A pressure test is a common, but very important procedure which is carried out on almost any pressurized, fluid carrying vessel, ranging from anything in between cylinders, boilers or tubes. The general rule is that pressurized equipment must be checked upon installation of new parts, after routine maintenance or part replacements, but it is important to carry it out at regular intervals just to be sure that the equipment is in safe working conditions. Failure to properly conduct this kind of tests can lead to severe consequences, such as rupture of pipes, cracks and even explosions. It is therefore important to know more about this process and what kind of equipment is required to perform it.
First of all, there are two main methods of pressure testing: pneumatic and hydrostatic. The former method relies on using non-flammable, non-toxic and relatively inert gases such as air or nitrogen to conduct the test, whereas the latter relies on the use of liquids. Generally water is preferred due to its unreactivity and availability, but some cases require the use of special oils or other fluids. Hydrostatic testing is preferred for situations where operational pressure of the equipment is relatively high.
A hydrostatic test involves in pumping the liquid at a pressure that is about 1.5 times the operation pressure of the system and checking various parameters. The liquid is usually dyed (sometimes the dye might be fluorescent as well) to easily identify cracks and leaks. After conducting the test, it is possible to assess the condition of the system, including deformations, pressure losses and equipment failures. Most of the time, this test is followed by a proof-pressure test and a visual inspection to further ensure correct functioning of the system.
To perform hydrostatic testing, you will need to acquire a hydrotest pump. If you want to carry out the test privately, you will need to buy one from a company producing such equipment. Otherwise you can contact the said company, who will then proceed to do the test and give you the results. If you are not familiar with the correct procedures, it is recommended to resort to this method to avoid confusions.
Out of such companies, Hi-Force is a well-know and reputed company which specialized in designing, manufacturing and servicing of hydraulic tools, including the famous ToughLift jacking systems. It also provides facilities for tool rental and is overall recommended by many people when it comes to hydraulic tools.
Overall, pressure testing is an important aspect of the maintenance of pressurized vessels, and is therefore required to perform the tests without delay. Be also mindful that many countries require these tests to be conducted by law, and you might face trouble if your equipment fails to adhere to your country’s standards.