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Old 10-10-2009, 06:33 PM   #1
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Home Made Pressure Leak Test

I have been battling with a couple of leaks that just won't quit! Upon reading about the air pressure leak testing that some dealerships will perform, I decided that since I couldn't get the trailer to a dealer, and with winter coming, (lots of rain) and me wanting to get the floor rot spots fixed, I would try to do something myself.

I don't have my new gaskets and weather stripping yet, so in order to minimize air loss through the windows, I sealed all the windows from the outside using packing tape. Not recommended if your AS is polished, unless you want to use some solvent to get the tape glue off after. Mine is not yet cleaned up so it wasn't an issue. I also sealed the rot holes in the floor inside, the fridge vent inlet in the floor, the hole around the water valves, the flange into the black water tank, etc. Any place that wasn't a potential leak spot, but where I would lose air.

Fridge vent inlet


Plumbing valves



Toilet flange



I used house wrap tape for sealing the inside. It will stick to anything dry, even if it is uneven.

So what could I use for pressurizing the trailer?

My electric leaf blower.



I have the stove vent fan out so I decided that this would make a great port to force air into the trailer.



Some more packing tape and plastic sealed the blower into the stove vent and also held it up there for the test.

I had no idea if I woudl get enough pressure to show anything but after turning it on and spraying some waster/dish soap solution on with a garden sprayer ... success....!






There were a couple more as well, so all in all I would call it a success.

One of the worst leaks I have is under the left corner of the big front window, and nothing in this test showed me where it is coming from, (I don't believe the bubble above would account for the amount of water getting in) but ... I watched while I was rinsing the soap off the trailer, and there was no leak! This tells me that the tape I had to stop air loss around the gaskets was stopping the water. Sure enough, I removed the tape, and started getting water in! There must be some channel leaking inside the outer parts of the fame around the gasket. At least it narrows it down some. It is puzzling, though, because when it is leaking, there is no water getting into the bottom channel inside the window, so the gasket, as cracked as it is, is holding back water.

It got dark, so I can't look further until tomorrow.

I just thought I'd post my air pressure test method.
Like the old saying, "There is more than one way to skin a cat".
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:15 PM   #2
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Thumbs up Cool!!!


I have wondered if that could be done. Thanks a lot for trying it out.
Regards,
Ken
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:04 PM   #3
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showing the roof - the plumbing stack vent shown in photo is infamous for leaking, ensure the weep hole in the casting is clear and the PVC pipe & sheet gasket are engaged and anchored...
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:05 AM   #4
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Never Thought of using a Leaf Blower, Great Idea.
I have an old furnace blower I was going to make a vent adapter for but have never gotten to it.
Doesn't even look like that big a leaf blower.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickDavis View Post
Never Thought of using a Leaf Blower, Great Idea.
I have an old furnace blower I was going to make a vent adapter for but have never gotten to it.
Doesn't even look like that big a leaf blower.
It has the long nozzle removed. I don't know what pressure it produces .. for what it's worth, it says on it - 354 KM/HR. I also have no idea what the optimum pressure would be for the best test, but this showed up a few leaks which I am happy with for an afternoon's playing around.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
showing the roof - the plumbing stack vent shown in photo is infamous for leaking, ensure the weep hole in the casting is clear and the PVC pipe & sheet gasket are engaged and anchored...
New gaskets for both plumbing stacks are in the plans.
Wasn't aware of a weep hole.
Thanks.
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:19 AM   #7
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I had thought this could be a do-it yourself test but until now hadnt figured how to pressurize the inside! The lief blower is and excellent idea...good work and thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:07 AM   #8
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I agree- the leaf blower and soap solution are great ideas! How long did it take for the pressure to build up enough to start seeing bubbles?
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:45 AM   #9
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As for the 'weep holes' on the plumbing vent... they are often covered in vulkem or <pick your favorite sealant>. I asked the question many months back and someone responded (Andy?) with something like "they're there... just dig them out". Sure enough I found them, cleared the holes and my leak down the vent pipe disappeared.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:04 PM   #10
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I agree- the leaf blower and soap solution are great ideas! How long did it take for the pressure to build up enough to start seeing bubbles?
Instantly.

I have my water heater removed and just taped a sheet of plastic over the hole. when I turned the blower on, the plastic puffed out taut. I also have the furnace out with a sheet of rubber fastened behind the outer vent cover to keep water out for the winter (no sealant). Sprayed there as a test and it bubbled rignt up!
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:19 PM   #11
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anyone know if this would work using a shop vac instead of a leaf blower?
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