Chapter 14
Pressure Testing


ASME B31.3 requires leak testing of all piping systems other than Category D systems. For piping in Category D Fluid Service, the piping may (at the Owner's option) be put in service without a leak test and examined for leakage during the initial operation of the system. This is an initial service leak test. For all other piping, the following options are available:

• Hydrostatic test

• Pneumatic test

• Hydropneumatic test

• Alternative leak test

An alternative leak test is only permitted by ASME B31.3 when:

• Exposure of the piping to water via a hydrostatic test would damage the linings or internal insulation, or contaminate a process that would be hazardous, corrosive, or inoperative in the presence of moisture; and

• A pneumatic test is considered by the owner to entail an unacceptable risk due to the potential release of stored energy in the system (the danger of a pneumatic test increases with the pressure and contained volume); or

• A hydrostatic test or pneumatic test would present the danger of brittle fracture due to low metal temperature during the test

  • 14.1 Overview of Pressure Test Requirements
  • 14.2 Hydrostatic Test
  • 14.3 Pneumatic Test
  • 14.4 Hydropneumatic Test
  • 14.5 Alternative Leak Test
  • 14.6 Sensitive Leak Test
  • 14.7 Jacketed and Vacuum Piping
  • 14.8 Initial Service Leak Test
  • 14.9 Closure Welds
  • 14.10 Requirements for Nonmetallic Piping

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