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Discuss Testing for leaks in oil line in the Oil and Solid Fuel Forum area at UKPlumbersForums.co.uk.

  1. Oilboil

    Oilboil New Member

    I wonder if someone can reassure me about this...

    Our domestic oil tank was recently found to be empty many weeks ahead of schedule. There was no sign of theft and our engineer queried a leak in the underground upvc pipe that links the tank to the boiler.

    He isolated the tank and using a Rothenberger pump pressurized the line to 24 bar. Just over two days later this is down to 10 bar.

    He assures me that this drop is normal but I have two worries:

    1. He appears to think that he only applied just over 2 bar of pressure

    2. As far as I can from some light Googling, these lines should not have more than about 8bar applied for more than three hours

    Please reassure me that the test as described above is appropriate and unlikely to have caused (further) damage to the line.

    Many thanks in advance
     
  2. Dotty

    Dotty Guest

    You sure it weren't 2.4 and 1.0 bar?
     
  3. Oilboil

    Oilboil New Member

    That's what I thought at first but the original "24" setting corresponded to around 350psi on the pump's guage.
     
  4. Dotty

    Dotty Guest

    If it was copper or steel it should only be pressured to 1.0 bar and checked for a drop after 15 minutes. If a drop is detected then the pipework should be exposed and replaced. If no loss is detected then the test should be left on for a further 30 minutes.

    Plastic pipework is dependant on the manufacturers recommendations. I don't believe any manufacturer would advise 24 bar over a period of days!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. SimonG

    SimonG Trusted Plumber

    Which is one reason underground pipework should be sleeved. Leak would be visible at atleast one end of the sleeving. Which would also be easy to replace the line through the sleeving.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Dotty

    Dotty Guest

    I've just looked at Qual-Oil pipe manufactured by Pipelife.

    Exactly the same test as above.

    Not sure what your boys thinking is....
     
  7. Dotty

    Dotty Guest

    Amen to that. Costs a wee bit more but by 'eck does it save some hassle!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Best

    Best Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    As above ^^ the blue water pipe, 20mm or 25mm normally and have it above ground a few inches at each end and that will allow any leak to show. Common sense method that should have been made compulsory years ago.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Best

    Best Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Think it is just about a pound a metre, so not much on a job. I prefer to still use pvc coated copper oil line and put it inside 25mm water pipe
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. SimonG

    SimonG Trusted Plumber

    That's all I use. 10mm pvc coated copper inside 25mm alkathene.

    Had one in January. Only a couple of metres, but the old pulled out and new through with no hassle.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. SimonG

    SimonG Trusted Plumber

    That's all I use. 10mm pvc coated copper inside 25mm alkathene.

    Had one in January. Only a couple of metres, but the old pulled out and new through with no hassle.
     
  12. Oilboil

    Oilboil New Member

    Thanks for the replies. The line is in a pvcu conduit so replacement should be straightforward. I suspect replacement would not have been necessary 48 hours ago. Will try and post photo of the pressure guage just to double check.
     
  13. Best

    Best Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    You were lucky it wasn't the old 3/8" alkathene pipe I used to use with bare 10mm copper pushed through it! :smile: Was near a tight fit and the longer the run of pipe, the tighter it became to push through.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Oilboil

    Oilboil New Member

    Here's a photo of the gauge from a little over 24 hours ago. The red needle was the starting pressure and the black one where it fell to over the following 24 hours. It's now a little bit lower than that.

    By my reading it is 24 bar/350 psi/2.5 MPa - or am I wrong.

    If the oil line is Qual-oil - and I think it is, this pressure would invalidate the warranty - so I'm guessing that it would need to be replaced - and likely at the engineer's expense...
    20170310_193011.jpg

    Not sure if that worked, here's a link to the image:
    https://s14.postimg.org/6iqv9kn0h/20170310_193011.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  15. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR

    Whilst you're on this subject, does nobody test oil lines with a vacuums guage anymore ?
     
  16. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    I read 14 bar on the gauge I would say the pressure was ok bit high but should be able to cope

    Depends what the manufacturer says to test at

    And shouldn't drop at any pressure big drop = leak

    And the system according to manufacture (qual oil) can take 200 bar breaking strength
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  17. Oilboil

    Oilboil New Member

    Currently 14 bar but it started up where the red needle was so I read it as having been 24.

    Good to know that it's rated upto 200 bar but I note that the warranty is invalidated much lower than that...
     
  18. Oilboil

    Oilboil New Member

    Currently 14 bar but it started up where the red needle was so I read it as having been 24.

