How to Pressure Test Steel Pipe

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Pressure testing the steel pipe connecting your home's gas supply is a good idea, especially if you think you have a gas leak. The test itself is not hard to perform, but should be conducted legally. If you live in a large metropolitan area, there are strict guidelines to follow when conducting your pressure test. Failure to follow these guidelines may lead to monetary penalties and jail time. The laws concerning pressure testing steel pipe are not only for your safety, but for that of the community as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Pipe wrench
  • Steel adapter
  • Teflon paste
  • Pressure gauge
  • Crescent wrench
  • Steel caps
  • Air chuck
  • Air compressor
  • Shut off the gas supply at the gas meter. You may need to contact your gas company and have them shut it off for the test.

  • Unscrew the gas meter connector from the house’s steel gas pipe with the pipe wrench and screw on the appropriate-sized adapter in its place.

  • Coat the adapter’s threads with Teflon paste and screw on the test gauge by hand. Tighten the gauge with a crescent wrench.

  • Disconnect all the appliances connected to the steel gas pipe.

  • Install threaded steel caps on the open ends of the steel gas pipe with Teflon paste and a pipe wrench.

  • Connect an air chuck, like the one you use to inflate your tires, to an air compressor. Turn the compressor on and let it fill until it shuts off.

  • Push the air chuck onto the test gauge and fill the steel pipe with air. Increase the pressure to the necessary setting. Your municipal code enforcement office will determine the pounds per square inch test setting. Wait the determined amount of time, and have the gauge inspected if required by law.

  • Relieve the pressure on the test gauge by pushing in on the air valve with a screwdriver. Reconnect the gas meter and appliances. Turn the gas back on or call the gas company to turn it on for you.

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  • Photo Credit High Speed image by Carsthets from Fotolia.com
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