Hydrostatic Pressure Testing

Finding Leaks and Verifying Durability

Hydrostatic pressure testingHydrostatic Pressure Testing, also known as Hydro Testing or a Leak Test, provides a method for finding leaks or verifying performance and durability in pressure vessels. The hydrostatic pressure test is classified as one of our NDT techniques, meaning the sample is typically not harmed during testing.

Hydro Testing to Meet Your Needs

Laboratory Testing Inc. routinely performs testing to a pressure of 10,000 PSI on the following:

  • Pipe
  • Tubing
  • Coils

Our lab near Philadelphia, PA (USA) is equipped to perform hydrostatic pressure testing using any of the following:

  • Hydrostatic pressure testWater
  • Oil
  • Air under water

Water is our most commonly used test medium because it is less expensive than oil, an easier method to set up than air, and as a result, is the least costly of the three options for customers.

Test Methods/Specifications

  • ASME SA530
  • ASME SA999
  • ASME SA1016
  • MIL-T-16420K

The Hydrostatic Pressure Test Process

Standard hydrostatic test procedures entail filling the test vessel with liquid, bleeding out air and then pressurizing the piece. The NDE inspector thoroughly examines the vessel for leaks or permanent changes in shape. The hydro test is performed with a nearly incompressible (compressible only by weight, not air pressure) liquid, usually water or oil, because it will only expand by a very small amount should the test piece fail and not pose a danger to the technician. The hydrostatic pressure test can also be performed with pressurized air, but this leak test is generally carried out with the vessel under water for safety reasons.

The pressure used in hydrostatic pressure testing is always considerably more than the operating pressure to give the customer a margin for safety. Typically the test is performed at 150 percent of the design or working pressure. For example, if a pipe was rated to a working pressure of 2000 PSI, it would be tested at 3000 PSI to ensure reliability.

A sample that does not meet performance or durability specifications may fail and become unusable during the leak test.

Watch how this process can be used to perform a Burst Test on a Beer Keg in our video below.

LTI Capabilities

  • Products Tested – tubing, pipe, coils
  • Testing Medium – water, oil, air (under water)
  • Pressures to 10,000 PSI

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