How to pressure test PVC pipe

Written by donna armstrong
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to pressure test PVC pipe
PVC cutters can be used to cut out leaks in the pipe. (cutting tool image by Greg Pickens from

PVC pipe and fittings that are new or are leaking need to be tested to make sure their joints are sealed and locate the leaks. When pressure testing PVC it is important to wait until all the PVC cement is cured in the joints. There are two ways to test PVC pressure: with water or with air. Air pressure tests are dangerous and should only be done by professionals.

Skill level:

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Water
  • PVC test plugs
  • T connector
  • PVC pipe, 1 foot long

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Locate the lowest point in the PVC line. This point will be tested first. The test is set for every 100 feet of PVC pipe. This includes joining pipes and connectors. If you are testing a large number of pipes, break it up into 100-foot sections. If this section is connected to a vertical pipe, disconnect the vertical pipe from whatever the top of the pipe is connected too. If it is not connected to a vertical pipe, locate the closest connector and replace it with the T connector and with the 1 foot attached to the vertical port in the T.

  2. 2

    Disconnect the pipes that are being tested. Remember to make the disconnections so the total length of tested pipe is 100 feet. If you added a T connector and 1-foot pipe, add that foot in the total.

  3. 3

    Flush out the pipe by running water through the pipe. This removes air pockets and debris from the pipe.

  4. 4

    Plug all open ends of the pipe, excluding the open end of the vertical pipe, with test plugs. These plugs hold water in and allow you to find leaks.

  5. 5

    Pour water slowly into the vertical pipe to allow the air to escape out of the pipe. The total water needed per pipe size varies by pipe diameter. A 1 ½-inch pipe uses 13 gallons. A 2-inch pipe requires 20 gallons. A 2 1/2-inch pipe needs 29 gallons. A 3-inch pipe requires 43 gallons and so on. A chart with the number of gallons needed for pipe diameter is located at the northern pipe website.

  6. 6

    Check the pressure test plugs for the test reading. If any leaks are found, the leaky joint or pipe should be removed and replaced.

  7. 7

    Remove the plugs and drain the water. Test the next section of pipe or reconnect the PVC you disconnected.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.