

Are you going to use water or oil? Will you add a colourant to this to make it more apparent?

Do not pick a fluid which doesn’t suit the unit. For example, it will be very tricky to get oil out using water. 

3. Measuring the pressure.

Make sure that the pressure gauge you are using is in good working order and does not need calibrating. Try to test this on something you are sure you know the correct pressure to see if it is right. 

4. Make sure your test is safe. 

Hoses and fitting on a uni will need to be set to deal with the amount of pressure. Make sure any connections to the test unit are working and are not in a mess. This will potentially create a leak or compromise safety. 

5. Get the air out. 

Bleeding your unit from the highest point is the best choice, as you do not want to be compressing air in the system. 

6. Be wary of PTFE tape. 

It is not a good idea to have this floating around whilst you are performing a test. Fragments can fall off and end up being part of the flow in the system, jamming valves. 

7. Get the correct pump. 

Record the results from your hydrostatic test in a log book or form. Make note of any serial numbers, the job number, the days date, and the staff members name who carried out the test. 

8. Take notes. 

Record the results from your hydrostatic test in a log book or form. Make note of any serial numbers, the job number, the days date, and the staff members name who carried out the test. 

9. Have the hoses and fittings to hand. 

Looking for the hoses and fittings can end up taking longer than the test itself. Ensure that you have the correct fittings to hand for the job to be done properly. Keep them organised so you know where to look next time. 

Consider investing in stainless steel test fittings as these will not corrode when storing. 

10. Look for any external leaks. 

Check for external leaks with the pipework and hoses before you worry.