Pressure testing plumbing in a vacant home

2 Replies

Just went under contract on a bank foreclosure. The building has been vacant for a year and utilities are off. The bank is unwilling to turn anything on for my inspector to test. That said, I’m planning on having a plumber do a pressure test on the plumbing to check for leaks. Any other suggestions out there aside from additional having a traditional inspection??

This is not foolproof, but it can be pressurized with an air compressor at low pressure, about 50-60 pounds. Some plumbers will turn off all the valves at faucets and the toilet so that you are checking only the distribution piping.

From experience I'm not convinced on the air purge method.Instead I use a 3/4 HP submersible pump in a 5 gallon bucket & pump fluid (usually the pink 'food grade' RV anti-freeze) through the lines. I have also done it on boiler heating systems.

I attach it to the system via an existing spigot. Run it at full pressure & make sure you get flow at the various faucets etc. Then wait as the pump runs for any signs of leaks. Obviously easier on single storied homes & still difficult behind walls etc unless you can hear the leaks or the drips.

Once done you shut it down & leave the RV in the system to keep it winterized.

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