August 2018


Engineering Case Histories: Case 102—Use caution when specifying a safe hydrotesting distance

Hydrotesting is performed on piping and vessels to verify their integrity.

Sofronas, A., Consulting Engineer

Hydrotesting is performed on piping and vessels to verify their integrity. These tests provide leak detection and strength verification. Pressurized water up to 50% above the maximum working pressure is usually used. Hydrotests can be safely conducted when proper procedures are followed. The failure shown in Fig. 1 is a ductile failure due to a defective attachment weld. The test was performed appropriately. FIG. 1. Ductile failure during a hydrotest. Fig. 2 shows a brittle fracture of a heat exchanger due to improper procedures and water temperature. During a low-pressure (50-lb/in.2), low-volume (25-ft3) test, the circumferential weld failed

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