Think about all the places you know of which utilize pipes to move liquids around. There are pipes in your home or apartment, office buildings, under the streets and in ships. Now think about how a burst pipe can affect the world. You’re probably thinking about major oil spills that damage the environment, create a massive clean-up area and cost millions of dollars to both repair the pipe and the negative environmental impact. Think also about how burst pipes cause sinkholes in neighborhoods and extensive water damage in buildings. Now you see how using the proper equipment for each job is important.
Each piping component is made up of the pipes, fittings and flanges. Each component needs to be able to handle the pressure of the liquid which moves through it. This requires the components to be rated for three things. The first is how much liquid can safely be moved. This is called the working pressure. The proof pressure is the maximum amount of pressure the components can handle without changing the quality of the component. The burst pressure identifies the amount of pressure it will take to reduce the component’s quality. All three numbers can be gathered by performing a burst pressure test.
This test doesn’t just determine those three crucial numbers. It also can identify leaks. The best way to check for leaks, though, is before the components are ever installed. Submerge the pipe with connected fittings and flanges in water. Pump air through the pipe. If you see bubbles, you have a leak. Now, if your pipe is already installed and you need to find the leak, you can keep the pipe where it is. There are tutorials on the web that can help you.
Understanding how things work helps us better plan for the maintenance they need.