Air Leak Test for Low Pressure Pipelines

Air Leak Test is one of the test methods for testing any leakage at the gravity pipelines. The other method is testing with water. For the details of the water test, you may refer to our previous articles depending on the methods “Water Filling through Manhole” and “Water Filling through Plug“.

Generally, contractors prefer Air Test for the following advantages in comparison to Water Test:

  • Saves cost, more economical
  • Easier and implemented rapidly
  • Saves water as water consumption is quite high at the Water Test

However; in contrast to the advantages above, users should also take the following facts into consideration while deciding for the test method:

  • Test success rate is lower since air leaks easier than water. Therefore, if the testing fails, switch the method to Water Test as per EN 1610.
  • Air Leak Test is more dangerous for the personnel than the Water Test. For this reason, it should not be preferred if it is not compulsory. Hence, safety rules and regulations must be strictly followed.

How to Implement Air Leak Test

In order to carry out the test, provide the following equipment.

  • PP model inflatable pipe plug – 1 unit
  • PTP model inflatable test plug – 1 unit
  • Air Control Device – 1 unit
  • Compressor – 1 unit
  • Air Test Adaptor – 1 unit
  • Manometer – 1 unit
  • Air Hose (AH) – 4 Pcs
    • AH1 – for inflating the Pipe Plug (PP model)
    • AH2 – for inflating the Pipe Test Plug (PTP model)
    • AH3 – for filling the air into the test area
    • AH4 – for measuring and monitoring the pressure inside the test area

Once all necessary equipment are in place, follow the steps in the video to conduct the test.

Air Leak Test is referred to as Method (L) in the EN 1610 International Standard for testing pipelines. The Air Leak Test can be used either for testing the entire pipeline or for testing only joints (point of junctions).

Manholes and inspection chambers can also be tested with Method (L) provided if they comply with specific criteria. Manholes with nominal diameter less than or equal to 1250mm and inspection chambers may be tested by air with test method LA or LB only according to EN 1610.

Method (L) is conducted according to the flow diagram as per EN 1610 given below.


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