Air testing water pipes

I’m trying to find the reliability of having a plumber pressure test domestic water piping and a hot water radiator system heated by a gas furnace. There also is an electric hot water heater. The property is in northeast Pennsylvania. All water has been drained and the house is winterized against the cold weather here.

I have an inspection scheduled for Wednesday on this property, which is a foreclosure a friend wants to buy with the intent to renovate and sell. The county municipal authority, which supplies the water, is owed $800.00 and will not turn on the water until it is paid. That’s the reason we don’t fill the pipes with water for the inspection.

In additin, I don’t want to fire up the gas boiler without water in it. (The gas and electric are on.) What do you think?

So, how accurate are these air pressure tests? If one is conducted I will include in my report a disclaimer that I am not responsible for the water systems, as I did not test them and the plumber was contracted by the potential buyer.

Thanks for hte advice,

Dean Conrad

From the ICC-IRC for initial installation, should work for what you need:

**P2503.6 Water-supply system testing.

**Upon completion of the water-supply system or a section of it, the system or portion completed shall be tested and proved tight under a water pressure of not less than the working pressure of the system or, for piping systems other than plastic, by an air test of not less than 50 psi (345 kPa). This pressure shall be held for not less than 15 minutes. The water used for tests shall be obtained from a potable water source.