My Idiot Proof Pressure Testing Method

Pressure testing plumbing supply lines is one of the most difficult property preservation repairs to verify. Unless, of course, you redo every single pressure test right after your crew or subcontractor gets finished. It amazes me that most licensed plumbers either don’t know how to conduct a pressure test to the plumbing supply lines using an air compressor or will do it wrong. Well a few years ago out of sheer frustration, I designed a quick little set of instructions with a checklist that that has been working ever since. What’s even better is that these instructions are so very straight and to the point that I can now send someone who doesn’t normally do plumbing work for me to conduct a pressure test and I will have all the correct photos and end result that I was looking for, every single time.

The first thing I put together was a step by step checklist that clearly describes exactly how I require them to complete the process, so that we get the same end result every single time. My instructions are very specific and they are based on what I learned from hundreds of previously completed pressure tests. My checklist starts them off at the water meter, then on to the water heater, then the laundry faucet and so on until all valves have been opened and everything is set up and ready to pressurize. The second part of my process was something I thought up to stop certain people from trying to “cheat” or cut corners during the pressure tests they completed for me. So once they have everything set up and they have pressurized the supply lines with air, they are required to take a photo of both the pressure gauge and their cell phone in the same frame. Then they take a second photo the same way at least 30 minutes later. This is my proof that gets sent to my clients, showing them that the system held pressure for a half hour. Since implementing this procedure, I have not gotten charged back for any of these. There’s even been a few times where a leak was found at a later date but because I had this proof, I was in the clear.

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Comments

  1. I still have not been able to come up with a better method to keep a person honest when completing these. However, I still send in a second person to perform a quality control pressure test approx 25% of the time – ever since this one extremely lazy “licensed plumber” thought it would be OK to break the cover off of his pressure gauge and manually set the needle. This dumb-ass even waited 35 minutes to take the second set of pictures showing his cell phone next to the broken pressure gauge. I’ll never understand why so many people spend their time trying to “cut corners”, when in reality it is so much cheaper and quicker to do it “the right way”, the first time.

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