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Old 06-27-2008, 11:00 PM   #1
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How much pressure

I plan to do a "leak test" on my trailer soon. A buddy of mine has all the stuff needed to do such a test. He ask, "How much pressure you want?" "1/2 psi?"

He joke and said, "I can go to 10psi like I do when we test jet airplanes?" I think he said around 9.2psi is equal to 25K feet, but don't hold me to it. I can't see my Airstream flying at 25k feet, but it would be cool.

So, the question is, "How much pressure should be needed to test for leaks?"



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Old 06-28-2008, 06:54 AM   #2
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Wow! 10 psi would be cool, but I think it would blow the fluids out of your drain traps. Not to mention blowing the windows out of their frames.

I'd see if she holds 1/2 psi. Thats enough to find any leaks.
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:52 AM   #3
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Are you trying to test the shell for leaks,the water,or gas?
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:13 AM   #4
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Be careful here..even a half PSI would push on a flimsy UV damaged 17 inch square skylight with 140 lbs pressure. At 10 PSI I can see lots of points of failure
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:55 PM   #5
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I plan to do a "leak test" on my trailer soon. A buddy of mine has all the stuff needed to do such a test. He ask, "How much pressure you want?" "1/2 psi?"

He joke and said, "I can go to 10psi like I do when we test jet airplanes?" I think he said around 9.2psi is equal to 25K feet, but don't hold me to it. I can't see my Airstream flying at 25k feet, but it would be cool.

So, the question is, "How much pressure should be needed to test for leaks?"


First of all, I sort of disagree with that leak test method. It does have it's values, but it also has severe drawbacks.

If you use more than 1/2 psi, you will cause leaks where you do not have leaks now.

First of all, an Airstream is not a submarine, and neither is your home.

If you used that test method on your home, you would find leaks galore, and the same is for your Airstream. As an example, your window gaskets are designed to handle pressure from the exterior of your trailer. not the interior.

Some areas of the trailer, are like your home. Of course they leak. That does not mean that water will enter.

One of the biggest leaks you will find, that your pressure system will not show, is the sewer vent pipe covers.

Any test method or system, should be carefully used, and interpreted, of what you found, and why.

Use considerable caution with the pressure system.

Andy
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:04 PM   #6
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I don't think I would apply air pressure to the inside of my Airstream.

Like Andy says, Airstreams are built to keep water etc. out, not in. There are so may places that items go through the skin and floor. Wires for lights, lines for propane and plumbing. I don't think they put any type of air tight seal around the perimeter of the floor.

If you do give it a try, and you don't do any damage, I think all you are going to find is that your unit will not hold air pressure. It's an Airstream, not an Air Liner. You will still not know where the air is escaping.

I think it will all go our the roof vent as you put it in anyway. And if you tape that down, it will ust escape somewhere else.
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:18 PM   #7
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Paul

It is not pressure you need it is volume. There is no way you can seal an Airstream enough to run a static air test. If you do seal the windows, door, roof vents, back and top of ref., you still have to be concerned with the floor and all it penetrations.

Yes if you could seal everything to a reasonable condition and started introducing a controllable volume of air you run the risk of doing damage as you increase the volume of air chasing a leak that may not be there.
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:34 PM   #8
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yeah, i agree with howieE...

it's about volumes of air.

that's why NO SPECIAL EQUIPMENT is needed really. a large volume vacuum cleaner can provide enough air for testing...

it seems the 'seal tech' process may have some value, in specific situations or with some units, but

the bigger question is...

WHY r u considering this process?

-are there water leaks when it rains and the trailer is parked?

-are there water leaks when it rains and the trailer is in tow?

i can't imagine any good reason to test an old trailer that is IN use,

unless there is some odd water entry issue that cannot be solved otherwise.

besides after the testing and application of a few lbs of vulcum; IF the trailer is moved again...

there will be new "unsealed" gaps just from travel and the wiggles...

it ain't a oyster shell watch case folks!

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rideair View Post
I plan to do a "leak test" on my trailer soon. A buddy of mine has all the stuff needed to do such a test. He ask, "How much pressure you want?" "1/2 psi?"

He joke and said, "I can go to 10psi like I do when we test jet airplanes?" I think he said around 9.2psi is equal to 25K feet, but don't hold me to it. I can't see my Airstream flying at 25k feet, but it would be cool.


With those 2 hot air balloons you have, you could hook one to each end and have a unique gondola to ride to rallys.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:34 PM   #10
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Reason for the test is to look for leaks that I may not know about. I understand there are many people who have used this method to finds leaks. You have a source of air coming into the trailer, spay the outside with a soap/water solutions and start looking for bubbles. I just wanted to make sure I did not use to much air volume/pressure.
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:16 AM   #11
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[quote=rideair;582992]"Reason for the test is to look for leaks that I may not know about."

Hi, if you don't know there are any leaks why look? If it's not broken, don't fix it.
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Old 06-29-2008, 01:09 AM   #12
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Pressurizing an airstream sounds like crazy idea. The forces will grow to incredible levels with even 1 psi. A 24x36 window with 1 psi on it would be forced outward with a force of about 864 lbs! Fortunately, I think that there would be so many little leaks that it would be impossible to reach much pressure without a huge compressor. Maybe the shop vac idea would work, and be safe.
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:59 PM   #13
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You could always go with some plumber`s smoke bombs,though you would have to air it out for a few weeks afterwards,cause they sure do stink.I wouldn`t do it and I have the bombs in my van.Dave
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Old 07-02-2008, 05:22 PM   #14
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Hi, if you don't know there are any leaks why look? If it's not broken, don't fix it.
Ignorance is bliss?

I wish I'd known about the imaginary leaks that rotted my floor.
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