Hydrostatic Pressure Testing

Finding Leaks and Verifying Durability

Hydrostatic pressure testingHydrostatic Pressure Testing, also known as Hydrostatic Testing or a Leak Test, provides a method for finding leaks or verifying performance and durability in pressure vessels. Laboratory Testing Inc. routinely performs hydrostatic testing services on tubing, pipe and coils at our lab near Philadelphia, PA (USA).

The hydrostatic pressure test is classified as one of our nondestructive testing techniques, meaning the sample is typically not harmed during the test. The hydro test can be completed with pressure up to 10,000 PSI.

Hydrostatic Testing to Meet Your Needs

Hydrostatic pressure testLTI is equipped to perform hydrostatic testing using either water, oil or air under water. We most often use water as our test medium because it is less expensive than oil and an easier method to set up than air under water. As a result, the test performed in water is the least costly and most economical 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 testing 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)
  • Pressure to 10,000 PSI

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“Please tell all involved that I really appreciate the effort put forth in trying to accommodate me with this contrary resistance unit sent in for calibration. You folks are top-notch in my book.“

Randy Clair
Manager, Materials Test Lab


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