Hydro Testing 101: Fluids, Methods, Procedure

Hydro Testing Pipe Equipment - Novamen

What Is Hydrostatic (Pressure) Testing?

Hydrostatic testing (also known as “hydro testing” or “pressure testing”) is the process of checking piping systems, gas cylinders, builders and pressure vessels for strength and leakage. Hydrostatic testing is often seen after shutdowns or repairs as equipment must be checked and validated before going into service operation again. Testing must be done when the equipment is shut down in order to monitor for any abnormal conditions or signs of leaking:

“Although hydrostatic testing is considered to be a nondestructive testing method, equipment can rupture and fail if the inspection exceeds a specified test pressure or if a small crack propagates rapidly.”

How Does Hydro Testing Work?

Hydrostatic testing service involves a professional filling up the component (components such as pipes or gas cylinders) with water, removing all the air from within, and finally, adding pressure to the system “up to 1.5 times the design pressure limit of the unit”. 

Some companies may even apply tracer or fluorescent dyes to the liquid used in order to find the exact location of any existing leaks. The tested component is then monitored for any pressure change(s), if any, and full tests are run in it before the equipment can return to normal operations again. 

Most companies will have a hydro testing procedure which takes care of resources like hydro testing fluids and equipment rentals. Different cases will require different methods and solutions when it comes to hydro testing (see below).

Types Of Hydro Testing Methods

Two primary techniques used to test small pressure vessels and gas cylinders include:

  1. The Water Jacket Method
    A vessel is completely filled with water and is then loaded it into a sealed chamber called a test jacket, also filled with water. The vessel is then pressurized inside the test jacket for a certain amount of time.

    Once the vessel expands, water gets forced out into a glass tube used to measure the total expansion. The vessel is then depressurized and will shrink to its original size (results may vary). The final condition of the vessel is used to determine its reusability or whether it needs to be replaced instead. 
  2. The Direct Expansion Method
    A vessel or gas cylinder is filled with a specified amount of water. The system is pressurized so the amount of water that is expelled can be recorded once the pressure is released.

    The amount of water forced into the vessel, the test pressure, and amount of water expelled from the vessel are all recorded and used to determine the confirmed working status of the component.

Hydro Testing Products And Services

Throughout the years, chemical fluid specialists have been researching the best methods and non toxic solutions to improve the operation of hydro testing. Different types of hydrostatic testing fluids are now available on the market, including propylene glycol, potassium acetate, methanol, and our own EcoTest 400. When choosing pressure testing fluids, look for signs or symbols that tell you the product is non toxic. Novamen proudly operates with a mission to offer you the highest grade of quality in solutions that are effective, efficient and eco friendly.

  • Hydro Testing Fluid Services
    Our hydro testing fluid rental service is a great way for you to complete your winter hydro testing programs without the need to purchase and dispose of these fluids. We carry large volumes available for short, medium and long term rentals. We include transportation to and from the test site and tank rentals are also available if needed. 
  • Ecotest 400
    – is a new hydro testing fluid developed by Novamen Inc.
    -is non-toxic, non-hazardous and fully compatible with water based hydro testing fluids such as propylene glycol.
    – is fully compatible with water based hydro testing fluids, such as propylene glycol.
    – has been freeze tested, and the results showed how the fluid can be successfully pumped, easily, even at -40º Celsius!

    The EcoTest 400’s advantages include:
  • Non-toxic
  • Non-hazardous
  • Non-flammable
  • Lower cost
  • Bio-degradable

    Best yet, the Ecotest 400 can replace glycol, methanol or salt based pressure testing fluids for BOP’s, pipeline testing or other industrial hydro testing applications.
  • Tank Rentals
    With over 60 tanks and over 4 million litres of bulk fluid storage, Novamen offer both single and double walled storage tanks to our customers for on-site storage of our chemicals.

Novamen Is Here To Help

To learn more about Novamen’s hydro testing fluid solutions or our equipment rentals, please visit the product catalogue listing by clicking here.

To request a quote for our hydro testing services, please feel free to each out via email (info@novamen.ca) or by calling us at our toll-free number, 1-833-348-5956. Novamen Inc. is happy to provide you with the customer care, resources and information you’ll need to ensure a smooth operation.

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