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Pneumatic Leak Testing

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Pneumatic Leak Testing

    Ensuring the integrity of pipelines and pressure vessels is paramount in various industries, such as water distribution, oil and gas, and manufacturing.

    At PTS (Pipe Testing Services) we focus on water infrastructure, and pipework across the UK. Firstly, let’s talk about hydrostatic pressure testing. It’s a widely recognised method for evaluating the structural soundness of these systems. We have many recent pieces discussing our pressure testing services – take a look here.

    However, we’ll be talking about a different method. Crucially, whatever the method, our team at PTS must identify and address any potential leaks. This is where pneumatic leak testing comes into play as a preliminary step.

    What is Pneumatic Leak Testing?

    It’s a cost-effective and efficient method for detecting leaks in pipelines, pressure vessels, and other pressurized systems. By identifying and resolving leaks early on, this step helps to prevent costly water loss. Additionally, this process has minimal environmental impact, and, ensures the accuracy of subsequent tests.

    In need of services – take a look here. Alternatively, take a look at our dedicated site for Hydrostatic pressure testing

    How does Pneumatic Leak Testing Work?

    Leak testing is a method that uses compressed air or an inert gas to pressurize the system under evaluation. The pressurized air or gas is then monitored for any pressure drops or leaks. With this approach, several advantages come with it, including; cost-effectiveness, safety, and ease of detecting leaks.

    During testing, the isolated section of the pipeline or pressure vessel is filled with compressed air or an inert gas, such as nitrogen or helium. The pressure is gradually increased to a specified test level, and sensitive pressure gauges and leak detection equipment are used to identify any leaks or pressure drops within the system.

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    When to Perform Pneumatic Leak Testing

    Pneumatic leak testing is recommended in various scenarios – and it’s one of the methods we use regularly with clients:

    Testing Procedure for Pneumatic Leak Testing

    The procedure typically involves the following steps:

    System Preparation

    • Isolating the Test Section: The section of the pipeline or pressure vessel to be tested is isolated using temporary end closures, valves, or other suitable methods.
    • Connecting Test Equipment: Temporary connections are made for introducing the compressed air or gas and attaching pressure gauges, leak detection equipment, and any other necessary testing equipment.
    • Filling with Compressed Air or Gas: The isolated section is filled with compressed air or an inert gas, such as nitrogen or helium.
    • Gradual Pressurization: The pressure within the system is gradually increased to the specified test level, which is typically lower than the maximum allowable operating pressure.
    • Pressure Monitoring: Calibrated pressure gauges and data loggers are used to monitor the system’s pressure for any drops or fluctuations, which may indicate the presence of leaks.
    • Leak Identification: Various leak detection methods can be employed, such as using soap solutions, ultrasonic detectors, or specialised leak detection solutions, to pinpoint the exact locations of any leaks.
    • Safe Depressurization: After completing the leak detection process, the system is safely depressurized by releasing the compressed air or gas according to established protocols.
    • Addressing Identified Leaks: Any leaks identified during the pneumatic leak testing are addressed through repairs or replacements of the affected components.

    Advantages of Pneumatic Leak Testing

    Safety Precautions

    While this type of leak testing is an invaluable preliminary step, it is important to note that it has limitations. It shouldn’t be  considered the sole method or a substitute always for hydrostatic pressure testing. Pneumatic leak testing may not detect certain types of leaks or defects that can only be identified through hydrostatic testing, such as those caused by static or dynamic water pressure.

    At PTS, we employ various methods for pressure testing – whether it’s hydrostatic or pneumatic. If you’re in need of pressure testing services, don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team. We’ll give a comprehensive, and cost-effective, service. Beneficially, we operate nationwide, up and down the UK.

    Get in Contact with PTS for Expert Pneumatic Leak Testing Services

    At Pipe Testing Services (PTS), we offer comprehensive testing services for pipelines, pressure vessels, and pressurized systems across various industries in the UK. Our experienced team of technicians and engineers is equipped with state-of-the-art testing equipment and follows stringent safety protocols to ensure accurate and reliable results.

    Our testing services are designed to identify and address any potential leaks or defects before proceeding with hydrostatic pressure testing, ensuring the integrity and safety of your systems. We understand the critical importance of conducting thorough testing procedures to mitigate risks, prevent costly water loss, and comply with relevant industry standards and regulations.

    Whether you require pneumatic leak testing for new installations, repairs, or pre-commissioning activities, our experts have the knowledge and expertise to meet your specific project requirements. We provide detailed documentation and reporting, ensuring transparency and compliance throughout the testing process.

    Phone – 01922 451646

    Email –

    Address – Unit 27 Birchbrook Industrial Estate, Shenstone, Lichfield, Staffs, WS14 0DJ

    In addition to pneumatic leak testing, we offer a comprehensive range of related services, including chlorination services, pipeline flushing, legionella contractor services and commissioning support, providing a complete solution for your pipeline and pressure vessel testing needs.

    If you have any further questions or need assistance with pneumatic leak testing, hydrostatic pressure testing or any of or other services, get in contact today for a personalised quote.