Tags: #buildingmaterials #buildingscience #materialsscience #roguetesting

A reusable hydrostatic column tester for under $15. Long live rogue testing! 

Hydrostatic pressure testers are expensive, constrained by sample size, and require calibration. So those who test for a living have their own creations for simple and effective columns. I’ve tried many of them, but nothing seemed quite right. I needed something that was entirely reusable, with fast sample prep, and without destruction to my apparatus or substrate interface. And preferably no goo and long cure times. 

This assembly utilizes a 3” PVC pipe and corresponding closet flange. The two are epoxied together to form a water-tight, permanent bond. But here’s the key – the seal. Gaskets are unreliable. So I use 3/4” butyl tape that is folded over itself with the outside seam facing outwards. The assembly is then bolted to the sample/substrate. Now it’s ready to be filled.

I have yet to have a failure even over prolonged testing durations. Most importantly, I’ve cut my sample prep time from 24 hours to 5 minutes! It’s also highly adaptable for testing WRB interfaces such as tapes and fastener treatments at any column height. And it’s superior to the paint can method of ASTM D1970. It’s fast, simple, and inexpensive.