    Good to know that it's rated upto 200 bar but I note that the warranty is invalidated much lower than that...
     
  19. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Sorry to say your warrentys gone as it hasn't been sleeved

    did the pressure drop to that or did he let some out ?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  20. Oilboil

    Oilboil New Member

    I think it is sleeved.

    The pressure dropped to that over the course of about 48 hours.
     
  21. SimonG

    SimonG Trusted Plumber

    I don't like the plastic oil pipe. It can't come to the surface so you need covers at each end as it's not uv proof.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  22. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Should drop that much maybe .5bar max over 24 hours
     
  23. WHPES

    WHPES Trusted Plumber GSR

    I just replaced a length of 10mm bare copper pipe which had been in plastic sleeving today. The pipe hand rotted through and was leaking oil.
     
  24. tamz

    tamz Guest

    Plastic pipe: you don't have a leak.
    A. Your engineer didn't know basic principles of pressure testing plastic pipe.
    B. I bet you were all over him like a rash
    C. Where there is blame there is claim.....unlucky; ladbrooks wouldn't take a bet on a leak or damage with the test. Your pipe is fine but it is your prerogative to challenge that in court if you have the spare cash.

    The pressure on an oil line would be doing well to exceed 0.2 bar ( i gave it the benefit of the doubt there and added another 0.1) so you could in reality, hold a joint together with some juicy fruit (old fashioned chewing gum made by wriggleys).

    Back to basics. Plastic pipe expands under pressure and the max time it should ever be tested to is 180 mins or 120 depending on the test: say 12 bar test 0.6 bar drop after 30 mins 0.8 after 2 1/2hrs and the drop will continue with time, or 12 bar initial then drop to 4 bar no loss after 90 mins.
    This IS basic stuff for ALL plastics.



    Since the world revolves around the internet google the numpty and i'm sure you'll find it or if you are stuck ring the pipe manu and ask for the test procedure.
    They will get back to you in 2 days or so in which time your pressure will have went up or down depending how you feel but doing so may have invalidated your warranty.
    Do you call it a day and think he'll with it without manufacurers support (is He really listening) or just see if you can make another 30+ years before your planting
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2017
  25. tamz

    tamz Guest

    What kind of shyte do you have in the ground down in the shires that eats copper
     
  26. tamz

    tamz Guest

    Don't be daft
     
  27. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    :) ;)
     
  28. Oilboil

    Oilboil New Member

    Hello again - OP here.

    The engineer felt that the leak had been due to the PVC fittings that had been previously used and replaced them with brass (getting on for two months ago now.)

    I noticed a bit of a smell near where the pipe enters the house today and found that the pipe was indeed wet with oil. I wiped it dry but a couple of hours later it was coated again.

    The pictures below were taken after I had again wiped the pipe off and then again after about 20 minutes - you can see the darker area where the oil is leaking.

    So what do I do? I'm loathe to call the same guy out again as I'm not sure that he knows (or cares) what he's doing.

    My questions are:

    1) can anyone recommend an engineer in Rossendale/Lancashire/West Yorks who can come and sort this out/reassure me that all is well
    2) am I just being naive - should I expect a small amount of leakage on a warm day?
    3) does the set-up in the pictures look right: the exposed green line, what I assume is a disconnected fire-valve etc...

    dry pipe

    20 mins later
     
  29. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Don't do oil but why has the fire valve been removed ?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  30. Oilboil

    Oilboil New Member

    It was like that when we moved in and was left like that on the two occasions when the boiler was serviced, including the occasion above when the oil line was pressure tested.
     
  31. Gazzt

    Gazzt Active Member

    I would be concerned that the fire valve is disconnected, that needs immediate attention and refitted or replaced if faulty, the weeping oil line needs sealed using a pipe insert, ptfe and fuel seal for example haldite. You can use a vacuum gauge on the oil pump it can indicate problems with an oil line.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  32. Best

    Best Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    It isn't against the regs to use plenty of pipe to fitting joints, but not good practice. Minimum joints, minimum possible leaking points.
    A remote firevalve needs refitted (that one lying on ground might be faulty and no doubt full of water and dirt now).
    I would prefer a male fitting into each side of the firevalve (a male straight and a male bend) so that you only have 2 pipe connections there.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  33. Jay The Plumber

    Jay The Plumber Active Member

    as above, is your guy OFTEC registered, any engineer will know that fire valve should be fitted or in this case, replaced.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  34. Oilboil

    Oilboil New Member

    Thanks for the replies - anyone got any local recommendations for me?
     
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