Hydrostatic pressure testing

Hydrostatic pressure testing of a sanitary sewer system is performed to determine if leaks or failures are present within a contained non-pressurized residential or commercial sewer system. Hydrostatic pressure or “head pressure” is applied to a sanitary sewer system by blocking off sections of a system with inflatable test balls or a cap and filling pipes with water to determine if the system holds water within a given amount of time. Once a system or portion of the system is isolated or blocked off, the pipes are filled with water to the level of the lowest open drain within a sanitary sewer system, usually, this level is at or near floor or slab level. The lowest open drain must be identified before performing a hydrostatic pressure test to avoid overfilling of sanitary sewer system which can/will result in flooding of house or building. Water levels are observed at the floor level of the lowest open drain within a system to determine if the piping system has leaks present. This observation point for water level can be an open drain at observation level, i.e. stand up shower stall, clean out, or exposed toilet drain if the toilet is removed. If a system fails to fill to observation level with the water, or if water level drops after the system is filled, then this indicates leaks and/or failures within the sanitary sewer system. If the system is composed of aging piping material; i.e. cast-iron, clay, galvanized steel, or other old material, then complete replacement/re-routing/renewal of the entire aged piping system is recommended. Failures within an aging piping system are typically indicative of the overall condition of the entire system. If the system is composed of a durable piping material such as schedule 40 PVC, then a further series of static leak isolation testing done in conjunction with a video camera inspection of the sanitary sewer system can be performed to isolate and identify individual leaks/failures located within a sanitary sewer system to determine options for spot repairing of isolated leaks.

Accurate Leak and Line shoot March 2009

Static Leak Testing

Static Leak Isolation testing of a sanitary sewer system is performed to determine exact locations of leaks or failures within a contained non-pressurized residential or commercial sewer system. Static isolation testing is applied using the exact concepts of hydrostatic pressure testing on isolated sections of a sanitary sewer system. Inflatable test balls are inserted through existing mainline cleanouts, wall or branch end-line cleanouts, roof vents, or exposed toilet drains and placed/set at different locations throughout the sanitary sewer system in order to isolate and hydrostatic pressure test different sections of the system. Test balls can be strategically placed throughout the system upstream or downstream of branch combination inlets or joints to effectively isolate the desired portion of the system and expedite the isolation testing process. An in-line video camera is used in conjunction with the static isolation process to strategically place the test balls for isolation and map out the schematics of a sanitary sewer system as well as inspect pipes for defects.

Video camera inspection of a sanitary sewer system

In-line video cameras are used to visually inspect sanitary sewer lines for defects or failures within the piping system. The system is accessed by camera via accessible cleanouts, roof vents, exposed drains, etc. A transmitter inside of the camera head allows us to pinpoint the exact locations of sewer lines or damaged underground piping from above. Cameras are also used to assist in the placement of test balls throughout a sanitary sewer system when performing static leak isolation testing.

Slab Water Leaks

Symptoms of a pressure water slab leak include the sound of running water, water protrusion through or outside of the foundation, high water bill/high water usage, warm spots on foundation, foundation movement, the sound of hissing water with no water observed or water observed. The electronic listening equipment is utilized to narrow down the area of the leak. Electronic line Tracing equipment is utilized to map the underground water piping system and locate the manifolds in the walls. Listening equipment is utilized to pinpoint the location of the underground/sub-slab leak. proposals for rerouting, tunneling, or slab penetration and repair are provided.

Water Pressure Testing/Isolation testing

Water meter movement is used to observe water usage or water loss within a domestic residential or commercial potable water system. Water meter movement can also be used throughout the isolation process as well as opposed to a water pressure gauge drop if water meter movement exists. A water pressure gauge is placed on a faucet or fixture connection. The Faucet is turned on to pressurize the gauge. The water meter is then turned off and the pressure on the gauge is observed. No loss and pressure indicate no leaks in the pressure system. A loss of pressure indicates leaks in the water piping system. Isolate the toilets at shut-off valves and irrigation at the check valve. Retest the system. If the system pressure test continues to fail, isolate the house system from the yard mainline at the house shut-off valve if one exists and isolate the hot water system from the hot water heater shut-off valve if one exists. If the pressure drop is indicated below the foundation continue with electronic leak detection and proposals for repair. If a leak exists on the yard main provide a proposal to replace the yard line from the meter to house, if irrigation, call an irrigation company.