A hydro-static test is a way in which pressure vessels such as pipelines, plumbing, gas cylinders, boilers and fuel tanks can be tested for strength and leaks. The test involves filling the vessel or pipe system with a liquid, usually water, which may be dyed to aid in visual leak detection, and pressurization of the vessel to the specified test pressure. Pressure tightness can be tested by shutting off the supply valve and observing whether there is a pressure loss. The location of a leak can be visually identified more easily if the water contains a colorant. Strength is usually tested by measuring permanent deformation of the container.

Hydro-static testing is the most common method employed for testing pipes and pressure vessels. Using this test helps maintain safety standards and durability of a vessel over time. Newly manufactured pieces are initially qualified using the hydro-static test. They are then re-qualified at regular intervals using the proof pressure test which is also called the modified hydro-static test. Testing of pressure vessels for transport and storage tanks is very important because such containers can explode if they fail under pressure.

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