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The last thing you will want to have in your home is a leaking gas pipe.
In any case, if there is a suspected leak on a gas line, you should conduct a thorough pressure and leak test. However, working with gas lines does call for more precautions due to their risks.
We recommend hiring a professional for the job if you lack any experience working with gas lines. It’s a must to have a permit even to test the gas pressure.
Those who have some knowledge of working with gas lines may still try to test the pressure on their own. So, we thought of creating this guide to make the process easier and help you brush up on the basics if you haven’t tested a gas line for a while.
Before you can begin to test the pressure of a gas line, there are some things that you should know. First, the regulations of checking the pressure might vary based on your area, as the permissible gas pressure varies from one region to another.
We always recommend contacting your gas company to gather relevant information about these things. The company may even take the initiative of sending a technician your way to help you out with measuring the pressure.
Also, the standard regulations for measuring gas pressure might differ for commercial and residential spaces. Most common standards for pressure testing suggest that the pipe should be able to hold a certain amount of pressure for at least a few hours. Some places require you to hold the gas for a longer time, up to four hours, to determine if there is consistent flow.
But there are some instances where holding it for ten minutes is enough to pass a test.
And due to the hazards of working with gas lines, it’s obligatory to wear proper protective gear. Along with the face mask, you should wear protective eyeglasses to avoid eye injuries and ensure that gas connections to appliances and other sources are shut off.
Yes, some amount of drop in the pressure is acceptable when checking gas pipelines. You may even need to check the gas lines by making them hold three times more pressure than their working pressure. Usually, a drop of less than 10% is considered to be safe while running the test.
The acceptable pressure drop varies based on factors like working pressure, the volume of the pipework, the temperature, and the area where the gas lines are situated. Holding duration of the pressure might also affect the drop rate, so it would be best to know about the drop rates from your particular gas supplier.
You will usually find the gas meter located on the front side of your house. This meter will have a valve that controls the entry of gas into your home. When it’s open, it’s in line with the pipe present below and can be rotated at 90 degrees to shut it off.
If you have a hard time understanding the mechanics of the gas meter present in your home, try contacting your gas provider for some clarity.
To test the gas pressure, you’ll need to attach the pressure test gauge to the mainline situated by the meter. Ensure to calibrate the test gauge and use a model suggested by the local gas authorities. Also, your test gauge should have a higher capacity than the usual pressure of the gas line, which is relatively low in the case of natural gas.
You can start measuring the pressure by gradually turning on the valve and driving the gas towards the gauge. But applying too much pressure at once may even harm the testing gauge, so don’t exceed the recommended test pressure. Hold it in place for a minimum of 15 minutes or the recommended duration; in some cases, people test the pressure for a whole day.
Also, remember to remove the shut-off valves and detach all appliances before applying the pressure.
A sudden drop in the gas pressure or a significant decline over the holding duration may point to a leak in the pipeline. Hence, you’ll need to follow it up by checking all the joints of the gas pipework for potential leaks. You can easily do it by applying a bubble solution to the joints to check whether gas is leaking.
If you’re not a certified gas technician, we suggest contacting a professional to run further tests on the gas lines and perform repairs. They may even suggest to you what might have caused the leaks in the first place. Also, whenever a new gas line or connection is added to the main source, ask the professional to test it, ensuring proper gas pressure in the pipeline.
That’s everything we had to tell you about checking the gas pressure at home. Remember to follow the proper instructions and use protective gear to maintain the utmost level of safety.
Never think twice about contacting a professional whenever you feel that something’s wrong with the gas line. This is especially true if you find leaks present on the gas line or if you can smell gas. They are the only ones who have the authority to do further checks or repairs on the gas lines.
Gold Coast Plumbing Company are a reputable, friendly and professional plumbing and gas company. Our gas fitters are licensed, insured, and qualified to assist you with repairs, installations, and maintenance. So, speak to us today!
With that, we have come to the end of this guide. Until next time, goodbye, and stay safe!