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What Is Hydrostatic Testing?

Eric Dyer

Hydrostatic, aka “Hydro”, testing tests the strengths and weaknesses of fire suppression cylinders and extinguishers to find leaks and deformities which may cause them to fail.

To ensure these life safety tools have the best possible chance for success the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) mandates high pressure testing every 12 years, at a minimum.

So what’s involved in hydrostatic testing?
During a hydrostatic test, the cylinder will be filled with water or oil and then pressurized to test its integrity. Once the container is pressurized, the supply valve is closed off to test for pressure losses or deformations. Sometimes the liquid is colored to make it easier to see.

Safety Considerations
During a hydrostatic test, the container will be pressurized to a higher than normal operating pressure—usually 125% – 150% of the norm. This high pressure will show whether it has become structurally weakened over the years. If weakened, it could fail or explode when used, presenting an extreme risk to the operator and anyone in the building. And it would not put out a fire.

How often do I need hydrostatic testing?
NFPA requirements state that fire extinguishers and system cylinders must be tested every 12 years.

Need more information or a quote for hydrostatic testing and fire system inspections?
Call Kescor today. We would love to help.